Cross fitters rejoice at the sound of the paleo diet. After all, how could you not like eating copious amounts of meats and vegetables?
The paleo diet is a diet that structures everything you would eat around the food that would have been eaten by early humans – in the paleolithic era (aka. caveman times).
The idea is to eat only foods that would have been available at hunter-gatherer times, way before the age of modern farming.
This means all the food you eat is sourced naturally, and generally does not contain any preservatives or processing – no candy, no modern breads, and nothing that is created chemically.
You may think that that does not leave you with very many foods to choose from, but, truthfully, this is how it should be. Modern food has left us sick, slow, and unhealthy.
Could moving back to a more rudimentary diet be the solution for your fatigue, muscle building goals, and even weight loss?
Consider these details of the Paleo Diet:
1. You can eat some grains. The idea that early humans did not eat grains is incorrect. Archaeologists have found both corn and wheat in various forms dating back 10,000 years ago. The difficulty arises when modern forms of processed breads have high amounts of sugar and low amounts of fiber.
◦ Technically, you could eat some corn, ancient grains, and even amaranth on a paleo diet.
◦ Fiber is always your savior when eating a carbohydrate rich diet, but it should be noted that, in many cases, breads and other grains are not recommended on a paleo diet – although early humans may have eaten them.
2. Vegetables come in copious amounts. The paleo diet isn’t just about eating a plethora of meat and nuts. The basic foundation of the diet is based on eating high amounts of fruit and vegetables – which would have been a staple in early human diets.
◦ Hunters have been given the praise in Hollywood movies, yet early civilizations survived from the gathering community.
◦ Without plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet you will not only lack carbohydrates for energy, but you may also have internal failures due to excessive protein consumption.
3. Eggs are a protein best. Although many meats will provide a wide spectrum of amino acids, they were not as readily available for early humans. Eggs, on the other hand, have a very good spectrum of amino acids and a high absorption rate.
◦ Many paleo users turn away from eggs and use meat as the first form of protein – yet eggs should be considered as the first option (along with fish).
4. No dairy. One of the hardest aspects of the diet for most people to adhere to is the lack of dairy or milk products. Simply put, animal agriculture was not available for early humans, and milk is not essential in any respect past the age of 3-4 years old.
◦ In fact, most people lose the ability to create lactase (a milk-metabolizing enzyme) and therefore cannot properly digest milk in our adult years anyway.
5. No salt. This is perhaps the most important aspect of the diet that many people seem to avoid. Salt and many other preservatives were in no way a part of early human diets. It was not until the time of the Roman empire that salt became a widespread application into human diets.
◦ Salt can lead to hypertension, lack of energy, and even increase your risk for heart disease and cancer – our two leading killers.
Is Paleo Right for You?
Perhaps you don’t need to make a huge change to your diet, but restricting the amount of sugar, salt, and other processed foods will help accelerate your weight loss and strengthen your overall health.
The paleo diet is a clean and natural alternative to our unhealthy modern diet.