Without question, the Paleo Diet is sweeping the world of health and nutrition. Though this style of eating has been around for years, it is now receiving unprecedented popularity. As the popularity of this caveman inspired way of eating grows, it is easy for confusion and misconceptions to arise. In order to gain maximum health and wellness benefits from the paleo way of eating it is crucial to have a full understanding of what it entails. Thankfully, it is a simple way of eating with nourishment, not deprivation, as its chief goal. Read on to find out all the fundamental guidelines of the Paleo Diet.
What Is Paleo?
The first question that must be answered in the quest to understand the fundamental guidelines of the paleo diet is, ‘what exactly is the Paleo Diet?’ Paleo refers to a style of eating that mimics the way our ancestors did in the Paleolithic period, free of processed foods and full of what could be hunted and gathered. Health experts argue that agricultural practices have advanced far faster than people’s digestive systems have. This means our bodies are designed to function best with foods similar to what the cavemen ate rather than today’s standard dietary staples of sugar and refined grains.
Guideline Number One: What to Eat
The basic goal of the Paleo Diet is to choose foods that offer maximum nutritional benefit. Foods that are easy to digest and nutrient dense are the staples of the paleo way of eating. Vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats comprise the foods included on the Paleo Diet.
Additionally, an emphasis is placed on choosing high-quality paleo approved foods. People are encouraged to choose organic, free range, pasture raised, grass fed, and/or biodynamic foods as applicable and available.
Guideline Number Two: What to Avoid
Foods that offer little to no nutritional value promote inflammation, and have other negative impacts on health are not part of the paleo lifestyle. For this reason dairy, sugar, processed foods, all grains, beans, and legumes are excluded from the paleo way of eating.
Guideline Number Three: The Rules
Unlike most conventional diets, there are no rules. Paleo is not about counting calories or carbs, nor is it about restricting portions. Instead, people just need to eat nutrient dense foods comprised of the paleo-approved foods until they feel full. Because the foods are nutritious and filling, overeating is naturally avoided. In fact, though weight loss is not the aim of the paleo diet, many people find that they lose excess weight once they begin following the paleo way of eating.
Following the guidelines of the Paleo Diet can lead to great rewards in terms of health and wellness. While each person’s experience on the paleo diet will vary slightly, some of the top reported benefits include decreased inflammation, greater energy levels, improved sleep, clearer skin, relief from migraines, fewer aches, and pains, and improved athletic performance. Additionally, patients with various autoimmune diseases often report significant symptom reversal when following a Paleo Diet.