Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
If a pregnant woman knows or suspects (in any way) that she has or may have an autoimmune illness of any kind, a special focus needs to be put on engaging in autoimmune dietary support and careful management of this condition. With this in mind, we strongly advise you consult a healthcare professional familiar with this illness before making any changes to your diet or physical activity.
According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Interestingly however, our Paleolithic ancestors and contemporarily studied hunter-gatherers showed virtually no heart attack or stroke while eating ancestral diets. The references below will explore these facts to better help you understand the heart-healthy benefits of a Paleo diet.
If a pregnant woman knows or suspects (in any way) that she has or may have an autoimmune illness of any kind, a special focus needs to be put on engaging in autoimmune dietary support and careful management of this condition. With this in mind, we strongly advise you consult a healthcare professional familiar with this illness before making any changes to your diet or physical activity.

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.
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.
We can think of no better principles than The Paleo Way for individuals with Crohn’s disease. In an acute state of Crohn’s disease it’s likely you may have specific foods included or excluded to get the inflammation down as efficiently as possible. Of course it is necessary and we strongly recommend you seek trusted health professional advice and support both before and during any dietary change and healing processes to monitor your progress and to help tailor any elements to be particularly suitable for your individual needs. With your trusted health professional you should address underlying immune dysfunction involved with Crohn’s disease. You should also have any medication use monitored by your medical professional.
The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages by Loren Cordain. Also contains two weeks of meal plans and shopping and pantry tips. Helps you lose weight and boost your health and energy by focusing on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Note that this is a very low-fat book and is being marketed as such. Published December 7, 2010.
Eat generous amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking. For more information, have a look at our beginner’s guide to Paleo and fat.
So I’m not one to make my food in football shapes. Or use dye to color my food in my favorite teams colors. Probably because I don’t have a favorite team. But my home states team (the Broncos) are in the Superbowl this year so I’m obligated to act excited. I’d honestly rather just be moving into my new apartment and organizing crap than watching to game. But for social stigmas and reasons, I will be watching to game. Mainly so I can snack on food all day long and it’s not considered binge eating. Thanks, Superbowl.
Excluding foods. The exclusion of entire categories of commonly eaten foods like whole grains and dairy requires frequent label reading in the supermarket and in restaurants. It may also increase the risk of deficiencies such as calcium, vitamin D, and B vitamins, if these nutrients are not consistently eaten from the allowed foods or a vitamin supplement. For example, there are some nondairy calcium-rich foods that are absorbed well by the body such as collard and turnip greens or canned bone-in sardines and salmon, but you would have to eat five or more servings of these greens and fish bones daily to meet recommended calcium needs. (Note that some greens like spinach that are touted to be calcium-rich also contain oxalates and phytates that bind to calcium so very little is actually absorbed.) One small, short-term intervention study of healthy participants showed a 53% decrease from baseline in calcium intake after following a Paleo diet for three weeks. [8] Furthermore, the exclusion of whole grains can result in reduced consumption of beneficial nutrients such as fiber and thus may increase one’s risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Paleo is an ancestral approach that prioritizes eating real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. At its core, Paleo is about trying to eat real, naturally occurring ingredients that are healthful rather than harmful. Biologically, our bodies respond best to real, whole, nutrient-dense foods like plants, meat, and seafood—all of them packed with the nutrients our bodies evolved to thrive on. It was only after industrialized food production and lab-engineered edibles took over our diets that the ”diseases of civilization“ exploded. Today, wheat, soy, sugar, and highly processed foods continue to drive up rates of autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. But by getting back to eating real food, we can stay healthier and happier.
One part of the Paleo dieting philosophy is to not feel like foods are forbidden, but rather to cut them out because they’re not good for you. This means that all of the pre-packaged snack foods for sale should be trumped by snacks you make for yourself out of natural foods. Luckily Paleo-inspired cooks and chefs have been hard at work coming up with delicious and interesting ways to get your snack on, so enjoy!
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.
It’s easy to get plantains and bananas mixed up. While plantains are part of the banana family and the two look alike, plantains are not sweet, and instead are used mostly as a starchy vegetable. Think of plantain chips as veggie chips. They are often sliced and baked with olive oil and salt, creating a nice crunch. Lots of supermarkets carry different versions of plantain chips, but not all plantain chips are Paleo, so you’ll want to check the ingredients before buying.
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.
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.
Most nutritionists consent that the Paleo diet gets at least one thing right—cutting down on processed foods that have been highly modified from their raw state through various methods of preservation. Examples include white bread and other refined flour products, artificial cheese, certain cold cuts and packaged meats, potato chips, and sugary cereals. Such processed foods often offer less protein, fiber and iron than their unprocessed equivalents, and some are packed with sodium and preservatives that may increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

A Paleolithic-oriented diet has been in existence and followed by both men and women for more than 2 million years. Our particular version of a Paleo approach to eating tends to advocate protein moderation for average adults. It is, however, important in this circumstance that a pregnant woman not overly restrict protein during the course of her pregnancy and subsequent nursing. When it comes to pregnancy and breast-feeding, we believe it is important to increase your standard recommendation for protein intake (0.8 g/kg of estimated ideal body weight — which translates to something like 50–75 grams of actual meat, fish or eggs) per meal by about 25%. Also, we believe that dietary fat and particularly fat-soluble nutrients plus extra essential fatty acids become particularly important during this time. We are also of the view that you may benefit from putting an emphasis on 100% pasture-fed meat and wild caught fish/fish eggs, etc. during this time. Traditional and (so-called) primitive societies often made a point of supplying lots of fat-soluble nutrients to both expectant and nursing mothers at this time.

This is a cute snack that can help you cool off on a hot summer day or night, and won’t impact your Paleo eating one bit. That’s because it uses just two ingredients in this sandwich, so it’s just a matter of cutting them up and eating them. The way they’ve presented it makes it a great party dish, because who doesn’t like eating things off of toothpicks. The trickiest part is getting the cucumbers and watermelon to be cut into the same sized squares so that they look good. If you’re just making a snack for yourself you don’t have to be so exact.
I googled first “healthy super bowl snacks” and got a load of quite unhealthy stuff, actually. So with a sigh, I googled “Paleo super bowl snacks” and found this. SO GLAD You posted this list! I may have to battle the grocery shopping hordes tonight and get the ingredients, but I can pig out guilt-free on Sunday! I think I am going to try the zucchini roll ups, deviled eggs and sweet potato enchiladas!
Cooking and consuming seaweeds can be intimidating because they can seem quite bland, tough or bitter at first glance. With the proper seasonings and cooking though, they can become a real treat. In the following snack, nori sheets are simply rubbed with coconut oil, seasoned with sea salt and a small amount of sesame oil, then roasted very briefly.
Primarily aimed at reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar and hormones, and increasing cognitive performance, all achieved by improving fat metabolism. Based around the popular “Bulletproof Coffee.” Bulletproof differs from Paleo because of its emphasis on “Bulletproof” supplements and shunning of higher carbohydrate foods like fruit and tubers. The Bulletproof Diet lies somewhere between Keto and Paleo. Check out The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey.
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.

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The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reveals that high cholesterol levels do not cause heart disease; that high-fat diets–saturated or otherwise–do not affect blood cholesterol levels; and that for most men and all women the benefits offered by statins are negligible at best. Other data is also provided that shows that statins have many more side affects than is often acknowledged.
Growing research continues to suggest that eating a diet consisting of mostly whole foods is associated with more weight loss (2,3,4). Not to mention that highly processed foods tend to be higher in added sugar, sodium and trans fats, which research suggests may play a role in increased inflammation and actually counteract your weight loss efforts (5).  
Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat—the paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the Earth just as our ancestors did. Those ancestors didn't have livestock or crops to call their own, so Cordain advises to go with grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that didn't exist back then. Research from Emory University suggests that Paleolithic people obtained about 35% of their calories from fats, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.
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.

If you’re used to combating the afternoon slump with yogurt, you’ll love this Paleo chia pudding. While the chef here enjoys it at breakfast, it’s really simple to convert this into a snack: instead of making these in a bowl, prepare in mason jars for perfect portions you can take to work with you. Not a big banana fan? Swap in your favorite frozen berries or mangoes instead. I do suggest keeping the sliced almonds in for some healthy fats and crunch.
Here’s a three-ingredient kebab combo that’s great to prep ahead of time (and trust us, they keep well enough in the fridge for a next-day snack). Cut chicken breasts into cubes and marinate in Tessemae’s Lemon Garlic Dressing for 1-3 hours. Thread cubes onto a skewer and grill for about 15 minutes, then garnish with fresh parsley. No extra sauce needed.
TBK Fitness Program by Tamir Katz shows how to achieve fitness through a healthy, natural hunter-gatherer diet along with a comprehensive exercise program with over 60 different bodyweight exercises of varying difficulty targeting all of the muscles in the body. Also included is a detailed discussion of nutrition and the diseases of civilization based on scientific research, information on stress management and preventive medicine, recommendations on vitamin and supplement use, tips on how to make your fitness program succeed where others have failed, tips on food shopping and preparation, sample meals, and more. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
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, 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…).


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.
If all else fails, this simple rule of thumb may make it really easy to shop for paleo foods. The layout of most grocery stores is quite simple: in the inner aisles you will typically find packaged, processed foods. Things like bread, pasta, cereal, flour, sugar, etc. For the most part, many of the foods stocked in the inner aisles of a grocery store will probably be "non-paleo approved items." 
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!

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.
Dr. Lauryn Lax is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Functional Medicine Practitioner, author and speaker, with over 20 years of clinical and personal experience specializing in gut health, intuitive eating, food freedom, anxiety, hormone balance and women’s health. She is also a published journalist, and her work has been featured in Oxygen Magazine, Women’s Health, Paleo Magazine, Breaking Muscle, CrossFit Inc, USA Today, ABC and CBS News. She operates a virtual Functional Medicine & Nutrition practice, Thrive Wellness & Recovery, LLC, working with clients around the world to reinvent the way their body looks, moves and feels.
The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz presents evidence for a diet of vegetables, fruits, and pasture-fed animal products. Provides a practical plan and 250 delicious, family-friendly, grain- and dairy-free recipes. Buy from the author's page The Garden of Eating. Rachel's blog The Healthy Cooking Coach. The cookbook maintains a perfect rating at Amazon.
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.
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.
Beef jerky is no longer the synthetic, smelly, and sticky beef chunks found at your local gas station. Jerky has had a major makeover and is now the darling of health foodies everywhere, thanks to its variety of flavors and meat options, like turkey and chicken, with their high protein and vitamins. Some notable Paleo jerky brands are Sophia’s Survival Foods Jerky Chews, Steve’s Original, and Nick’s Sticks, which all offer grass-fed and organic jerky.
To get an idea of what that means, we turned to the experts, including Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the author of The Paleo Diet; Erin Holley, RD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio; and Lona Sandon, PhD, RD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
A number of randomized clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits may include:
Our ancestors didn't chase cows and chickens around in the wild. They hunted game, antelopes, buffalo, and probably some animals we've never heard of that are long extinct. Their meat was generally quite lean, and provided more healthy omega 3s than meats from modern day animals, even the grass-fed ones, according to Dr. Katz. Many of the plants that thrived back then are also extinct today, making it impossible to truly follow their meal plan, he says.
It does mean that you will find most cravings — particularly sweet cravings (and the brain fog, jitters, crummy mood and energy slump that comes with them) are a thing of the past. The more sweetness we eat, the more we typically want. Your intake of sugars from all sources — even natural ones — should be reduced and ultimately avoided. Sugar, cane sugar, golden syrup, or corn syrup, and even honey, agave and maple syrup should be avoided. Once you get a handle on your blood sugar you can occasionally indulge in “nature’s candy”: fresh fruits. Most importantly, berries.
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