Protein is a staple of the caveman diet- specifically options that are grass-fed, wild caught or organic, as these options are often from animals raised in environments that encourage natural behavior. And because our ancestors didn't just live off chicken and beef, they hunted a wide variety of meat, the more variety you can add to your proteins, the better!
Joel Runyon is the founder of Ultimate Paleo Guide and CEO of Paleo Meal Plans. He's a precision nutrition, and Gym Jones Level 1 certified, and helped millions of people get healthy and lose weight since 2012. Joel is also an ultra runner and endurance athlete - and in 2017, he became the the youngest person to run an ultra marathon on every continent in the world to build 7 schools with Pencils of Promise in developing countries.Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Athlinks and read his full bio here.
You’ve probably seen plantains at the grocery store; they look like funny bananas. But if you haven’t cooked them yet, you’re in for a treat. My favorite way is this one: slice ’em, fry ’em in coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. They make a sweet alternative to potato chips, but also go really well with main dishes if you need them to do double duty.
Fruits are not only delicious, but they’re also great for you. That said, fruits (even paleo-approved ones) contain large amounts of fructose which, while much better than HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), is still sugar. If you’re looking to lose weight on the paleo diet, you’ll want to cut back on your fruit intake and focus more on the vegetables allowed on the paleo diet. However, feel free to have one to three servings of fruit a day. Check out this list of paleo diet fruits and see if you’re not hungry by the end! (We’ll admit, we’re partial to blackberries!)
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.

While very different than most snacks-in-a-box popular on the SAD (Standard American Diet), it only takes a little imagination and willingness to try out new things to discover a whole new world of healthy possibilities. For example, numerous healthy dips can be prepared with good fats and flavors from citrus fruits like lemons or limes as well as herbs and spices. Such dips can be enjoyed with simple raw vegetables or with chips made with starchy vegetables like plantains or sweet potatoes.
But critics argue that the unlimited amount of red meat the paleo diet allows may have an adverse effect on heart health in people with diabetes, as research links eating red meat in excess to poor heart health. (11)  If you have diabetes and don’t moderate your red-meat intake, this could be a big problem, as people with diabetes are 2 times as likely to die of heart disease as people who do not have diabetes. (12)
In the long term, you have to be sure you’re getting calcium and other nutrients you’re missing by not having dairy products and certain grains. Some paleo-approved foods, such as salmon and spinach, contain calcium, so you have to be sure you’re including them in your diet. It would be a good idea to check with a registered dietitian, too, to make sure you’re meeting your calcium and other nutrient needs.

Trying to devise an ideal diet by studying contemporary hunter-gatherers is difficult because of the great disparities that exist; for example, the animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% for the Gwi people of southern Africa to 99% for the Alaskan Nunamiut.[40] Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods.[40] Modern hunter-gatherers tend to exercise considerably more than modern office workers, protecting them from heart disease and diabetes, though highly processed modern foods also contribute to diabetes when those populations move into cities.[40]
Yes, I did it right. Only 3 ingredients. Are you like some people and just pass up plantains in the grocery store? I used to be like that. I didn’t even know what they were. They looked weird and terrible. I don’t think like that anymore since I’ve gotten to know them. You can either choose them when they are on the yellow side or the green color side. The only difference is that the yellow ones are riper and therefore sweeter. The green ones are less ripe and won’t taste as sweet. That choice is just up to your preference. The yellow ones are a little harder to work with because they are more sticky. I do recommend green but you should experiment and have fun. Don’t worry about the skin being brown and a little bruised. The skin on plantains is really thick so the fruit is more protected than with a banana.
These researchers point out that there are plenty of reasons to suggest that the low-fat-is-good-health hypothesis has now effectively failed the test of time. In particular, that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that started around the early 1980’s, and that this was coincident with the rise of the low-fat dogma. (Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, also rose significantly through this period.)
July 2016 I weighed 225 lbs. and was desperate for a way of eating that I could lose weight with but not starve doing so. This book contained the answers I'd been seeking for years and, in my opinion, is the perfect starter book to understanding the Paleo eating plan. By July 2017 I dropped 65 lbs., felt absolutely great, and became a strong proponent of eating this way for a lifetime. Loren Cordain keeps it simple and straight-forward, explaining the diet in an uncomplicated manner.

Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?
Because of the simplicity of a paleo diet, it does not require participants to do too much thinking. While calories in versus calories out is the most basic rule to weight loss, a paleo diet takes a lot of thinking out of dieting. As long as you are eating whole, nutritious foods, you will probably find that weight loss will follow naturally—mainly because this style of eating cuts calories automatically.

Don’t settle for buying Fruit Roll-Ups when you can make your own version at home, without all of the chemicals and preservatives. These leathery lookalikes deliver all the flavor you could ask from a fruit snack, because they’re really made from fruit. Apples and strawberries to be exact, and there’s even a grapefruit added for good measure. The recipe ends up making 10 strips, which should be enough to get you through the week. It’s a bit of a novelty, and a delicious way to get some vitamins and nutrients into your body.


Physicians, biochemists, nutritionists, and other researchers are starting to come around to the benefits of ancestral nutrition, and people who adopt a Paleo-like approach to eating are reporting significant improvements in their general health, body composition, and energy levels. Most importantly, there’s evidence that folks who eat this way are reducing their risks of numerous diseases and disorders that are associated with the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).

Sweet potatoes are used instead of corn in this version of corn chips, since corn is a definite no-go on the Paleo diet. The use of sweet potatoes is a popular one, and they typically act as a stand in for ordinary potatoes. Here they do a good job of providing a crunchy and hearty experience, like the kind you get from corn chips. The accompanying spices and seasonings all work well together, and these are great for dipping into all sorts of things, like the hummus or salsa recipes found above.
Primal Body-Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas advocates a diet that our paleo ancestors ate. Meat, lots of fat, and seasonal fruits and berries when available. Basically, sugar and starchy carbs are discouraged. You can download a chapter from the author's site. She has a Primal Body, Primal Mind Radio weekly show on Voice of America. It started May 20, 2009, so there are many shows you can listen to. Published June 30, 2011.
Similarly to the above, we do not have designated Pescetarian options, however, in virtually all instances you would most definitely be able to swap the proteins out for your favourites from the sea. Bare in mind seafood typically cooks much faster than red meat or poultry, so it would require some extra consideration and perhaps cooking your seafood on lower heats and/or for shorter period of time (perhaps towards the end of cooking). There are already many seafood recipes within the program, and paired with your creativity (trust yourself!) you could absolutely pick up some amazing new recipes as well as benefit from the Program.
Over the past decade, Paleo has grown from a relatively underground movement to a diet that dominates news headlines, bestselling books, and even products in the grocery store. But despite its popularity, the scientific rationale for Paleo remains wildly misunderstood and misrepresented. For example, we might know that grains are a no-go, that vegetables are fantastic, and that dietary fat is nothing to be afraid of (despite years of the low-fat push from various health authorities), but why are these guidelines in place? Here’s a hint: the answer has little to do with reenacting what our early ancestors ate, and everything to do with what modern science says is best for our bodies!
Trying to devise an ideal diet by studying contemporary hunter-gatherers is difficult because of the great disparities that exist; for example, the animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% for the Gwi people of southern Africa to 99% for the Alaskan Nunamiut.[40] Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods.[40] Modern hunter-gatherers tend to exercise considerably more than modern office workers, protecting them from heart disease and diabetes, though highly processed modern foods also contribute to diabetes when those populations move into cities.[40]

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.


If you’re craving toast or bread, you probably need more nitrogen. You can get that from high protein meats and fish. Don’t think of meat as a “snack”? Make some jerky. Even if you don’t have a dehydrator you can still make jerky. All you need to make jerky is a bit of time, some mild heat, and a dry environment. If you’ve been buying jerky, save yourself some loads of cash and make it yourself!
Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?
The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.

I think granola bars are pretty healthy so my kids and I eat them for snacks all the time. They aren’t just for breakfast anymore. These granola bars come together quickly and are so easy to make. Chopping the nuts is the most time-consuming part and you probably know that isn’t very hard. You can use whatever nuts you like or have on hand. You can forget the chocolate if you’d like.
*Sometimes instead of regular guacamole, I’ll make “guacachoke dip”, which is this: take a large can of artichoke hearts, an avocado, a quarter cup of lime juice, a pinch of cumin, and a pinch of chile powder and mix it up in a blender or food processor. You can add olive oil or coconut milk to make it creamier if you want. This little creation is amazing and can be served with pretty much any meat or veggie. Yum :)
Cordain admits that meat leads to plaque and increases cholesterol where plants wouldn’t. And science establishes that plaque and cholesterol lead to heart attacks and strokes. But Cordain argues that plaque alone is insufficient to cause harm. Rather, it is plaque combined with inflammation that causes heart attacks and strokes. So avoid acid, salt, legumes, wheat, starchy vegetables, dairy, oil, fatty meats, and grains because they cause inflammation. But if both science and Cordain agree that plaque is a necessary part of the heart-disease equation—and that meat causes plaque—why should we follow Paleo rather than just forgo meat?
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.
While very different than most snacks-in-a-box popular on the SAD (Standard American Diet), it only takes a little imagination and willingness to try out new things to discover a whole new world of healthy possibilities. For example, numerous healthy dips can be prepared with good fats and flavors from citrus fruits like lemons or limes as well as herbs and spices. Such dips can be enjoyed with simple raw vegetables or with chips made with starchy vegetables like plantains or sweet potatoes.
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.
We strongly advise that you get in touch with your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or lactating to tell them exactly what you are doing before making any changes to your diet or exercise regime. Although we believe many of the dietary changes advocated through this Program could be quite beneficial, every circumstance and pregnancy is different and close, careful monitoring is advised.
If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.
Paleo diets are based on a simple premise – if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. So long to refined sugar, dairy, legumes and grains (this is pre-agricultural revolution), and hello to meat, fish, poultry, fruits and veggies. The idea is that by eliminating modern-era foods like highly-processed carbs and dairy, you can avoid or control “diseases of civilization” like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and likely lose weight too. What you eat and how much depend on your goals or the specific program you’re on, if you choose to follow one. The high-protein diet is ranked poorly among U.S. News experts, who consider it too restrictive to be healthy or sustainable.
Some Paleo dieters emphasize that they never believed in one true caveman lifestyle or diet and that—in the fashion of Sisson's Blueprint—they use our evolutionary past to form guidelines, not scripture. That strategy seems reasonably solid at first, but quickly disintegrates. Even though researchers know enough to make some generalizations about human diets in the Paleolithic with reasonable certainty, the details remain murky. Exactly what proportions of meat and vegetables did different hominid species eat in the Paleolithic? It's not clear. Just how far back were our ancestors eating grains and dairy? Perhaps far earlier than we initially thought. What we can say for certain is that in the Paleolithic, the human diet varied immensely by geography, season and opportunity. "We now know that humans have evolved not to subsist on a single, Paleolithic diet but to be flexible eaters, an insight that has important implications for the current debate over what people today should eat in order to be healthy," anthropologist William Leonard of Northwestern University wrote in Scientific American in 2002.
A Paleo dietary approach, like The Paleo Way program, generally provides greater nutrient density per calorie and is additionally extremely satisfying in smaller amounts. Both of these benefits are especially helpful for someone having had this type of surgery, as you are less likely to develop nutrient deficiencies and also less likely to eat to excessive fullness on this program. You could blend many of the recipes if need be, however once again we strongly advise that you consult your qualified and knowledgeable healthcare professional prior to commencing the program. And if doing the program having previously had gastric banding (or similar), we’d recommend you be properly monitored by your healthcare professional who is aware of your condition.
These can help you avoid the sort of pre-packaged snacks you find in stores that claim to be “made from real fruit” only to find that there are several other ingredients that rank higher on the ingredient list. Skip out on all of that added sugar, fructose, and even partially hydrogenated oils by making your own fruit snacks so you can do quality control. These are made with just 3 ingredients and they are using both raspberries and strawberries so the antioxidant level is through the roof. Gelatin is used to make them feel like a store bought fruit snack.
As paleo guru Robb Wolf puts it, think of a 100-yard football field. The first 99.5 yards are how long Homo-Sapiens spent as hunter-gatherers. As they became REALLY good at hunting and gathering our bodies adapted to that lifestyle over thousands of years. That last half-yard represents our species after the agricultural revolution, where our diet has shifted (but our genetics haven’t).
Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.

The rationale for the Paleolithic diet derives from proponents' claims relating to evolutionary medicine.[22] Advocates of the diet state that humans were genetically adapted to eating specifically those foods that were readily available to them in their local environments. These foods therefore shaped the nutritional needs of Paleolithic humans. They argue that the physiology and metabolism of modern humans have changed little since the Paleolithic era.[23] Natural selection is a long process, and the cultural and lifestyle changes introduced by western culture have occurred quickly. The argument is that modern humans have therefore not been able to adapt to the new circumstances.[24] The agricultural revolution brought the addition of grains and dairy to the diet.[25]
Remove the meat from the marinade and lay it out on your counter on top of some paper towels. The goal is to get it as dry as possible. Lay paper towel over top and pat it dry. Now’s the time to put it into your dehydrator or oven. You can thread the meat onto wooden skewers (near one end of each piece) and lay the skewers perpendicular to the oven wrack’s bars (use the top shelf). Make sure the meat hangs down. Place cooking sheets lined in foil beneath the meat to catch any drips.
The Dietitian's Guide to Eating Bugs by Daniel Calder is a comprehensive guide to the nutritional content of insects. He believes insect breeding and consumption are important elements sustainable living, particularly when it comes to complementing foraged plant material with meat products. Numerous insects contain nutrients similar to those found in more conventional livestock, except the feed to conversion ratio is much higher and they're much cheaper to breed. You can find the book at scribd. Also available in e-book format for $35.

Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids by Paleo Parents. The Book is a colorful children's story describing the paleo diet, chock-full of recipes without grains, dairy, soy or refined sugar. For those with food allergies, the top 8 allergens have been visually marked on each recipe for children to self-identify recipes that may contain eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. Published March 20, 2012.
FYI Scott Madden the Paleo diet is really just a general blueprint and most people just do the best that they can–some also just eat according to what they can handle or need and still consider it “paleo.” There are also many different options when it comes to protein powder (many people use pea, hemp etc) and not all of them contain wheat, soy, casein or whey.
Our bodies need much more protein than the average person consumes. In fact, protein accounts for only 15 percent of the average person’s daily calories, while 19 to 35 percent of the average hunter-gatherer diet was comprised of protein. This was due to the high consumption of meat, seafood, and other animal products prevalent in contemporary approaches to Paleo eating.
I know that a lot of people still call this the “caveman diet,” but Paleo isn’t about slavishly and mindlessly replicating the actual diets of Paleolithic humans. Okay, a few Paleo die-hards may approach their diets this way, but that’s not the way I eat at all. In fact, there isn’t just one definitive, monolithic, one-size-fits-all “Paleo diet.” Some Paleo eaters choose to go super-low-carb, while others of us (me included!) are happy to munch on a baked potato or a bowl of white rice every now and then. There are Paleo eaters who can’t imagine life without dairy, and more orthodox folks who refuse to touch even a pat of butter with a ten-foot pole. The Paleo tent is big enough to fit a host of different approaches, but the core tenets of ancestral eating remain the same:

Closely examining one group of modern hunter–gatherers—the Hiwi—reveals how much variation exists within the diet of a single small foraging society and deflates the notion that hunter–gatherers have impeccable health. Such examination also makes obvious the immense gap between a genuine community of foragers and Paleo dieters living in modern cities, selectively shopping at farmers' markets and making sure the dressing on their house salad is gluten, sugar and dairy free.
If you just crave sweets in general (not an easy craving to fight off), you could be low in a number of nutrients, namely, sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, rutabaga, collard greens, turnip (root or greens), maca, radish, and wasabi, among others, are great sources of sulfur, Vitamin C and fiber. They’re also great for fighting off cancer cells.
No background science here or lengthy explanations, only 15 easy guidelines to follow to kick-start your Paleo journey. It’s up to you to decide to what extent you want to follow those guidelines, but if you follow them 100% you can be assured that you are eating the best food for your body and greatly investing in your long term health and well-being.

This might be the healthiest recipe for nachos you’ll ever see, with apples standing in for tortilla chips, and healthy toppings. Of course it won’t replicate the savory and spicy joy of nachos, but they’re going for more of a salty, chocolatey, sweet experience with these, and mostly just referring to the way nachos are presented. The use of coconut, almond butter, and almonds means you’re going to get a nice nutty, crunchy, and sweet taste with each bite, making this a fun snack for movie night or anytime really.


High Blood Pressure can be complex in some instances, so it is important (and we strongly advise) that you seek advice from your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current diet and lifestyle and have them carefully monitor you over the course of this program. We do not suggest that you discontinue taking any medication you might have been advised to take. Although we make no medical claims with respect to any specific condition, it is common for adherents to this dietary approach to report improvements in numerous health markers, including high blood pressure.

Your Vitality.  Even healthy individuals (without disease or in their later stages of life) have shown benefits from following a Paleo template. A study of 14 healthy volunteers (Österdahl et al, 2008) found that all participants experienced enhanced blood sugar regulation, an increase in vitamin and mineral status, decreased inflammation and weight, and lowered blood pressure.
The Paleo diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors. Though there are numerous benefits eating a hunter-gatherer diet, there are seven fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets that help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and to lose weight and keep it off.

If you’re craving pasta, veggie noodles, also known as zoodles, will be your fix. Veggie noodles are basically just vegetables, most often zucchini, squash, and sweet potato, that are cut or spiraled to create a noodle-like texture and shape. Since Paleo is such a big health movement right now, veggie noodles can be found at most supermarkets, but Whole Foods has pre-spiraled and prepackaged options that make for a quick low-stress meal. Vegetables are a main staple in the Paleo diet and for good reason. They are full of vitamins and leave you feeling satisfied.
With healing and restorative foods, such as stocks and broth, fermented veggies and kefirs, the dietary approach you will be following in this program is very oriented toward supporting high quality digestive health and minimizing exposure to irritating dietary antigens prone to triggering IBS symptoms. This program might just be the best thing you have ever done for your gut!
If you’re craving pasta, veggie noodles, also known as zoodles, will be your fix. Veggie noodles are basically just vegetables, most often zucchini, squash, and sweet potato, that are cut or spiraled to create a noodle-like texture and shape. Since Paleo is such a big health movement right now, veggie noodles can be found at most supermarkets, but Whole Foods has pre-spiraled and prepackaged options that make for a quick low-stress meal. Vegetables are a main staple in the Paleo diet and for good reason. They are full of vitamins and leave you feeling satisfied.
I know that a lot of people still call this the “caveman diet,” but Paleo isn’t about slavishly and mindlessly replicating the actual diets of Paleolithic humans. Okay, a few Paleo die-hards may approach their diets this way, but that’s not the way I eat at all. In fact, there isn’t just one definitive, monolithic, one-size-fits-all “Paleo diet.” Some Paleo eaters choose to go super-low-carb, while others of us (me included!) are happy to munch on a baked potato or a bowl of white rice every now and then. There are Paleo eaters who can’t imagine life without dairy, and more orthodox folks who refuse to touch even a pat of butter with a ten-foot pole. The Paleo tent is big enough to fit a host of different approaches, but the core tenets of ancestral eating remain the same:
^ Hall H (2014). "Food myths: what science knows (and does not know) about diet and nutrition". Skeptic. 19 (4). p. 10. Fad diets and "miracle" diet supplements promise to help us lose weight effortlessly. Different diet gurus offer a bewildering array of diets that promise to keep us healthy and make us live longer: vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, low fat, low carb, raw food, gluten-free ... the list goes on. (subscription required)
By focusing on the most nutrient-dense foods available and by eliminating foods that can contribute to hormone dysregulation, inflammation, and gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract), a Paleo diet can improve a vast array of health conditions. It’s also great for weight normalization, meaning that overweight and obese people tend to lose weight but underweight people tend to gain weight.
The theory is our bodies were designed, and still optimized, to eat what our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Like your hunger-gatherer forefathers, on Paleo you get all the meat from wild animals and unlimited fruits and vegetables you can eat. But no starchy vegetables (like potatoes), no legumes (like lentils or beans), no wheat, and no grains (like quinoa or corn) because those plants were invented by human beings during the agricultural revolution after our Paleolithic ancestors left the planet. You get one cheat day where you can eat whatever you want (“Occasional cheating and digressions may be just what you need to help you stick to the diet.”) No oil because it puts omega 6 and omega 3 ratios out of whack which should never exceed 2:1, except olive oil if you must. Dairy is also prohibited. And meat must come from animals that weren’t fed grains (like corn) because grains lead to inflammation and increased fat.
Salsa is generally something that you can have on Paleo, you’ll just want to check the ingredients list to make sure that they haven’t added anything that’s not allowed. If you buy organic salsa you should be fine. In this recipe they’ve gone with fire roasted tomatoes, which will pack a bit of heat with them. They’re also using hot green chiles which will get your attention, and which might make this a no-go for those that don’t like their salsa too spicy. Try the No-Ritos recipe above for the perfect chip to dip into this spicy and hearty salsa.
But the Paleo diet bans more than just highly processed junk foods—in its most traditional form, it prohibits any kind of food unavailable to stone age hunter–gatherers, including dairy rich in calcium, grains replete with fiber, and vitamins and legumes packed with protein. The rationale for such constraint—in fact the entire premise of the Paleo diet—is, at best, only half correct. Because the human body adapted to life in the stone age, Paleo dieters argue—and because our genetics and anatomy have changed very little since then, they say—we should emulate the diets of our Paleo predecessors as closely as possible in order to be healthy. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other "modern" diseases, the reasoning goes, result primarily from the incompatibility of our stone age anatomy with our contemporary way of eating.
These clusters are great for popping, and they’re made from one of the healthiest seeds out there, pumpkin seeds. In fact there’s only four different ingredients to these, so they’ve kept it very simple, and you don’t have to worry if there are any unapproved items here. These are going to be sweet from the use of honey and coconut sugar, with a strong vanilla flavor from the vanilla extract. You can use these to satisfy your sweet tooth without the need to eat an entire dessert.
Here’s a trail mix that will definitely sustain you for long periods of time, whether actually on a trail or stuck in a cubicle. You can munch on this mix of nuts, seeds, fruit, and coconut, and they’ve even included a little something sweet in the form of chocolate chips. They’re using the mini chocolate chips from Enjoy Life, which are Paleo approved because they’re dairy-free and gluten-free, and don’t use too much sugar, and it comes in the form of brown sugar. The end result is a sweet, crunchy, coconutty mixture that you’ll be happy to have at your side in all sorts of situations.
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body (Hardcover) by Ray Audette, with Troy Gilchrist, was one of the early paleo diet authors. His home page NeanderThin [now restored from archive.org] has a diet based on the ideas of paleolithic nutrition. The diet can be followed as a low-carb, moderate or high carb diet, depending upon whether and how much fruit is used. You can read up through page 19 of the book at Google Books. The original press release from 1999. [The webmaster has an extra copy with the author's signature for sale. It has the original lime-purple cover. Pristine new condition. $60 (shipping included). Paypal only. Use e-mail link at page bottom.]
Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton's Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
Several examples of recent and relatively speedy human evolution underscore that our anatomy and genetics have not been set in stone since the stone age. Within a span of 7,000 years, for instance, people adapted to eating dairy by developing lactose tolerance. Usually, the gene encoding an enzyme named lactase—which breaks down lactose sugars in milk—shuts down after infancy; when dairy became prevalent, many people evolved a mutation that kept the gene turned on throughout life. Likewise, the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes likely arose between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. And in regions where malaria is common, natural selection has modified people's immune systems and red blood cells in ways that help them resist the mosquito-borne disease; some of these genetic mutations appeared within the last 10,000 or even 5,000 years. The organisms with which we share our bodies have evolved even faster, particularly the billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Our gut bacteria interact with our food in many ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, but also competing for calories. We do not have direct evidence of which bacterial species thrived in Paleolithic intestines, but we can be sure that their microbial communities do not exactly match our own.
In William Calvin's The Ascent of Mind, Chapter 8 he discusses why he thinks that the Acheulian hand-ax (the oldest of the fancy stone tools of Homo erectus) was really a "killer frisbee." He argues that natural selection for throwing accuracy, which requires brain machinery, is the evolutionary scenario for bootstrapping higher intellectual functions. There are many more articles about evolution and human development throughout William's extensive site, though much of it these days is on climate change.

These zucchini bread bars are perfect when you're craving something a little sweet. These tasty squares will totally hit the spot, and they're filled with better-for-you ingredients like zucchini (duh), cashew butter, coconut flour, and eggs. Plus, they're sweetened naturally with the help of banana and a touch of maple syrup. Go ahead, treat yo-self!

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