The Paleo Diet, short for Paleolithic diet, is a natural foods based eating program designed to mimic the healthier meal practices of our human ancestors. This diet, also known as the caveman diet, stone age diet, or hunter-gatherer diet, is based on the habitually food consumption patterns of humans during the Paleolithic era. The diet consisted only of that which could be hunted or gathered.
The Paleo plan was first popularized by Walter L. Voegtlin in the 1970s. Voegtlin, a gastroenterologist theorized that humans are genetically programmed to eat what was available to their genetic forefathers, therefore the ideal human diet is not based
on an agricultural lifestyle, but rather, a hunter-gatherer existence. In 1975 he published the Book “ The Stone Age Diet: Based On In-Depth Studies of Human Ecology and the Diet of Man” in which he argued that man was primarily a carnivore, and like other carnivorous animals, his body demanded a diet rich in proteins and animal fats and low in carbohydrates. 10 years later, in 1985, a group of doctors from Emory University published a paper on the benefits of stone-age nutrition in the New England Journal of Medicine.
This pushed the diet into the main stream. Today it is respected by the medical community as a sustainable and potentially beneficial diet option. Those who adhere to this system eliminate anything from their diet which could not be hunted or gathered. This means that they eat only fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, grass fed meats and fish. They avoid foods, like wheat and other grains that are strictly agrarian. They also avoid processed foods which have dyes, preservatives and other additives. They can have eggs, which might have been gathered from turkeys and other wild birds, but avoid milk and other dairy products. Salts, oils, salted peanuts, and unnatural beverages are also restricted. Paleo dieters are encouraged to drink predominately water, though tea is also allowed. All other beverages are restricted or denied.
There are a number of health benefits which go with this lifestyle. The diet contains less contaminants and more omega-3s and essential nutrients than an average American diet. Adherents claim that they have significantly less acne while on the Paleo diet and reduced abdominal bloating. They also eat less because the foods are higher in protein and fiber, making them more filling and satisfying. They also build muscle more rapidly.
The down side to paleo eating is that it can be hard to eat with others or at restaurants and strictly adhere to the diet. Also, shopping for whole foods, allowed on the hunter-gatherer themed plan can be significantly more expensive than traditional shopping for traditional American meals. Also, the human body needs significant calcium stores to maintain healthy bone and dental structures. Those on the Paleo program frequently need to supplement their diet with a calcium vitamin or choose to add dairy back into an otherwise paleolithic plan.
Choosing to go on and stay on any diet is a commitment, and calls for major life changes. This plan is no different. When going on the cave man diet, find a mentor who has been on the diet for some time to advise you. This diet is popular with athletes due to the high protein content which helps to build muscle mass and strength. Not only does it help with muscles but you lose weight on this diet as well. There are studies that show a lowering of blood pressure, lower lipid counts and a lowering of the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
My name is Allan Stewart and I have several websites dedicated to health and well being for people and pets.