The paleo diet is one of the latest hits in the field of dietetics – more and more people looking for a healthy diet and losing unnecessary kilograms go back to the prehistory of our ancestors. Paleo, also known as the caveman diet, is a style of eating based on the Palaeolithic menu. Check if it is really effective.
1. The idea of a diet
The greatest popularizer of the principles of the paleo diet is Loren Cordain, who described them in detail in his publications. It is difficult to talk about the author, however, because it refers to the dietary principles that followed people in the Paleolithic era. These in turn resulted from their ability to obtain food and lead lifestyle. The main argument of the supporters of the cavemen’s diet is the fact that overweight, obesity or civilization diseases associated with elevated blood cholesterol levels were not struggling during this period. Back then, humans were not growing plants, breeding animals, and most importantly, they were not processing food in any significant way. As a result, their menu was largely based on protein, enriched with natural sources of fats and carbohydrates. This, according to the popularizers of the diet, contributed to a very good health.
2. Principles of the paleo diet
The Paleolithic diet is not particularly restrictive. First of all, it does not involve precise calorie counting or controlling the size of individual meals. Its rules mainly concern the selection of products that are to form the basis of our daily menu. The basis of the diet is lean meat of any origin as well as fish and seafood, supplemented with fruits, nuts, vegetable oils, eggs and vegetables, especially those with low starch content. We have to set aside grain products, legumes, potatoes and dairy products.
3. Who should reach for the paleo?
The diet will be by far the best for people who like meat – it is the main element of most meals. Those of us who cannot imagine breakfast without a sandwich or lunch without a solid portion of potatoes or pasta may have difficulties. For such people, however, a special three-tier system of implementing the rules has been prepared. They enable the gradual introduction of meals that are fully compatible with the cavemen’s menu. The first stage allows for 15% of non-diet meals, the next for 10% and the last for a maximum of 5% of exceptions. We go to the next level when we decide ourselves that we are able to eliminate more forbidden foods. We can also keep one meal a week as a “whim” all the time. However, it should be remembered that the more strictly we adapt to the rules of the diet, the better the results will be.
In the 21st century, the vision of switching to a Paleolithic menu seems completely out of touch with reality. In practice, it does not have to be difficult to do. All it takes is a little creativity to transform your eating style in line with the paleo diet.