Paleo” is actually a nickname. It is short for Paleolithic, or the Paleolithic Era. The Paleolithic era was a part of human evolution that lasted for roughly two and a half million years and ended approximately fifteen thousand years ago. The Paleolithic era ended at the invention of agriculture. The new period is called the Neolithic Era (which began with the invention of agriculture).
While many have personal definitions on what is paleo, Wikipedia sums it up with one sentence
The “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
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Who cares what caveman ate?
The concept behind the paleo diet is that our genetic makeup is more conducive to what humans ate long ago rather than today’s diet. Humans evolved during the Paleolithic era. During this evolution our ancestors ate a certain way for almost 3,000,000 years. Abruptly with the invention of agriculture about 15,000 years ago, humans dramatically altered their diet. All of a sudden humans ate foods that they grew like wheat, rice, barley, legumes. The primary theory behind the paleo diet is that humans never evolved to be able to handle these foods well. (Will I lose weight on the paleo diet? Click here to learn more about how the paleo diet helps people shed fat.) Also see Does the paleo diet work? Since Grains were only introduced at the time of the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, thus the paleolithic diet focuses on a diet of natural whole foods; meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. The agricultural revolution reduced protein consumption; carbs became a staple in people’s diet. These changes have created a detrimental effect on our health and can be blamed for many diseases including obesity. The hunter gatherer diet encourages protein consumption and reduces carbohydrate intake to account for this.
Many people who have adopted the paleo diet experience weight loss, enhanced energy, better sleep, and an overall positive lifestyle. When you lose weight and eat right, your body and mind can change dramatically.
What does the paleo diet consist of?
If the paleo diet asks us to eat like a caveman, we must try to only eat what was available to the hunter-gatherer cavemen of the prehistoric era. What did cavemen eat? We can be confident that cavemen ate lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Considering chemicals and preservatives were not yet invented we can also be pretty sure they were not part of a caveman diet.
The paleo diet is often referred to as The Paleolithic Diet, Caveman Diet, Stone Age Diet, Hunter Gatherer Diet, The Primal Blueprint, and Crossfit Diet.
What is wrong with eating grains?
Eating grains might not be wrong for everyone, but one answer to this answer would be because grains can make you fat. Everyone’s body is different so people’s bodies react well to grains other do not. To figure out how your body reacts to grains take them out of your diet for 30 days. Many are amazed at how much better they feel.
How do grains make me fat?
grains cause kind of a funky response in our system. Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function – any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat. -Mark Sussan in “definitive guide to grains”
Grains also contain gluten and lectins. What is wrong with gluten?
Many of us have a certain level of gluten-intolerance. Don’t believe me? Take gluten out of your diet for 30 days and see what happens, (I thought gluten-free diet was silly until someone dared me to go 30 days without gluten). After 30 days of gluten-free eating you are going to feel less bloated, digestion will be functioning better, and you will be many pounds lighter.
Does eating gluten have any long-term consequences?
Long-term consequence do exist for those who are gluten intolerant and continue to eat gluten. Gluten intolerant people in who continue to eat gluten may develop a number medical conditions including: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
Carbs also include lectins. What is wrong with lectins?
Lectins are naturally occurring toxins, that exist within grains. Lectins can prevent people’s gastrointestinal from repairing itself.
The Paleo Diet never uses added sugar. You will get some from fruit, but not very much. What is wrong with sugar. Unless sugar is used it will immediately it turns into fat.
Will I have enough energy if I stop as may carbs?
Yes. When there is an absence of carbs, our body will BURN FAT for energy in a process called ketogenesis. Also remember the paleo diet does not cut out all carbs. The paleo diet includes carbs from naturally occurring food that do not need to be processed before being consumed (vegetables, fruits).
Can I eat dairy on the paleo diet?
Dairy is not part of the paleo diet, but cheese tastes amazing. So what can one do?Dairy has good and bad properties. We could argue about this all day long and they did at every AHS Convention. Our recommendation, take dairy out of your diet for 30 days. Than slowly add it back it and see how you feel. A good portion of people are lactose intolerant, or “have an aversion” to lactose. Primal Organic does not add cheese to any of it’s meals but we do not thing.