I am pretty new to paleo and to be honest I did not know too much about it at all.
My first thoughts were that it was again a new wonder diet and would help you lose weight and stay healthy without doing anything and keep eating your favorite food and snacks.
Yes, I know I am sometimes a little sarcastic when I write about these wonder diets because I do not believe in one cure for all.
Then my curiosity kicked in and I thought I could maybe write about it and maybe warn people to be careful with this new hype diet. I did research and, Oh boy was I wrong!
I have always been convinced that nature can provide us with all we need. After all, it was Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine, who wrote: “Let food be they medicine and medicine be they food”.
If you take into consideration that most of our modern medicine is derived from a plant-based medicine and then patent for selling. You have another proving point for the theory behind the paleo diet.
What is a paleo diet
I want to start with one thing. The paleo diet benefits are not proven.
Paleo diet is based on that we should eat like our ancestors the caveman did. That is why it also is named as:
- Primal diet
- Hunter diet
- Stone Age diet
- Caveman diet
We should go back in time to realize what that means. Our ancestors, the caveman, and woman did not have any livestock or garden that they could use to get their daily food from.
What they basically ate was fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and nuts that they gathered while hunting. In those days there was nothing but organic food, grass-fed animals, and no pesticides.
Paleo is basically nothing else than start eating as our ancestors did.
Paleo meat should come from grass fed animals. Not perfect, but better than the hormone stuffed cow, chicken and pigs we eat now.
Paleo vegetables should come from an organic source. Not treated with pesticides, GMO improved and processed in a plant.
Meat to vegetable ratio in paleo
According to research, the assumption is that our ancestors had their calories from meat and vegetables at a 1 to 1 ratio.
You have to eat a lot of veggies to counter the calories of steak. That is why the paleo diet mostly contains eating vegetables and fruit, and not much meat to come to this ratio.
What not to eat on a paleo lifestyle
There are things that our ancestors had no access to that we have now and they are not in the paleo diet. This means no:
- Salt added
- Legumes (including peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybean)
That honey is preferred over sugar makes sense in every way. Sugar is not good for us.
Potatoes sparingly. Don’t see why? Thought it grew in the earth. But I found it why after writing this article about potatoes.
No alcohol although red wine is sometimes okay.
Exercise and staying active
The estimation is that our ancestors used about 4000 calories (yes, four thousand) by hunting and trying to gather food all day. For us modern people that is way too much of course.
But exercise is an essential part of the paleo lifestyle.
The facts about paleo
Paleo has not been researched as I mentioned before, but it has a lot of benefits.
Staying away from processed and packed food is something I recommend all the time.
Not easy to do but try as much as you can.
Most people do not cook at home anymore or very spares. Jobs, Kids, busy schedules are some of the reasons but not the main reason in my opinion.
The constant waves of advertisement let us believe that we have to eat all the processed things and that is also why we feel that cooking at home is to time-consuming and not beneficial.
Paleo and counting calories
Counting calories in the food you eat is one of the most annoying things to do and a reason that most people quit a diet.
Calories are also not all the same. If it was all about calories we could 2000 calories in chocolate every day and be done with eating.
No, we also need fibers and micro nutrition’s that we find in fruit en vegetables.
The advantage of the paleo diet is that you don’t have to count calories. The caveman didn’t, he ate what he could get that day.
You can eat until you are not hungry anymore as long as you eat the right things.
Paleo and carbohydrates
By eliminating grain, sugar and processed food we stop putting carbohydrates in our bodies and we always believed that we needed those for our energy.
The truth is that our bodies are officially designed to work well with a lot fewer carbohydrates.
What will happen now is that our body will take the stored fat and burn that for energy.
This process is called ketogenesis.
Carbohydrates still have a function but are not essential for us. We get them from other food sources like vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes.
Paleo and dairy
We are the only mammals that keep drinking milk after they have been breastfed by our mothers.
Caveman did not drink milk after their mother weened them of.
I drink milk, but I get it from a farm where the cow only eats organic and the milk is not pasteurized. Yes, straight from the cow and I love it. We also make butter from the fat on the milk we buy.
Milk is not used in the paleo diet although there are others telling that it should be included in it.
What is left to eat on a paleo diet
After stripping about everything our ancestors did not eat there is still a lot left that we can eat.
- Fish. Wild preferred since farm-raised contains mercury and more toxins
- Meat. Grass-fed, not grain-fed
- Fowl. Basically anything with wings
- Tubers. Sweet potatoes, Yams.
- Eggs. I prefer farm eggs from free-range chicken
- Vegetables. As much as you want. Just not fried and preferably organic
- Fruits. It contains natural sugars and nothing added.
- Nuts. High in calories and oil. Do not eat too much
- Oils. Coconut, olive, avocado. Just anything natural and not soy-based.
Weight gain on a paleo diet
Almost impossible to gain weight on a paleo diet.
The food you eat is so rich and fills you up but still low in calories that gaining weight is almost impossible.
I am new to the paleo diet, or should I say way of living. This means that most of the writing I did here is what I read on other sites and medical studies. If I made mistakes or told facts that are not true, let me know and I will rectify them.
People who claim they can’t afford the paleo lifestyle or a healthier diet, have to look at a few things.
Going out for dinner is a lot more expensive than cooking at home.
Eating cheap food fills you with empty calories and makes you want to eat more. Quality food is healthier and you will eat less because you stay satisfied.
People who claim they do not have the time to cook have to look at the stats.
Average Americans watch TV for 3 hours a day. Take one hour to cook and you still got two hours left for your favorite shows.
Here is another example I found.
A snicker bar cost $0.66 per ounce. Grass-fed beef cost $0.49 per ounce. (Average over 103 stores and 26 cities all over the US).
That means that a snicker bar is more expensive than a healthy piece of grass-fed beef.
If you can afford a smartphone, internet, cable, dining out and so much more. You can prioritize your health over some of them and make healthier choices.