There are plenty of diet trends out there these days. You may have heard of the paleo diet before, as it’s very popular among healthy living enthusiasts. But what exactly does this diet entail? What does it really mean to eat paleo? Let’s dive in and get a better understanding of the paleo diet and how it might help change your lifestyle for the better.
A paleo diet means eating foods that are similar to what was probably eaten during the Paleolithic era, about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The idea is to return to this way of eating and cut out foods that became popular when farming became commonplace, about 10,000 years ago or so. Some proponents of the paleo diet contend that as farming changed what people ate — establishing things like dairy, grains, and beans as standard parts of the human diet — our bodies couldn’t keep up and health problems like obesity and diabetes started to rise.
Foods to Choose
Someone following the paleo diet will eat foods like lean meats (especially grass-fed animals), vegetables and fruits, seeds and nuts, and fish. Healthy fish varieties that contain “good” fats like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are recommended.
Aside from the dietary component, the paleo diet also encourages drinking plenty of water and remaining physically active. In this way, you’re eating and living much like our ancient ancestors.
Foods to Avoid
On the paleo diet, you’ll want to avoid grains (barley, oats, wheat, etc.), legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.), dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and potatoes. And processed foods are, of course, out of the picture.
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet can be quite healthy for you, especially thanks to the large amounts of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, and then cutting out of processed foods. And it helps many people lose weight, especially because refined sugar is cut out of the diet.
Some health professionals caution about removing whole grains and legumes from the diet, which provide fiber and vitamins, as well as dairy products that can provide plenty of protein and calcium. Those considering the paleo diet may want to ask their doctors if adding a vitamin supplement or additional protein source would be beneficial.
Adjust Your Diet for Better Health
Whether it’s the paleo diet or just a healthier diet and lifestyle in general, your body and mind will thank you when you treat it right. Adjust your diet today and see how you feel.