If you’ve ever wanted to try the Paleo diet, here are the 7 simple rules of Paleo eating.
It seems wherever you turn these days, you hear “Paleo, Paleo, Paleo.” (You may have also heard it referred to as the “Neolithic diet,” the “caveman diet,” or “eating primal.”) Everyone is talking about the Paleo Diet, from celebrities to health gurus. So is Paleo eating just a fad, or is it a legitimate lifestyle choice?
In fact, the Paleo Diet really isn’t just a diet in the sense of The South Beach Diet or other related weight-loss-focused diet programs. Instead, it is a long-term healthy lifestyle that can improve your health over time.
So exactly what is the Paleo diet?
It is a way of eating that is based on foods that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, such as meat, fish, berries, nuts, and fresh vegetables. It excludes modern foods such as highly processed fats, sugars, and grains.
Paleo eaters believe that primal eating is the way our bodies were meant to eat, and that it can help us avoid the epidemic of modern diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, and more.
It can also be a fairly easy way to eat, as it doesn’t have a ton of specific rules about what exact foods to eat and which to avoid – instead, it focuses on broad categories of foods, so you can choose what works for you, and find foods you enjoy in each category. You also don’t have to worry about counting calories or restricting your food intake.
If you are interested in trying the Paleo eating method, here are the 7 principle tenets of the diet:
1.) Eat more protein.
Hunter-gatherer diets relied on animal protein for 19 to 35 percent of their calories… However, it’s not all you’re going to eat—Paleo gets a bad rap because some people think that it’s all meat, all the time. Clearly, that’s not the recommendation.
2.) Add tons of non-starchy vegetables
The more veggies, the better! You’ll want to pick mostly green things with a low glycemic index, meaning vegetables with less sugar and carbohydrates. Remember that vegetables are relatively low in calories and high in fiber, so you can basically eat as much as you’d like on the Paleo diet.
3.) Increase your fiber intake
If you eat more fruits and vegetables, this will happen naturally. “Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what we’re told, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more than refined grains,” Cordain writes. Adding more fiber to your diet will help regulate blood sugar and control weight and fat gain. A high fiber intake has been also proven to reduce risk of developing heart disease by 40 percent.
4.) Add more healthy fats to your diet
On the Paleo diet, fat is your friend—in particular, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. According to Cordain, “It is not the total amount of fat in your diet that raises your blood cholesterol levels and increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, but rather the type of fat.” Everyday staples that are also sources of healthy fat include avocados, fatty fish, grass-fed animal sources, and some nuts.
5.) Choose fresh, unprocessed foods over packaged goods
According to Cordain, the average American now consumes about twice as much sodium as potassium. And much of that excess can be traced back to highly processed packaged foods that rely on extra sodium in order to stay shelf-stable and add flavor…
6. Eat more alkaline foods to balance dietary acid
This rule is a little controversial amongst the Paleo community, but Cordain maintains that it’s one of the tenets of the diet. Meats, fish, grains, legumes, cheese, and salt are all considered acid producers, and fruits and vegetables are alkaline producers… Many other Paleo experts back up Cordain, in that they view these “acid producers” as inflammatory—and believe excess inflammation in the body is the root cause of disease. No matter what, eating more fruits and veggies is never a bad thing.
7.) Up your vitamin and mineral intake
Grass-fed meats, fruits, and veggies naturally contain potent levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Instead of eating processed foods fortified with added nutrients, Cordain recommends getting all your nutrition from whole food sources, which he believes are better absorbed by the body.
Learn more about healthy Paleo eating at ThriveMarket.com…