Paleo Diet – The Caveman Diet

Paleo Diet Caveman Deit

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet, is based on the premise that when we eat the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, we will be healthier because we will be giving our bodies the nutrition for which they were designed.  Two significant differences between the Paleo and typical western diets are the amount of protein and the sources of fiber.  About 15% of a western diet is made up of protein, while protein makes up 19-35% of the Paleo diet.  According to Dr. Cordain, the creator of the Paleo Diet, whole grains are not the best source of fiber, despite what we have been led to believe.  The best sources of fiber are actually non-starchy vegetables and unrefined grains.

Like many other diets, the Paleo Diet includes lowering the intake of trans fats and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.  People on the Paleo Diet are recommended to eat a moderate amount of fat, but it should come from monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats.  Eating lots of fruits and vegetables in the natural form is also encouraged because these foods are naturally high in fiber and nutrients.

If you are thinking about going on the Paleo Diet, be prepared to eliminate grains, dairy, sugar, and all processed foods from your diet.  Even without strictly following the Paleo Diet plan, the elimination of these foods will promote weight loss.  According to Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD on Web MD, the Paleo Diet is great for people needing to lower the sodium in their diets because it eliminates salt and processed food.  She does caution that this might be a difficult diet for people to stick with long term because of the food restrictions and the necessity for preparing the foods in your own kitchen.  If you love to cook, this could be a benefit rather than a draw back to the Paleo Diet for you.

US News and World Report only gives the Paleo Diet 2 stars in its review of the most popular diets in America.  The reviewers look at how different diets score in seven categories: short term weight loss, long term weight loss, how easy it is to follow, nutrition, safety, diabetes, and heart health.  The Paleo Diet scored highest for safety, where it received 2.3 out of 5 stars.

The website Diets in Review, however, tells a different story.  91% of the people who used the Paleo Diet were happy with it.  One dieter tells the story of how she had struggled with her weight all her life, and had been treated for back pain with the use of medications for several years.  Once she started the Paleo Diet, she lost 6 pounds in one week, and was off pain meds with no back pain after only 2 days.  She credits cutting all grains and dairy out her diet for the success she experienced.

The pros of the diet include eating natural foods from plants and animals, and cutting out all processed food.  The high fat and protein content of the diet keeps hunger at bay, while the low carbohydrates encourage weight loss.  The diet is naturally gluten free.

On the con side, you are limited in the types of food you can eat, which may make the diet impractical, depending on your lifestyle.  There may be health risks associated with the high fat content you eat, and some experts consider this to be a fad diet.

As with all diets, some work better for your body type, and some don’t work as well.  Despite the two star rating from US News, many people have found the Paleo Diet to be very effective in helping them lose weight and improve their over all health.

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Paleo Diet Caveman Diet

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