The Paleo diet is one of the most interesting types of diets one can opt for. Back in the days most people did away with junk food and fast food, and they relied on more nutritious and unprocessed snacks and meals. Based on this fact the Paleo diet is considered to be one of the blandest diets around, and its main aim is to stick to eating anything that a hunter or caveman would have eaten. So this type of diet will revolve around meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, eggs and nuts.
With a Paleo diet there is thus the aim of eating as naturally as possible, and due to this it is often referred to as the caveman diet, the primal diet and the hunter-gatherer diet.
With a Paleo diet one would be lessening the body's glycemic load, increasing vitamin and nutrient intake, and aiming at an optimal balance of carbs, proteins and fats. While there are various who agree with the health benefits of this type of diet, there are also some experts who do not quite agree.
This is mainly due to the fact that the health benefits of a paleo diet are not yet scientifically proven. Even though one may stick to the fact that our ancestors did not suffer from as many chronic diseases and conditions as we do nowadays, it is not quite correct to draw the conclusion that by eating like them we are also going to be healthier. Many people who opt for the paleo diet tend to assume this.
What types of foods to eat on the Paleo Diet
Having said that, it is obviously not going to be disadvantageous to focus on fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and nuts as they are after all the healthiest food options we can consume. Opting for a paleo diet may seem to be quite difficult as we are nowadays engulfed with fast food outlets, take aways and processed foods in supermarkets. So it might feel quite tempting to buy something readymade.
Therefore one needs to be quite strict with oneself in order to stick to a paleo diet. However it is important to point out that with a paleo diet one would not only be avoiding the consumption of modern foods, but also anything processed. Therefore dairy products are also not to be included in a paleo diet, and likewise one should not consume grains, cereals or legumes either. Even potatoes are sometimes classified as a food that should be avoided in a paleo diet. Considering all this it is no wonder that many feel that this diet is far too restrictive.
Another critical issue with a Paleo diet is that unlike some other diet plans where one spends a certain period trying to stick to a certain meal plan, with a paleo diet this is a long term commitment. This is not a temporary diet, but actually a lifestyle that one will have committed oneself to.
Are these foods healthy
Another common misconception with the paleo diet is that it is only about the food that one should eat, and foods that need to be avoided. Rather the paleo diet needs to be complemented by regular exercise. On the same terms that our ancestors used to exercise much more since they were always on the go, walking and working in fields and so on, we also need to have a lifestyle where we make our body move.
One of the main concerns with the Paleo diet is the fact that certain foods which are basically banned from it are good for the health. This includes the nutrients one can get from grains, legumes and dairy products. Dairy especially is very important for our calcium intake as well as for certain key vitamins, and so avoiding such products is not that advantageous when taking this into account.
The main aspect with Paleo diet is that cutting out processed foods is going to be really beneficial healthwise. Even though there are not that many studies regarding this, one may conclude that processed foods definitely increase sodium intake as well as fats and sugars, which are not that good for our health. Needless to say, one cannot completely live the life that our ancestors used to live back in the olden days. It would be almost impossible in this day and age, and so a very strict paleo diet is quite difficult to pursue.
How to start the Paleo Diet
As a general rule of thumb one may wish to start off little by little by cutting processed foods and opting for meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits both in meals as well as in snacks. Paleo eating is demanding, and it calls for proper planning and meal preparation. Even though it might seem as the perfect way to be healthier while losing weight, it is definitely easier said than done. Weight loss is in fact not the sole purpose for which one should decide to start following a paleo diet seriously.
Thus it is important to take all of these aspects into account before deciding to opt for a paleo diet. There is no doubt that it is one of the strictest forms of diets one can possibly follow, and besides the fact that in most people's case it is difficult to follow, it can actually make things worse too.
This is because if one tries to follow this diet, and then after a certain period of time feels that he just cannot keep up with it, chances are that he will go for the complete opposite, and as a result the resultant weight gain will be quite dramatic. As a general rule of thumb for those who want to live a healthier lifestyle and retain a proper weight, there is really no need to go to extremes as would be the case with a paleo diet. The most important thing is that one exercises on a regular basis, and consumes healthy foods and drinks, which do not necessarily need to be whole foods and unprocessed foods all the time and every time.