Basic Info on the Paleo Diet: Eating Like the Neanderthals Did

Jacqueline Rosenhek

September 6 2017

 

It is likely that a few of you have heard of the Paleo diet. For the benefit for those of you who have not, here is what it is. The Paleo diet (or Paleolithic diet if you want to be fancy) in a nutshell is based on consuming foods presumed to have been eaten by human beings in Paleolithic times. The diet is interpreted in many different ways; however, the diet typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and meat while excluding foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, and alcohol and coffee. The main purpose of this diet is to avoid processed foods and ultimately avoid foods from after the period in time when humanity went from being hunters and gatherers and started to focus on agriculture, aka the Neolithic period.

Why would people opt for this particular diet? To clarify one thing which is definitely a reason why people choose to go Paleo is that it is not really so much of a diet in the traditional sense of the term because you do not make so much of an effort (if any effort at all) to count calories. The main goal is to eat until you are full (that is FULL, not stuffed) and only eat the foods that are allowed in a Paleo diet. Following a Paleo diet could also help balance your blood glucose levels due to the fact that this diet does not allow for any unnatural refined sugars. It also tends to result in leaner muscles due to high lean protein content and no wheat or gluten content. This particular aspect of this dietary plan also results in healthier digestive function especially for those with Celiac disease and it also helps to keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time as well which makes this a fantastic diet for athletes or those looking to lose some weight without losing muscle mass.  

To conclude, our bodies are not meant to consume nearly as high a quantity of grains and carbohydrates as we have a tendency to do. The exact same could be said about processed foods and refined sugars. It would actually benefit many of us if we just cut these out of our diets all together. Maybe it is time that we go back to simplifying our diets a bit, go back to before everything had artificial chemicals in them and weird food dyes and added flavours. We may have evolved from Neanderthals but one thing we can definitely learn from them is their eating habits.

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