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A popular diet to follow these days is The Paleo Diet. When I am not doing Keto and actually trying to pay attention to what I eat, as we should be doing, this is the diet I like to stick closely to the most. I have found that, for someone like me with autoimmune issues, it really does help energy levels and inflammation. This guide will walk you through the basics of The Paleo Diet and also give you several resources to check out for more information.
What is The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is a method of eating as if you lived in the Stone Age or, as it is scientifically known, the Paleolithic Era. All processed foods are cut out and you subsist on a diet of vegetables, meat, and healthy fats as well as a moderate amount of fruits and dairy, and a limited amount of nutritious carbs like sweet potatoes. It is somewhat similar to eating a “clean” diet minus the fruits and other high naturally-occurring sugar foods. It is probably most similar to the Keto Diet except you don’t have a super strict carb limit.
The idea behind this particular diet is that we weren’t meant to eat a lot of the foods we eat today like grains. A lot of research has been done on grains. We didn’t eat a ton of grain until the advent of agriculture. Interestingly, it was after the advent of agriculture and the increased consumption of grains that diabetes and other conditions became widespread. A lot of people swear by the health benefits of eating a Paleo Diet.
What are the Benefits of a Paleo Diet?
There are a few immediate benefits to a Paleo Diet. First, you are more likely to eat a “clean” diet and avoid ingesting preservatives, additives, and chemicals all of which can lead to health issues. Second, you will probably feel fuller faster and longer as high protein and fat intake keeps you satiated. Which leads to the third benefit of weight loss. When you feel fuller longer then you tend to eat less throughout the day which naturally leads to weight loss. Finally, people who eat this way tend to have more energy and improved mental acuity.
As I mentioned above, a lot of people swear by the health benefits of this diet. At the top of the list is the effect the diet has on those with autoimmune disorders like hypothyroidism. Due to all the vegetables, oils, nuts, etc. that are consumed on this diet, there are major anti-inflammatory benefits and a major component of autoimmune disorders is inflammation. Quite a few people have gone so far as to say that they were able to almost reverse their condition or stop taking their medication.
Paleo Diet Guidelines
The Paleo Diet consists of the following guidelines:
Eat the following:
- Lean meat such as poultry, lean beef, pork, etc.
- Fish and Seafood
- Nonstarchy green vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, spinach, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
- Nuts nad Seeds (except peanuts, which are legumes)
- Plant-based oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
Limit the following:
- Fruits (berries are best)
- Dairy (most people cut dairy out completely as it works best with their bodies but, if you must have some dairy products, limit the amount)
Avoid the following:
- Grains such as wheat, oats, rice, etc.
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn
- Legumes and beans (this includes peanuts and soy)
- High-fat and processed meats like salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, etc.
- Sugar including natural sugars like honey
- Processed foods including all packaged products like crackers, pretzels, cookies, etc. and fast food like doughnuts, French fries, etc.
While the Paleo Diet is a great diet to follow, it is also more of lifestyle. If you make the change to this diet, really make the change. And keep in mind that, since this diet includes a lot of fresh foods and meat, it can get expensive so consider buying meat in bulk and freezing it and be prepared for the potential increases in your food budget. Finally, not all diets work for all people. Make sure you give it a good month or two but, if you find that this diet just doesn’t seem to work for you, figure out what the issues are and make some tweaks and find a way to keep healthier habits.
A few great websites to check out include the following:
Also, check out the following books: