Eating Caveman Style to Stay Fit: The Paleolithic Diet
Fred Flintstone may have been on to something. With each one sporting a hipper name than its predecessor and fueling the fitness fire, it’s easy to get burned with the whirlwind of health crazes, wellness phases and diet trends. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a complex equation; the simpler the better.
The Paleolithic diet, also known as the Paleo diet or the caveman diet, encourages simplicity. Eliminating the processed, embracing the natural, and based upon the diets of our ancestors that fed on free range, grass-fed cattle, organic fruits, and vegetables, the Paleo diet promotes the minimalist lifestyle of the caveman. Paleo simply means getting back to basics, the raw materials for life.
Back to Basics
While eliminating dairy, grains, legumes and processed oils, such as vegetable and canola oil and embracing traditional eating, the Paleo diet encourages participants to eat pasture-raised animals, fruits and vegetables. The concept is to emulate what our ancestors ate. The more natural, the better if you can pull it from the ground, pick it from a tree, harvest it, or hunt it down.
The Paleo diet is highly flexible, easily customizable and tailored to an individual. Depending on level of activity, profession and athletic pursuits, an individual may need more or less carbohydrate, more or less protein or more or less healthy fat.
The Health Benefits
There’s nothing in grains that can’t be found in vegetables like acorn squash or kale and grains can actually damage digestion and inhibit nutrient absorption. There’s nothing in Legumes that can’t be found in nutrient-filled vegetables or meat that has been raised ethically since they are nutrient-poor, insulin-spiking sources of carbohydrate with a bit of protein attached. Modern dairy is from factory cows fed an unnatural diet, and it’s processed and refined and reconstituted.
Aside from eliminating processed foods, saturated fats, salt, and finding better, more natural sources for nutrients, going Paleo cuts down on inflammation caused by dairy. It also promotes sustainable energy levels, fosters a leaner body and supports mental clarity.