The Paleo Diet

Feb 5, 2021

The Paleo diet was developed by Loren Cordain, PhD, a researcher from Colorado State University, and is often referred to as the “cave-person diet” or “hunter-gatherer diet” as it is perceived to include anything that was once hunted or gathered. Roughly one-third was hunted and two-thirds were gathered, so a partially vegetarian diet that varied in higher protein consumption throughout the seasons. Paleolithic humans traditionally ate wild game, which is naturally lower in fat, so it’s important that you are eating grass fed or wild hunted meats whenever possible. There is no calorie counting or portion control so you can eat as much as you want as long as it pertains to the guidelines.

The Paleo diet is moderate to high in protein ranging anywhere from 19% to 35% of total caloric intake. Moderate consumption of carbohydrates coming from quick energy fruits like berries and uncultivated tubers & vegetables. Fats came from nuts and seeds, eaten in their raw form. Grains, dairy and refined sugars (excluding honey) were not included in the diet.

 

What to Eat on Paleo:

On a Paleo diet, you can indulge on grass-fed meats, fish & seafood, fresh fruit & vegetables, free-range eggs, nuts, seeds and healthy oils. Healthy oils you can have include cold-pressed olive oil, walnut, flaxseed, avocado and coconut oil.

When it comes to sweeteners there are many arguments on what is considered Paleo. When on a Paleo diet, you want to limit your sweeteners, but acceptable sweeteners include raw honey, yacon syrup, maple syrup, and monk fruit.

 

What Not to Eat on Paleo:

What you shouldn’t have in your paleo diet are grains, legumes and beans – which includes peanuts and soybeans (including tofu); dairy, refined sugar, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and fruit juices. An exception to dairy is that you can have grass-fed butter as it’s considered a fat. Oils to avoid while on the Paleo diet include margarine, soybean, corn, peanut, canola, safflower and sunflower oils.

 

Pros to Paleo Diet:

Because you’re eliminating refined and processed foods, you are more than likely going to be eating much healthier, especially if you focus on grass-fed meats and organic produce. Some people often find grains to contribute to bloating and inflammation so by cutting them out and incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods from various fruits and vegetables, one could see an improvement in this area by switching to Paleo. Some people that suffer from IBS, digestive issues like constipation, or leaky gut have found that the Paleo diet can help reduce their symptoms of bloating and/or gas. This is a good weight loss diet as you are consuming sufficient amounts of protein.

 

Cons to Paleo Diet:

The downfalls to this diet is it’s not one that a vegan or vegetarian should follow as it relies heavily on meat for protein since legumes are cut out. Because the Paleo diet relies on meat, much of which should be grass-fed or free-range, it can get expensive. There are also some people that can benefit from having dairy in their diet, along with whole grains so by cutting these out, one could be missing out on nutrients they require. Raw nuts and seeds are high in phytic acid/lectins which can be aggravating for some people with digestion issues - try incorporating sprouted options if you want to consume them.  Eating a bunch of muscle meats can cause inflammation in the body. Try adding some organ meats to balance out your amino acid ratios.

Our staff at Community Natural Foods are all educated and trained in a variety of diets and can help you find the products you need to fulfill your Paleo diet. Stop by one of our stores today and talk to a Wellness Expert in store, online, or simply check out some of our featured paleo products below!

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