The paleo diet has been all the rage for some time now. Although the name sounds complicated, it is simply a throwback to the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors used to eat. It is a nod back to the way paleolithic humans consumed food, with minimal inclusion in the diet of neolithic foods such as processed foods, dairy and sugar. The diet includes any and all food substances that are present today in their closest natural form, such as meat, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
A lot of todays diet modification can be blamed on agriculture and farming. Not too long ago, after decades of suppressing agriculture especially in the developed world, the governments suddenly did a turn-about and instead began encouraging mass-scale production of food. The markets were suddenly flooded with food items of all kinds, especially grains and easily perishable items, and thus began the era of processed foods, where produce was altered beyond recognition to extend its shelf life, and hence, the profits. In this post-food flooding era where we always have >10 options to choose from in terms of food, our lifestyles have been completely modified. The most harm has been done to the way we eat. From healthy, smaller portions we have jumped onto larger portions and fattier meals. Read more about our headlong collision with obesity here.
Paleo diet aims to take you back to the time of healthier eating with au natural food that is minimally processed. While a lot of nutritionists and scientists hail it as the best diet out there, many have criticized the elimination of whole food group (such as dairy) which may lead to inadequate consumption of essential vitamins and nutrients.
PROS AND CONS OF THE PALEO DIET
Like other fad diets, the Paleo diet is promoted as a way of improving health. There is some evidence that following this diet may lead to improvements in terms of body composition and metabolic effects as compared to the typical Western diet or as compared to diets recommended by national nutritional guidelines. However, following the Paleo diet can lead to an inadequate calcium intake, leading to calcium and vitamin D deficiency.
Paleo diet mainly comprises the following food items:
Meat, especially lean chicken, turkey, beef and fish. The diet places emphasis on consumption of white meat.
Legumes in the forms of lentils. Processed carbs such as pasta, cereals and bread are strongly advised against.
Vegetables, especially root vegetables
Fruits nuts and seeds.
Coffee, tea and other beverages are also advised against.
Read more about superfoods and healthy living here!