Paleo Diet - What is it and what is the benefits?

Diva - 26 Feb 22

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Paleolithic diet The Paleolithic diet, Paleo diet, caveman diet, or stone-age diet is a modern fad diet consisting of foods thought by its proponents to mirror those eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era.

The Paleo diet is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food.

This diet is based on food dated back from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains.

What is the purpose of this diet? 
For people to return to a way of eating that is more like what early humans used to eat. There is an idea where this diet came from, know as the discordance hypothesis. The beliefs behind this diet is that the human body is just genetically mismatched to the modern diet that we follow today and that emerged with farming practices. It is believed that Farming has changed what people eat and it established grains, dairy, and legumes as additional staple foods in the human diet. They believe This  late and rapid change in our diet, according to the hypothesis, outpaced the body's ability to adapt to the foods. This mismatch that has been created is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.

There are two main reasons why people decide to follow this diet:
  • They Want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight that they are on
  • They Want help planning meals, this is a daunting task for everyday households. 
The diet can look different on certain levels, some might be stricter and some more lenient. Here is a typical example of how it works: 

What you can eat 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
  • Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
  • Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil

What foods / confectionary to avoid

  • Grains, such as wheat, oats and barley
  • Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
  • Dairy products
  • Refined sugar
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Highly processed foods in general

A typical day's menu for someone following the paleo diet will look like this

Here's what you might be eating during a typical day following a paleo diet:

  • Breakfast -  Some Broiled salmon and 1/2 a cantaloupe.
  • Lunch-  Boiled lean pork loin and some salad made from (romaine lettuce, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts and a lemon juice dressing).
  • Dinner- A tender Lean beef sirloin tip roast, with steamed broccoli, and a salad with (mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, onions, almonds and a lemon juice dressing), and often strawberries for dessert.
  • Snacks- An orange can be eaten, with carrot sticks or celery sticks.

The diet also emphasises how important drinking water and being physically active every day is. 

What are the overall results of this diet?

A number of  clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, very much like the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. Overall, the trials suggested that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when it compared diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products. These benefits listed may include the following:

  • More weight loss
  • Improved glucose tolerance
  • Better blood pressure control
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Better appetite management

However, they are still to understand the long-term, overall health benefits and possible risks of a paleo diet.

When we talk about the paleo diet, there may be some dietary concerns.

A paleo diet is very rich in vegetables, fruits and nuts. These are all elements of a healthy diet, But The main difference between the paleo diet and other healthy diets or meal plans is that there is the absence of whole grains and legumes, which are considered extremely good sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It is Also important to note that there are items absent from the paleo diet, such as dairy products. Dairy products are very good sources of protein and calcium.

The foods listed are not only considered healthy but they are generally more affordable and accessible compared to foods like wild game, grass-fed animals and nuts. For some people, a paleo diet may be too expensive to maintain.


The paleo diet may help you to  lose weight or effectively maintain your weight. But It may also have other health effects that might not be good. 

You might be able to achieve the same health benefits or results that you could get from the paleo diet by just getting enough exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. 

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