What is a paleo diet?
The paleo diet is the minimization in the diet of modern food products obtained industrially, and the transition to traditional food. The name of the diet refers to the Paleolithic period, which lasted 2.5 million years and ended 15 thousand years ago (2) .
The "caveman" diet allows for the use of fish, poultry and meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms and nuts. Grains, flour and flour products, legumes, sugar, milk, dairy products and processed vegetable oils are excluded.
Modern eating habits
About 70% of the calories obtained by a modern city dweller are simple carbohydrates, processed cereals and refined vegetable oils (1) . It is from these nutrients that bread and pasta, pastries, sweet drinks and convenience foods are made.
The diet, which seems so familiar to us, consists almost entirely of products created by food technologists in the last hundred years. Increasingly, experts come to the conclusion that this is precisely what causes weight gain and poor health.
The edible sugar used now everywhere, was considered a delicacy one hundred years ago and was available only to the rich. There is a fast technology for producing cheese from milk fat for 50 years - before that, cheese was expensive and it would never have occurred to anyone to make pizza out of it.
The first household refrigerators appeared in the United States in the 1930s, and microwave ovens in the 1960s. Hundreds of generations of people until this time could not even dream of storing food at home for months, and then preparing (in fact, thawing it) in just a few minutes.
Scientists involved in the study of paleo-diets believe that the rejection of dairy products, crops and sugar has great health benefits (1) . Firstly, many people do not tolerate lactose, and secondly, more and more often people become sensitive to gluten .
In addition, recent scientific studies confidently associate sugar consumption not only with the development of obesity, but also with an increased risk of cancer (primarily esophageal cancer), type II diabetes mellitus, and even Alzheimer's disease (3) .
The main rules of paleo
Unlike many other diets, paliodiet does not impose serious restrictions on the amount of food consumed, nor on the methods of its preparation. You can boil meat, fish and vegetables that are allowed in the diet, either cook, stew or fry - this does not matter.
The use of organic and bio-products, animal meat of grass-fed feeding, the complete rejection of potatoes, rice and other fruits of modern agriculture, although it is recommended by some researchers of the Paleolithic diet, is not clearly regulated.
Paliodiet: Nutrient Ratio
Judging by archaeological research, the diet of the caveman mainly consisted of animal products - more than 60-70% of the calories came from meat and fat, and carbohydrates accounted for no more than 20-40%. In fact, paliodiet is a low-carb diet (2) .
It is important to note that the use of vegetables in traditional nutrition was clearly tied to the seasons and to the geography of residence. Most sweet fruits were available only in tropical regions, and residents of Europe and Eurasia practically did not know them.
Should I follow this diet?
Despite the fact that the exclusion from the diet of flour and dairy products, “industrial” food and sugar in all manifestations at first glance seems impossibly difficult, in reality this is not so. In fact, figure-conscious people are already avoiding these products.
You will not find a single nutritionist who would argue that sugar, gluten and convenience foods are good for human health. In addition, more and more often there are opinions that modern food is the true cause of many diseases.
The consumption of a large amount of atypical food for a person can cause not only food allergies (intolerance to lactose, gluten, and so on), but many diseases. Paleo diet means a return to traditional nutrition.
- Origins and evolution of the Western diet, source
- High-sugar diets, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, source