What is the Paleo diet?

The paleo diet (nicknamed “the caveman diet”) is a hunter-gatherer-style diet that takes nutrition back to basics. The diet is largely based around the foods our ancestors would eat, such as fruits, vegetables, meats and seafood and lessens the body’s glycaemic load – our body’s blood sugar.

What’s on the menu?

The Paleo diet is about eating the best of what the planet has to offer, in its purest form. Our ancestors didn’t have livestock or crops, so experts advise eating grass-fed and organic products, in order to limit your exposure to pesticides and other chemicals, that are, unfortunately, used frequently today.

Emory University carried out research surrounding the paleo diet suggesting the Palaeolithic people got 35% of their calories from fat, 35% from carbs, and the remaining 30% from protein.

The benefits

  • Weight loss: as the paleo diet is made up of unprocessed food and carbs are scarce, helping to reduce body fat and lose weight. You should consult your doctor if you are planning to try this diet with a view to losing weight.
  • Improved heart health: Some studies have suggested that the paleo diet can have a positive impact on heart health. In 2015, scientists found a paleo diet lowered cholesterol, which is incidentally one of the factors surrounding heart health if your body’s levels are high.
  • Increased energy levels: Eating foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI) means you are much less likely to suffer a drop in energy, which happens after eating high sugar foods.

The paleo diet: is it right for me?

One of the main pitfalls of the diet is that it can be time-consuming when it comes to choosing the foods you can eat. Not all of us have ample time to research and spend time in supermarkets selecting the products that tick all the boxes.

It can also make eating out a challenge – you might find yourself having to play 20 questions with the waiting staff to find out if you can or can’t eat certain dishes.

The main staples are foods that make up a healthy diet and that are readily available – if you’re looking to incorporate the paleo lifestyle, try buying organic foods to start with and build it up slowly from there, incorporating more paleo-based foods as you go along.

Good luck on your paleo journey!

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