Loren Cordain, a scientist from Colorado State University, developed a diet which, as he states, is the way humans were genetically designed to eat. He started his research on this subject in the 1970s, and until today it has become vastly recognized and used throughout the world. Many studies deriving from fields of biology, biochemistry, dermatology, ophthalmology etc. show that the modern way of living and nutrition is actually a pathway to many degenerative diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc…
This is why many people opt for an alternative diet, the only one, as they say, that indicates a nutritional approach that cooperates with your genetics in order to keep you strong and energized. So, what exactly is this Paleo diet? It’s also known as cavemen diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet etc. Its menu consists of food that our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate:
- lean meat (chicken, pork, turkey, beef, buffalo…)
- fish and seafood
- fresh fruit
- no starch vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, green beans, spinach, cauliflower…)
- nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios…)
- seeds (pumpkin, sunflower…)
- plant-based oils (olive, walnut, coconut, grapeseed oil…)
The author of Paleo diet, Loren Cordain, states that this diet offers an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to our body; By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well-being.
It’s quite important to mention what foods you need to say goodbye if you go Paleo:
- grains (oats, wheat, rice, barley…)
- starchy vegetables (potatoes, corns…)
- dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream…)
- high-fat meats (salami, hot dogs, rib roast, pepperoni…)
- beans (peanut, soy food, hummus…)
- sugars (soda, honey, syrup, candy, cake, cookies, jam, jelly…)
- processed foods or trans fats (french-fries, macaroni, cheese, doughnuts…)
- salty foods (chips, pretzels, crackers, added salt-foods…)
Considered everything above, the main supporting factor for Paleo diet is obviously the fact that you eat clean food - additive, preservative, and chemical-free. Furthermore, some nutrients in this diet, such as fruit, vegetables, seeds, oils, and nuts, will help you with their anti-inflammatory properties. The higher consumption of red meat will fill your body with iron, and the higher intake of proteins will keep you more satiated.
Still, before you opt for this diet, there are more viewpoints you need to consider. Paleo Diet can be expensive for an average person since we spend around 20% of our income on food with our regular diet. Given that it’s something we can’t live without, not only that we can’t save much money on food, but it can even become a serious expense if we want to eat healthily or if we have some sort of special diet regime. Plus, this diet excludes grains and dairy products which are inarguably good for our health. This can be especially hard for athletes and active individuals since it’s a lot harder to obtain essential daily calorie intake from carbohydrates with this type of diet.