The Paleo diet provides the foundation for a healthy digestive system. It supports healthy growth of a diversity of probiotic bacteria in the gut through its focus on prebiotic and probiotic foods and through its avoidance of foods that contribute to 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). It supports the health of the tissues that form the gut barrier by supplying essential nutrients required for gut barrier integrity and by avoiding foods that are inherently difficult to digest, are known to irritate or damage the tissues that form the gut barrier, or that are known to stimulate the immune system.
We’re in a position to understand more of the benefits of the Paleo diet now that we have a basic understanding of which food sources are emphasized. One major benefit of the Paleo diet is an increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass-produced or free-ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not absorbed efficiently by the body. The Paleo diet cuts out whole grains and replaces them with unprocessed, fresh foods.
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.
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.
Banana peppers are really great because they give you a bit of spice but not so much as to be overpowering. When you stuff them with salami you are pretty much getting equal parts meat and vegetable, making this very Paleo. But they didn’t stop there, they stuffed the salami with avocado, so you’re getting a huge nutrition boost as well as a third texture to make this really nice on the palate. The avocado will provide you with a good dose of potassium, as well as fiber to help with digestion. A fine snack choice that will easily get you to your next meal.
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
As our dietary recommendations tend to eliminate many of the staples typically consumed on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet (such as grains, legumes, soy, most vegetable oils and/or conventional dairy) your protein choices may be significantly limited to strictly pastured sources of dairy products and eggs and you may likely require more supplementation to compensate for those food sources (including meat) which we eliminate in the program. Also, since a vegetarian diet is typically very rich in antigenic foods (endemic to a post-agricultural diet), sensitivities to some foods may unfortunately be more common. We strongly encourage openness to incorporating high quality, healthfully, humanely and sustainably raised animal source foods and seafood over time.
Don’t feel bad that you can’t have Doritos now that you’re on Paleo, you just have to come up with snacks that aren’t bad for you. These chips use a mixture of coconut flour and almond flour, and have flax seed baked right in so you’re getting a fair bit of nutrition along with your snack. These make great dipping instruments for salsa, guacamole, or any Mexican-inspired dip. They won’t be short on flavor with all of the butter and spices they’re using, so you won’t feel like you’re missing out or stuck eating “health food”. Who knows, you might even end up preferring these.
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. Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods. 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.
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.
The China Study is frequently cited when criticizing the Paleo Diet – focusing on a vegetarian diet and consuming rice is healthier than the Paleo Diet. I respectfully disagree with that nutritional philosophy and strongly disagree with the conclusions drawn from that book , and will leave you to make your own conclusions based on your own self-experimentation.
All involve eating whole foods (as opposed to packaged and processed) and filling your plate with quality sources of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and vitamin-, mineral-, and fiber-rich vegetables. (Again, we’re talking about the ones that fall somewhere on the healthy spectrum, not unhealthy fad diets like, ahem, the Grapefruit Diet.)
A diet high in phytic acid, which can be found in whole grains (it's in the bran) and beans like soy, is very detrimental for mineral absorption. Phytic acid strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates, which precipitate from the body and are not absorbed. Staffan Lindeberg has written a summary on phytic acid.
Like many diets, the risks that come from eating the Paleo Diet is due to an imbalanced diet. For example, the Paleo Diet requires eating a large amount of meat. This can lead to excess consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. “Those that follow this pattern of eating do not account for the differences in fatty acid composition of the meat of the animals today versus the composition 10,000 years ago." Malik told Live Science. "During our ancestors’ days, the fatty acid composition of livestock consisted of higher omega-3 fats— fats that actually improve our health. However, due to differences in the way we feed and raise livestock today, the meat tends to be higher in saturated fat.”
The Paleo diet, while sometimes referred to as “the caveman diet“, is not a historical reenactment of our paleolithic ancestors from the Stone Age. It’s not an all-meat or meat-heavy diet as it is sometimes portrayed, and in fact, the Paleo diet puts great emphasis on eating tons of veggies (8+ servings per day, see The Importance of Vegetables and The Link Between Meat and Cancer?). The Paleo diet is not zero-carb, low-carb or ketogenic diet (see How Many Carbs Should You Eat? and Adverse Reactions to Ketogenic Diets). Healthy sources of Paleo carbohydrates include fruit (apples, bananas, melons, berries, citrus, plantains… see Why Fruit is a Good Source of Carbohydrates) and root vegetables (sweet potatoes, squash, parsnips, yucca…).
photo sources: cavemen elephant hunt, caveman cooking over fire, cavemen hunt paleo bear, milk truck logo, darth vader vendor, storm trooper tomato, lego cook, chef and lego pig, lego explorer, lego muffin, lego bread and carbs, frozen caveman grok lego, lego clock, lego caveman forging for food, caveman with wheel, darth vader and ostrich lego, easing into water lego, lego man with pasta
We strongly advise that you seek the professional advice of a health practitioner before you make any changes to your current diet and lifestyle and we do not suggest that you discontinue taking any medication you might have been advised to take. There are many long-standing myths and misconceptions surrounding cholesterol that we cover over the course of this program. That said, there are numerous peer reviewed papers showing a beneficial impact on all health-related markers, including cardiovascular and lipid profiles through the adoption of a dietary similar to what we advocate in The Paleo Way program.
I don’t like keeping track of how much I’ve eaten or obsessing over how many grams of a particular nutrient I’ve had. Not only do I hate counting calories, but I know that calories are really only half of the battle, as they’re not all created equal – 400 calories of Doritos do NOT have the same effect on your body as 400 calories of high-quality vegetables and protein.
You may lose weight on the Paleo Diet. If you build a “calorie deficit” into your Paleo plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you. A 2015 review in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Liver Diseases concluded that a Paleo-esque diet “might be an acceptable antidote to the unhealthy Western diet, but only unequivocal results from randomized controlled trials or meta-analyses will support this hypothesis.” On that, we’re still waiting. In the meantime, here’s what has been found about the diet and others like it:
Transitioning to The Paleo Way means changing at your own pace. It means taking each day as it comes, step by step, each one in the direction of a healthy new lifestyle and, ultimately, a healthy new you. It’s not easy, but it’s not hard either. With simple preparation, organization and forward thinking, you can be on your way to living this amazing life today. A life that is sustainable, long term, helping you live with optimum health and vitality.
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.
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.
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.
Diet has been an important part of our evolution—as it is for every species—and we have inherited many adaptations from our Paleo predecessors. Understanding how we evolved could, in principle, help us make smarter dietary choices today. But the logic behind the Paleo diet fails in several ways: by making apotheosis of one particular slice of our evolutionary history; by insisting that we are biologically identical to stone age humans; and by denying the benefits of some of our more modern methods of eating.
The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man by Walter L. Voegtlin. This was self-published back in 1975. Only a couple hundred copies were printed and distributed to friends and relatives. No one knew the book existed until some years later. In no way is he the father of the paleo diet. It is impossible to purchase. Apparently his descendents are planning a reprint, though the book is poorly written and not based upon factual anthropological information that even was available then. We have put up his Functional and Structural Comparison of Man's Digestive Tract with that of a Dog and Sheep. And a PDF can be found here.
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of "nutritionism" in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.
The Hiwi gather and hunt a diverse group of plants and animals from the savannas, forests, rivers and swamps. Their main sources of meat are capybara, collared peccary, deer, anteater, armadillo, and feral cattle, numerous species of fish, and at least some turtle species. Less commonly consumed animals include iguanas and savanna lizards, wild rabbits, and many birds. Not exactly the kind of meat Paleo dieters and others in urban areas can easily obtain.
Following the paleo diet can be pricey. Inexpensive and healthy non-meat protein sources like soy and beans are off-limits, and a recent BMJ Open study shows that healthy meats like lean ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost an average of 29 cents more per serving compared to less-healthy ones, such as high-fat ground beef and chicken drumsticks. Even switching from peanut butter to paleo-approved almond butter will cost you—it goes for up to $13 a jar.
If you crave soda, you might be low in calcium. The best source of calcium is in your leafy greens. Make yourself a big salad out of spinach, kale, watercress, turnip greens, some broccoli, and sesame seeds. If you do dairy, throw some cheddar in there, too. Top it all off with some homemade Ranch dressing or a nice oil and vinegar dressing. This snack will not only help increase your calcium intake, it’ll also fill you up and leave no room for that soda you want to drink.
The Vibram Fivefingers KSO Trek is a more rugged version of the popular KSO. Made from K-100 high performance kangaroo leather, the KSO Trek boasts extreme strength for excellent durability; amazing breathability; perspiration resistance to prevent sweat damage and prolong shoe life; and features MicrobloK anti-microbial treatment. These Vibram shoes are made for rugged outdoor use, providing grip and traction over a variety of surfaces. Additionally, the individual toe pockets separate and strengthen toes to improve balance, agility, and range of motion; while the thin EVA midsole and Vibram Performance rubber outsole allows your feet to move the way nature intended. The Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek Shoes are perfect for light trekking, trail running, fitness walking, and travel.
These little sandwiches are really pushing the limits of a conventional sandwich. Bacon is serving as the “bread” and guacamole is the thing getting sandwiched. Avocados are bona fide superfood, and contain plenty of potassium, fiber, and healthy fat. Bacon is often the scourge of most diet plans, but on Paleo it is allowed so why not dig in? The two go really well together, and you’ll often find them as add-ons to deli sandwiches because they simply taste that good.
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.
Similarly, it is never too late to improve the quality of your nutrition and health. For those mature-age tribe members, if you have a specific health condition or physical limitation it is important (and we strongly advise) to consult with your trusted and knowledgeable health care provider and be regularly monitored to ascertain your results. Nevertheless, it is never too late to improve the quality of your nutrition and health. As we age, the nutrient density of our diets should change but is always just as important as it is at any age. A Paleo diet will generally support every organ and system in the body; including the brain, cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and digestive - all of which tend to become compromised as we age in today’s world.
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.