The Paleolithic or “Paleo” diet seeks to address 21st century ills by revisiting the way humans ate during the Paleolithic era more than 2 million years ago. Paleo proponents state that because our genetics and anatomy have changed very little since the Stone Age, we should eat foods available during that time to promote good health. Our predecessors used simple stone tools that were not advanced enough to grow and cultivate plants, so they hunted, fished, and gathered wild plants for food. If they lived long enough, they were believed to experience less modern-day diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease because of a consistent diet of lean meats and plant foods along with a high level of physical activity from intensive hunting. However, the life expectancy of our predecessors was only a fraction of that of people today.
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.
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.
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.
Followed this diet, lost 15 pound, back to my high school weight. My weekly migraines stopped. My 20 year back pain from herniated disk, tennis elbow and old motorcycle accident knee injury all stopped hurting. All I have to do is eat a pizza or sandwich if I want the pain back. Also I generally feel better and have more energy. It is not easy because pizza and chips an salsa and deli sandwiches all taste great, but it is worth it and not that hard to make the food amazing it about choices. Oh and I have three kids. One had ADD, another migraines and two bad acne, on this diet all cleared up. To get political for just a minute. If you read this and watch movies like Corn King, and In Defense of Food you will find that corn is a major source of the heath issues in our country, yet the government subsidizes the growing of corn, leading to 30% of American's being Diabetic or Pre Diabetic causing healthcare costs to sky rocket and now they what to fix health care, how about stop paying farmers to grow poison and direct them toward growing Paleo friendly foods. Try this for 6 months hard core and notice your ailment fade. Like I said, if i want a headache, I just need to eat a pizza or drink a beer. Oh one other thing, don't for the masses of "gluten free" junk food like cookies etc. These are just made of corn instead of wheat and are not paleo. Sorry but all cookies are junk food. Eat real food, you will be amazed.
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.
Paleo critics point out that not all grains are created equal—whole grains do not spike your blood sugar as much as refined grains. Even so, paleo dieters still steer clear of grains because they contain different compounds and proteins like gluten, lectins and phytates, which they claim cause inflammation in the body and block other nutrients from being absorbed. Paleo critics say these compounds are not a problem unless you have an allergy or sensitivity.
One larger randomized controlled trial followed 70 post-menopausal Swedish women with obesity for two years, who were placed on either a Paleo diet or a Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) diet.  The Paleo diet provided 30% of total calories from protein, 40% fat (from mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and 30% carbohydrates. It included lean meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, avocado, and olive oil. The NNR diet provided less protein and fat but more carbohydrate with 15% protein, 25-30% fat, and 55-60% carbohydrates, including foods similar to the Paleo diet but also low-fat dairy products and high-fiber grains. Both groups significantly decreased fat mass and weight circumference at 6 and 24 months, with the Paleo diet producing greater fat loss at 6 months but not at 24 months. Triglyceride levels decreased more significantly with the Paleo diet at 6 and 24 months than the NNR diet.
In the AM, swap your large latte and Benedict for poached eggs with nutritious sides: avocado, spinach, and tomatoes. In the PM simple dishes that are rich in quality protein and fat prove best: steak, poultry or fish, with a salad and vegetables. Avoid carb and sugar loaded options like pizza, pasta, and dishes that can hide other nasty ingredients. And of course, always say no to the bread basket.
Thank you for posting this! I have been practicing the paleo diet on and off for a few months and getting little cravings in between is hard because I know I can’t eat junk. This saves a lot of time and energy and I feel better knowing there are fun and easy paleo snacks to make without breaking your diet! Do you have any other ideas that may be easy and quick to make to save time and energy? Thanks :)
Combining higher protein intake and fresh vegetables leads to another major benefit: blood sugar stabilization. Between 35 and 45 percent of the average Paleo diet is comprised of non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables that won’t spike blood sugar levels, making it an optimal diet for diabetes prevention. This is because nearly all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed by the body.
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.
Meet Grok. According to his online profile, he is a tall, lean, ripped and agile 30-year-old. By every measure, Grok is in superb health: low blood pressure; no inflammation; ideal levels of insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. He and his family eat really healthy, too. They gather wild seeds, grasses, and nuts; seasonal vegetables; roots and berries. They hunt and fish their own meat. Between foraging, building sturdy shelters from natural materials, collecting firewood and fending off dangerous predators far larger than himself, Grok's life is strenuous, perilous and physically demanding. Yet, somehow, he is a stress-free dude who always manages to get enough sleep and finds the time to enjoy moments of tranquility beside gurgling creeks. He is perfectly suited to his environment in every way. He is totally Zen.
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.
These zucchini rolls look so good you might not want to eat them. But you will! They’ve got a really unique list of ingredients that includes bacon, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes, so you’re getting vitamins, minerals, protein, and more from each item used. Even the roll itself is nutritious, because it’s made from zucchini. These roll up into nice bite sizes which makes them great for solo popping or for serving to company. They’re also very easy to make, it’s just a matter of laying out the ingredients and then rolling them up.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrat by Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. and Sally Fallon. The premise is the culinary traditions of our ancestors, and the food choices and preparation techniques of healthy nonindustrialized peoples, should serve as the model for contemporary eating habits. However, they push whole grains and dairy, which aren't Paleolithic.
For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is all they need. Improved blood lipids, weight loss, and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny.
People who eat Paleo are also missing out on fiber, vitamins and minerals that come from a diet that includes healthy grains and dairy products. Some nutrients that someone on a Paleo diet may be lacking are iron, zinc calcium, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus. The UK Association of Dieticians ranked the Paleo Diet as one of the five worst celebrity diets to avoid in 2015 because cutting foods, without a good substitution, can compromise good health.