I hear all sorts of buzz about different types of diets at Habitat Health and Fitness in Winter Haven, FL. One of the more popular ones is the Paleolithic Diet. It’s a diet that would have us eat like our cavemen ancestors in the Paleolithic Era. That era was before man learned to farm, and is thought to be a more natural match genetically than today’s diet.
What can you eat on a Paleo diet?
Paleolithic diets were healthy. You don’t have to know very much about history to realized they ate no processed food or even created recipes that involved adding sugar. While man may have had used honey, based on cave wall drawings depicting bees swarming and honey collectors dating back as long as 40,000 years, almost all of the sugar in the paleo diet came from fresh fruit, which is still recommended today.
As a hunter-gatherer, early man had basic food choices.
Early man most likely survived on fish, vegetables including root vegetables, lean meat, nuts and seeds. Foods not allowed include: dairy, legumes and grains, salt, vegetable oil, processed food and refined sugar. Cutting out added sugar is definitely a plus, just as eating more fruit and vegetables, limiting processed food and even limiting salt. There’s only one potential situation where giving up salt entirely could be a problem and that’s if you’ve sweat to a point that you depleted electrolytes.
Besides excess perspiration, there are other things that might not be healthy.
Depending on the Paleolithic diet you follow, since there are different versions, a paleolithic diet might contain a higher amount of fatty and red meat. The results could be increased bad cholesterol—LDL. That increases the potential for bowel cancer, too. If you’re not consuming enough carbs, you’re depleting yourself of energy, causing the feeling of exhaustion. That can affect the quality of your workout. The elimination of grains and dairy creates a concern that it can cause a lack of fiber, B-vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium.
- There’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting back to whole foods. Nutritionists encourage it. It’s one reason many people support the Paleolithic diet, but with the focus on ensuring all nutritional needs are met.
- Going caveman can also be followed with working out like a caveman. Most people living in the Paleolithic era, only ran when someone or something chased them, moved heavy things and walked a lot.
- While some studies show that the Paleo diet achieved better weight loss in the short run, compared to other diets like the Mediterranean diet, those diets caught up after 24 months. However, the Paleolithic diet showed a marked advantage for visceral fat loss—fat around the waist—the dangerous type.
- The Caveman diet also proved superior to other types when it came to improving glucose tolerance, controlling blood pressure and appetite management.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness