Many specific diets have come and gone in popularity over the years. We have had the Atkins, Nutrisystem, Bernstein, Zone, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean, South Beach, Raw Foods diets, and more. Some are long gone, others still around. The Paleo diet, short for Paleolithic, (think caveman era) is based on what our ancestors supposedly foraged for and lived on centuries ago. I say supposedly because which one of us was around to confirm the info?
What does the Paleo Diet Eliminate?
It is not that difficult to realize that all the additives, preservatives, and other highly processed and or hydrogenated ingredients were not around back then. The Paleo diet urges people to eliminate such items from their meal plans. That includes salt sugar and artificial sweeteners, iodized (table) salt, omega-6 oils (unrefined, organic coconut, olive, flaxseed, and avocado are allowed because they are omega 3s), dairy (except butter and ghee which are allowed.)
Beans and legumes (with the exception of green beans and snow peas) are not allowed on a Paleo diet either because they are (for most people) hard to digest. The same applies to starchy vegetables like white potatoes (sweet ones are allowed in moderation) corn and squash, as well as all (even gluten-free) grains. Grains are taboo because of the lectins they contain that trigger allergic and autoimmune responses as well as leaky gut syndrome.
What Foods are Permitted?
Meats allowed on the Paleo diet are grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic. Fish choices should be wild or farmed under responsible conditions. Eggs should be free-range. Most nuts (except peanuts because they are legumes, not nuts) and seeds are allowed too.
What the Paleo Diet Does for You
This diet is supposed to prevent and eliminate immune responses and many disease states, including cancer. I must admit, other than eliminating dairy (cheese is a personal weakness) beans and gluten-free grains like brown rice and quinoa (actually not a grain, but included in that category) my current choice of diet follows these Paleo choices very closely. These choices came from figuring out (over many years) what works (and doesn’t work) for my body.
Go figure, here I thought I was unique!