Paleo Diet


The paleo diet continues to grow in popularity as an increasing number of people are opting to take charge of their health and turn to more beneficial and nutrient-dense food items, making healthier choices for themselves. The paleo method is an evolutionary-based diet, which is comprised of food items that could be collected through traditional hunting and gathering methods. The paleo diet doesn't contain highly processed and “man-made” food items, this is why it's believed to vastly benefit your overall health and longevity, as highly processed items are loaded with preservatives, pesticides, and other unnatural and unhealthy substances. There are an increasing number of people today who are diagnosed with a myriad of digestive illnesses and degenerative diseases, leading many to focus more on what they eat and what they are putting into their body. Many doctors don't pay much attention to the nutrition of their patients and will instead commonly wave off any concerns of what they eat and whether or not that plays any role in the onset of their symptoms. This has no doubt lead millions to look for alternative sources for their health and diet advice. Followers of the strict paleo diet plan claim that it has helped them boost their overall health and well-being, as well as seeing the loss of several unwanted pounds within just a few weeks. The basic premise of the diet is to choose food items that would be similar to something that our stone-age ancestors would've eaten.

There are literally hundreds of blogs, books, videos, and other resources available that teach about the paleo diet, many offer dozens of healthy recipes. When you are first starting out with this diet, it can be difficult to stick to eating the right food items, especially if you have spent a major part of our life unconsciously filling up on highly processed items like chips, cookies, crackers, sandwiches, noodles, Kraft dinner, soda drinks and other bad choices. Your body will be thanking you for deciding to give up on the processed junk and instead choosing to feed it food that's fresh, delicious, and full of beneficial nutrients. Whether you are looking to simply lose weight or if you are seriously interested in a real overhaul of your bodily health, this diet choice is a time-tested method which leads to optimal health for your body. At first you might find difficulty trying to come up with different meals and snack ideas, there are plenty of fresh food items however, which can be incorporated into your diet that are paleo-friendly.

Benefits of the Paleo Diet

Aside from helping millions of people to lose weight, this diet plan is also believed to even help prevent diabetes, heart disease and various types of cancer. The movement's founder, nutrition expert Dr. Loren Cordain, has spent the majority of his career studying the natural diet of our ancestors and he consequently established the specific diet approach with his groundbreaking book The Paleo Diet. His plan focuses on the connection between living off the land and longevity. Cordain believes that if you consume wild vegetables, fruits, and animals, that you will establish optimal health for your body and life. This diet approach perpetuates already widely held nutrition beliefs, it places emphasis on protein consumption and having a low glycemic load diet. This combination has been proven as the best way to get and keep unwanted weight off, according to Dr. Cordain. This diet method also centers around the importance of consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables, these produce items hold a myriad of beneficial phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, which will help to promote optimal digestion and immune function in our bodies which makes us healthier.

Paleo Meal Planning

When it comes to planning meals and snacks according to this method, there are a variety of healthy options that you can choose from. The diet should be well balanced and consist of a variety of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, or olive oil. Inflammatory foods should be avoided at all times likes legumes, refined sugars, dairy, and grains. By staying away from inflammation-causing foods, those who suffer from any illness that is rooted in inflammation, like arthritis, Crohn's disease, and colitis, can help to reduce and even cure their painful symptoms by sticking with this diet method. Some other inflammation-causing foods are: peanuts, beans, soy, and almost anything that comes in a wrapper (indicating that it has been highly processed). A majority of people that are looking to lose weight can often make the mistake of filling up on mostly fruits, it's important to have a well-rounded and balanced meal which will offer your body a variety of beneficial nutrients. With this plan you can design small, nutritious, and well-balanced meals that will also help to provide optimal energy levels and get you feeling better.

The Paleo Diet Approach

The biggest misconception with this approach is that it's often referred to as a fad diet, Dr. Cordain insists that it this were a fad, it would be the longest running fad in history seeing as it's been an approach that has been used for thousands of years. Hailed as a diet approach that helps to reduce heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure and more, there's more to this miraculous method than simple weight-loss. According to this plan, every plate will be covered with two-thirds of fresh veggies, a palm size of fresh protein, and a healthy small serving of fat and fruit. This combination of items offers an optimal and healthy balanced diet, establishing better health and longevity for your life. Many of us are raised to turn toward grains for breakfast, choosing processed foods like cereal, bagels, toast, and other unhealthy (inflammatory) foods that do not offer anything beneficial to our bodies and overall health. Don't be afraid to have meat for breakfast instead of cereal, one easy option for creating a healthy breakfast meal is to eat the leftover meat from the night before. As well, a quick and cheap paleo snack to make is a turkey roll-up, this can be made by taking one piece of lettuce and a slice of meat, roll the two together as if you were rolling a burrito. For a filling and healthy lunch you could grill a salmon burger and use lettuce to hold the burger instead of using a highly processed bun.

The modern or western diet, which is comprised of many highly-processed foods, meats, dairy, and little vegetables and fresh fruits, is responsible for millions of people getting fatter and sicker than ever before. Sugar intake over the last several decades has skyrocketed, millions of Americans are consuming at least 500 calories of sugar per day. This is worrisome considering large amounts of sugar has been shown to lead to severe metabolic problems, including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, as well as elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels. As well, the modern diet consists mainly of processed vegetable oils instead of coconut oil and other healthy fats, processed vegetable oil is high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which contributes to inflammation in the body and various other problems when it is consumed in excess. It's clear that our food choices are playing a critical role in the rapid rise we are seeing of those suffering from some digestive illness or other health issue.

This diet method is a great option for addressing a variety of health issues, one that is relatively simple to follow which allows you to consume a variety of foods. If we look at what humans have eaten in the wild traditionally for thousands of years, this diet plan is the best method which encompasses those eating habits. The factory-farming method and mass consumption, which has blossomed over the last several decades has drastically changed our eating habits, pushing us to lean more toward processed items that are loaded with sugar and unhealthy vegetable oils. A lot of the food products that have been introduced into the market within the last few decades have been shown to wreak havoc on our bodies, the nutritional benefits that you receive from highly-processed food compared to that from organic food varies dramatically. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your food, going with organic is the best option that you can make when choosing your meats, vegetables, and fruits. The paleo approach is positioned in a way that is rather skeptical of other diets which are heavily based on processed foods and seeds, asserting instead that we should focus on natural foods rather than crafting a meal which adheres to the government recommendations and serving suggestions that come loaded with unhealthy chemicals, pesticides, hormones, and other harmful ingredients.

Health and the Paleo Diet

If you want to decrease your chances of developing any serious illness or health issue, it's better to have a diet which doesn't consist of many processed foods and items that are high in sugar and other unhealthy ingredients. Harmful food choices deteriorate your digestive tract, this is what leads to the onset of a variety of inflammatory illness' like Crohn's and colitis. In order to avoid severe health problems, it's important to make good eating choices and to form healthy eating habits. The paleo approach isn't very limiting, it shouldn't be difficult to put together healthy meals and snacks every day. These meals and snacks can be comprised of a variety of vegetables and fruits, it must also consist of a balanced portion of protein, which you can select from seafood, beef, chicken, and pork. Ideally, for optimal health it's best to consume animals which were similarly raised on a diet that is also natural to them. Counting calories also adds little to no benefit and offers no real indication of your health.

As we continue to learn about new aspects of human nutrition, we will continue to adapt our nutrition beliefs and improve our diet knowledge and approach. When the paleo method was first introduced by Dr. Cordain several years ago, he had initially asserted that saturated fats were unhealthy and that they should be avoided in the diet. However, since then his beliefs have changed and his paleo approach has consequently evolved based on new scientific research. Dr. Cordain now holds the stance that saturated fats are okay to be incorporated into a healthy and balanced diet. Also, take note that this approach is not entirely opposed to consuming dairy, the reason many recommend going without it is because numerous dairy products can cause inflammation in the body, many individuals are also lactose intolerant and don't digest diary well. However, for those who have no problem with it, the views on dairy have been altered to the stance that dairy is acceptable as long as it's in its natural form.

Paleo Diet Ideas

One popular paleo dish that is growing in popularity is the mashed cauliflower, replacing traditional potatoes, this healthy dish is easy to make and it tastes great. After you steam your cauliflower, add coconut milk along with a small portion of almond butter or organic butter, then you mash your cauliflower as if you were mashing potatoes. Continue until your mashed cauliflower is a consistency to your liking and garnish with bacon bits for some extra protein. Another quick and easy snack is garlic kale chips, all you need to do is wash your kale, lay apart the leaves on a baking sheet, sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper, salt, and drizzle with olive oil, then place the baking sheet into the oven for about 10 minutes on 350c and you've created a really healthy and paleo-friendly snack for yourself. Sticking with this diet method will help you stick to choosing food items that are going to benefit you and help you to feel great. There are numerous salads that you can make, endless types of protein to consume, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy, it's definitely one diet plan that won't leave you feeling hungry. You don't need to starve yourself in order to be healthy or lose weight when you are on the paleo diet, there are a variety of meals that you can make which will cater to the paleo restrictions and offer you an array of vitamins and minerals.

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