I recently heard of the Paleo diet while I was making headway through some of the seemingly hundreds of emails that arrive in my inbox each week. Emails from popular food blogs, blogs I just like, online magazines, gardening circulars, etc, and while reading the latest blog post from the Lexie’s Kitchen food blog, where she was reviewing this new cookbook – by Tammy Credicott (you can find the link to it here – http://www.lexieskitchen.com/lexies_kitchen/2013/9/23/new-book-make-ahead-paleo.html), I subsequently found out about the Paleo diet. This may only be news to me, in which case I’m sorry to disappoint you, but after a quick google search and a light skim of the official website, I found a whole lot of information about the diet and concept, which is a thought-provoking and thoroughly interesting idea.
Apparently this diet tries to mimic the eating habits of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors using our modern-day foods.
The concept was first thought of by Loren Cordain PH.D (“The world’s leading expert on Palaeolithic diets and founder of the Paleo movement” – as proclaimed on the official website – http://thepaleodiet.com).
As you might expect, the type of food you’d eat if you went on the diet would be lean, whole foods. Particularly grass-fed meat and fish, fruit and veggies, nuts and eggs. Nothing that was not available to them, oh, except potato. That’s a bit of a strange one. No starchy food of any kind is meant to be eaten on the diet. According to the official website “Non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables represent the main carbohydrate source (while on the diet) and will provide for 35-45 % of your daily calories. Almost all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed, and won’t spike blood sugar levels.”
While on the diet you are supposed to have a –
higher protein intake,
moderate to higher fat intake, which is mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats (I’m not exactly sure what these are. They sound good though.)
larger intake of, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals
lower carbohydrate and glycemic index
net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid
and so on and so on…
Following this diet also makes you healthier, helps you to lose weight and also lessens you’re chance of contracting the chronic diseases of today. Like obesity, gout, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, acne.
The only problem that I have with the diet is that while on it you can’t consume dairy. Something I don’t think I could ever be without. I’m not sure why you’re not supposed to eat it, but as a person who doesn’t enjoy their morning coffee black and eats a surprisingly high amount of yoghurt, I can assure you that I would not be able to even try going on this diet. There’s also cheese, chocolate, mayonnaise and ice cream to think about too. None of which, incidentally, are in any way healthy.
Now you are informed at least. I thought it was an idea worth sharing and may give you something to think about next time you jump on the scales, myself included. And I guess if the diet worked for our stone age ancestors, it should work for us as we are genetically predisposed to follow their eating habits and are hardwired for them.
Some other interesting sources of info –
The paleo diet blog – http://thepaleodiet.com/the-paleo-diet-blog/
and obviously, – http://thepaleodiet.com/
The following is a list that will give you a rough idea of the foods you can and cannot consume if you intend to go on the Paleo diet. You will need to look at some of the books dedicated to the subject for a more comprehensive one .
Fresh fruits and veggies
Nuts and seeds
Healthy oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
Don’t eat –
Legumes (including peanuts)
Refined vegetable oils