What Exactly Is The Paleo Diet?
If you don’t know what the Paleo diet is or you’ve never heard of it before, no worries – within this report, we’re going to explore exactly what this way of eating is all about.
At its core, Paleo is a lot more lifestyle than it is a diet.
A Paleo lifestyle is about eating real, whole, natural foods and avoiding all processed foods.
You see, the modern diet is exactly that, it’s modern. Humans ate in a Paleo style since the beginning of time before starting the agricultural revolution where we started to eat grain and sugar-based foods, as well as processed foods.
The idea behind Paleo is to eliminate those processed foods, chemicals, vegetable oils and other new additions to the modern diet that can be detrimental to our lifestyle, from how we move to our energy levels to how we feel on a daily basis.
For all those years that we ate Paleo, humans were hunters and gathers. They ate meat and they ate fruits such as berries when they were in season. Which also meant they moved a lot and were very active.
They needed to be strong and fit in order to survive. Their bodies were conditioned to efficiently use fat as fuel and energy, not carbohydrates.
Eventually agriculture came into being and the human diet changed dramatically.
The Agricultural Revolution occurred about 10,000 years ago and introduced grains, such as wheat, and breads into our diet.
Today’s modern diet contains things like significant quantities of gluten.
Gluten was non-existent in Paleolithic times. Things like wheat, rye, many cereals and barley, contain gluten.
Gluten has been recognized to cause inflammation in the gut and has been given widespread attention through celebrities like Kelly Ripa, who have famously gone gluten-free.
It’s also been theorized (not proven) that gluten could play a role in an increased risk of some cancers as well as heart disease.
Another ingredient in the modern day diet that is linked to possible health problems is that of lectins.
Lectins are present in grains. They cause wear and tear on our gastrointestinal tract, making it very difficult to heal.
Let’s not forget sugar. Sugar is everywhere and in everything nowadays. Sugar needs to be burned but another aspect of modern times is how sedentary people have become.
Everyone sits. They sit at work, they sit on the couch watching television, they sit at their computers, they sit checking out social media and texts on their smart phones.
People do not move the way they used to and so they don’t burn calories the way they used to. This becomes a big problem when talking about sugar consumption.
In the Paleolithic period, humans were lean, strong and fit. They moved, pretty much all day every day. They didn’t farm or grow crops.
As I mentioned above, they hunted and gathered. They followed the food. They didn’t sit around playing on their Apple iStone Tablet. If they did, they’d starve!
So all that sugar being consumed in the modern diet, which is bad enough, isn’t even burned off because of sedentary lifestyles. Which means energy spikes and crashes, and related health problems such as diabetes and blood pressure issues.
One of the big myths that the Paleo diet has helped to dispel is the outdated notion of eating fat makes you fat.
This was a big deal when the high carbohydrate craze started in the eighties and you had everyone obsessed with the amount of fat calories they were eating. Almost every food in existence ended up with a low-fat or no-fat version. But most of that fat got replaced with sugar!
Fat is a crucial nutrient when it comes to our health. Dietary fat is needed for an optimal, well-functioning and healthy body. It’s all the chemicals, preservatives and added sugar in our diets that lead to the weight gain, health issues, energy problems and more.
Are All Fats Beneficial in the Paleo Diet?
The first point to note is that not all fats are created equal.
The second point worth remembering is that you do not get fat by eating fat.
In fact, you must consume the right fats for good health.Fats make you feel happy and provide a host of benefits such as reducing cancer risk, boosting you immune system and even helping you lose weight.
Yup! You need to eat fat to lose fat… but you must eat the right fats.
The problem these days is that most people are consuming unhealthy fats that come from hydrogenated oils. Many people are unaware of how unhealthy the vegetable oils they consume are. The oils are marketed as being healthy and made out of natural foods such as soy, corn, etc.
In reality, oils that have been refined or hydrogenated are extremely bad for the human body and cause many health related problems.
The paleo diet uses oils in their natural state. The oils are not bleached or subjected to chemical processes that make them harmful. The fats used in the paleo diet are not only safe but are extremely beneficial to the body.
Since the diet is heavy in meat, you will get a good portion of animal fats in your diet. Paleo dieters are encouraged to get grass-fed meats because even the food the commercial companies feed their livestock is detrimental. Eating grass-fed meats will ensure that no ill-effects are passed down to you.
Animal fats are perfectly fine. Our ancestors ate lots of meat and our bodies have evolved over time to eat meat and handle animal fat. Rest assured that your cholesterol level is not going to skyrocket. Studies have proven that dietary cholesterol does not cause high cholesterol in humans.
Do you want to know what causes high cholesterol levels in human beings?
Hydrogenated oils sold on supermarket shelves. Unhealthy fats found in cookies, junk food, fast food, etc. These are what cause unhealthy cholesterol levels. Worry not! Since the paleo diet does not allow consumption of these awful items, you’re safe.
Coconut oil is the most preferred oil in the paleo diet.
Just like how olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, coconut oil is the staple oil in the paleo diet. It contains over 90% saturated fat and every bit is good for you.
Coconut oil is stable at room temperature and can be used for cooking. It contains lauric acid which is easily digested and helps boost your immune system.
Another healthy fat that is seen in the paleo diet is olive oil.
This is a very healthy oil and helps to balance the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the body. This will lubricate your joints and prevent inflammation in the body.
Butter and ghee are other fats that are also used to prepare paleo dishes.
Many paleo dieters scramble their eggs in the morning with melted butter. Butter is not a strictly paleo ingredient but it does have many health benefits.
So, if you’re willing to be a little lax, you can include butter as part of your diet. It does have many benefits.
These are just some of the fats in the paleo diet. There are other fats such as avocado oil, etc. The point you should take away from this article is that the fats in the paleo diet are perfectly healthy.
You should be more concerned with the normal food that is being sold commercially.
These are the biggest culprits for most of society’s health issues these days. Avoid these unhealthy products and go paleo. It truly is life-changing.
The Paleo diet has been referred to as the “Caveman” diet because that is basically how you are asked to eat. The Paleo diet mainly consists of meat, fish, turkey, chicken, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Overall, Eating Paleo eliminates the negative aspects of the modern diet, such as sugar, trans fats and preservatives, while nourishing your body with much needed vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats such as essential fatty acids. Essential as in your body needs them! Get it?
With the Paleo diet you are basically going back to, well, basics!
Well that’s a basic overview of what the Paleo Diet is, in the next part we will look at going organic and following that we will look at Paleo approved foods.
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