Have you ever come across the paleo diet and struggled to really understand what it is?
Paleo is an increasingly popular diet plan and was actually the most Googled diet on the internet by 2013. This diet involves only eating what our stone-age ancestors had access to; in theory, only eating what we are designed to consume. While this may conjure up ideas of rather bland meals, there are scores of delicious Paleo diet recipes which have spiced up, modern twists to keep you healthy and satisfied.
The Paleo diet in a nutshell
The Paleo diet, sometimes also referred to as ‘the caveman diet’, revolves around eating what cavemen ate. This means a focus on red meat, poultry and game, fruit and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds, which although being fatty, also contain high levels of protein. Foods that prehistoric man wouldn’t have recognised and are therefore to be avoided are grains, pulses, dairy, sugar and processed food.
Benefits to health
A key beneficial aspect of following the Paleo diet is the reduced amount of bad fats, excess salt and additives. This will help not only help achieve a slimmer, trimmer figure but could also help treat a range of health problems. From feeling more energized as a result of all the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, meaning that your body doesn’t have as much work to do to eliminate toxins or control inflammation. Further improvements you may notice from following the Paleo diet plan include clearer skin, healthier hair, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, reduced joint and muscle pain and an overall improvement in your mood.
What the critics say
As with anything that steps into the spotlight and gains popularity, it’s going to have its critics. One such criticism of the Paleo diet is that while the diet teaches the body to burn fat more efficiently for energy, rather than relying solely on carbs, this is beneficial only for endurance athletes, but not so much for those doing high-intensity workouts, such as Crossfit, or anaerobic exercises. This is because the body needs carbohydrates for quick energy. Critics also warn that the Paleo diet discourages entire food groups, which is dangerous as it can lead to deficiencies in vitamins and calcium.
The fact that the diet provides increased levels of energy alongside higher amounts of protein could make an ideal foundation upon which to build a fitness regime. However, it is important to consider what style of exercise you intend to do since Paleo may not provide equal benefits. For some, the answer to improved health may lie in going back to where it all began, the stone age. Making the diet more of a lifestyle than simply a list of restrictions, encouraging most things in moderation, is what makes the diet appealing since it is achievable and easier to stick to.