When following the Paleo diet, you will cut the trans fats and the omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in your diet and increase the healthful monounsaturated and omega-3 fats that were the mainstays of our ancestors. Recent large population studies, known as meta analyses, show that saturated fats have little or no adverse effects upon cardiovascular disease risk.
Of course, snacking is completely optional on a Paleo diet. In fact, many people end up naturally eating only two meals per day, but it doesn’t mean that snacking is a bad idea, especially if the snack only contains healthy ingredients and prevents you from indulging with bad foods. They can also be great when on the go or as something to eat post workout. Just remember that your snacks should respect the basic principles of Paleo. This means that most fruits and nuts should be consumed only in moderation. Most fruits are high in the sugar fructose, which is toxic in higher doses and most nuts are high in polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), especially the omega-6 PUFA. Refer to my article on nuts and seeds to know about the best choices. This also means that snacks containing mainly saturated fat or animal protein are usually great.
Richard Nikoley has the blog Free The Animal. He loves meat eating. His diet is near paleo, with the addition of some gray-area foods that he likes. These days most of his posts are on food. One recent trend in the paleo community is trying to optimize the proportions of the foods eaten. If you've read my definition you'll know that I simply define the diet as foods in and out. One of Richard's posts: Optimality: A Fool's Errand? has produced a long discussion of this trend.
Paul Burke's Neo-Dieter's Handbook: When We Lost Our Nutritional Roots; Where to Find These Foods Today by Paul Burke M. Ed. The book focuses on nutrition, the right nutrition to enhance health, exercise, weight training, and fitness. The diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. He is opposed to grains. He wants you to stay away from grain-fed meat. The single review at Amazon.com gives the book 5 stars. Published August 21, 2009.
For immediate weight loss, Paleo is a great and healthy solution. But after carefully reading and considering, I’m unconvinced that Paleo is optimal for long-term health. I think, in fact, it might lead to heart disease and other ills associated with heavy meat consumption. Although many of Cordain’s theories fall apart long-term, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend the book. You should read critically and decide for yourself.
If you want to get your chocolate craving satisfied with your snack time, these energy balls are the way to go. What we’re typically looking for when deciding on a snack is whether it will provide the fuel to get you to your next meal. With these you’ll be able to cruise to your next meal, and you won’t get those groggy or foggy times when you just want to eat and you can’t focus. You also won’t get that panicky feeling that occurs when you don’t know what your next meal is going to be. Have these energy balls and then you’ll be able to focus long enough to plan your next meal or take care of important work.
Paleo lays the foundations for a healthy diet – whole unprocessed foods, leafy greens, fresh pesticide-free vegetables, nuts, fruits on occasion, grass-fed meat, pastured free-range poultry and wild-caught fish – and lifestyle – moving your body every day and being mindful; a holistic approach to achieving a healthier and happier life and becoming the best version of you.
The Paleo diet is also not just a diet. Most people refer to it as the Paleo lifestyle or Paleo template to emphasize that this is a way of living, not a diet that you go on for a few months to lose some weight for a wedding, and that it incorporates equal focus on lifestyle factors (like sleep, stress management, activity and community; read more here), sustainability, regenerative farming practices, and environmental protection.
It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Every recipe is accompanied by an ingredient list, a nutrient list, clearly written instructions, and a picture of the ingredients and a picture of the finished product. Note that this is a primal book and many recipes include dairy. Published March 25, 2011.
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Recipes include: Roasted Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Garlic, Salmon Chowder with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes Stuffed with Ground Bison and Eggs, and Baked Chocolate Custard. Recipes are simple and have limited ingredients. Complaints are the book is stuffed with unnecessary photos and proofreading could have been better, e.g. oven temperatures were left out. And recipes are not truly paleo. Despite what is on the cover dairy is used in some recipes. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
While the diet as a whole hasn't been well studied, the benefits of cutting packaged foods from your diet could be huge. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, three quarters of the average American's sodium intake (which is almost double what it should be!) comes from commercially prepared foods. And, one Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
However, as I already mentioned, the Paleo template simply gives us a starting point from which to decide how to feed ourselves in the modern world. I make my own choices by weighing the health consequences of the foods I eat—and I also consider the gustatory pleasure of the experiences, too. Over the past few years, my attitude toward food has evolved. When I first adopted a Paleo lifestyle, I strictly followed the rigid dictates of the Paleo diet because this new way of eating made me feel so much better. I didn’t even think to question why it worked. But with time, I’ve learned that it’s more important to stay curious about the science behind the approach, and to be fully conscious of my food choices. I learned that I don’t need to strive for “Paleo perfection” as long as I’m mindful of what I’m choosing to put into my mouth, and why.
The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.
The Soft Science of Dietary Fat is a summary of an article in Science Magazine reporting that mainstream nutritional science has demonized dietary fat, yet 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. In fact, there are good reasons to believe high-carbohydrate diets may be even worse than high-fat diets. Here is the text from the original article by Gary Taubes.
When you're eating paleo, the worst part of the day is in between meals, when a snack craving hits and all you want is a bag of chips. We're here with some good news: Lays is still off limits, but with options like Brussels sprouts chips, roasted edamame, and veggie sushi, you'll look forward to snack time again. And if you're going keto, check out out healthy keto snacks, too.
Too many folks think the Paleo approach to eating is about deprivation, and that all we eat is ground beef with a side of steamed broccoli. “I can’t go Paleo – there’ll be nothing I can eat,” skeptics say. But what they mean is that they can’t conceive of Paleo food being anywhere near as scrumptious as their weekly meals at the local greasy spoon, or as satisfying as the crinkly bag of half-eaten fluorescent cheese poofs on the floor of their car. To get people to maintain a Paleo lifestyle, it’s important to show how the food that fuels them can be healthy and insanely good.
The Paleo diet is promoted as a way of improving health. There is some evidence that following this diet may lead to improvements in terms of body composition and metabolic effects compared with the typical Western diet or compared with diets recommended by national nutritional guidelines. There is no good evidence, however, that the diet helps with weight loss, other than through the normal mechanisms of calorie restriction. Following the Paleo diet can lead to an inadequate calcium intake, and side effects can include weakness, diarrhea, and headaches.
Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed--a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today's diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases--and even beat them back--through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.
The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.
^ Ramsden, C.; Faurot, K.; Carrera-Bastos, P.; Cordain, L.; De Lorgeril, M.; Sperling, L. (2009). "Dietary Fat Quality and Coronary Heart Disease Prevention: A Unified Theory Based on Evolutionary, Historical, Global, and Modern Perspectives". Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. 11 (4): 289–301. doi:10.1007/s11936-009-0030-8. PMID 19627662.
Once again, it is important (and we strongly advise) that you seek advice from your healthcare professional before commencing the program and we also recommend you stay under careful supervision of a qualified and knowledgeable healthcare provider during your dietary and lifestyle transition in the case of Type I and/or Type II diabetes. You may ultimately require positive adjustments in your medications following the implementation of this program; so careful monitoring of blood sugar and blood ketone levels is advised.
Adoption of the Paleolithic diet assumes that modern humans can reproduce the hunter-gatherer diet. Molecular biologist Marion Nestle argues that "knowledge of the relative proportions of animal and plant foods in the diets of early humans is circumstantial, incomplete, and debatable and that there are insufficient data to identify the composition of a genetically determined optimal diet. The evidence related to Paleolithic diets is best interpreted as supporting the idea that diets based largely on plant foods promote health and longevity, at least under conditions of food abundance and physical activity." Ideas about Paleolithic diet and nutrition are at best hypothetical.
The paleo diet is meant to mimic what our preagricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The premise is that the current Western diet is contributing to the rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cancer. This diet, paleo proponents claim, can reduce inflammation, improve workouts, increase energy, help with weight loss, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of chronic diseases.