One of the more interesting diets to try out if you need to lose some weight as naturally and healthily as possible is the Paleo Diet. A common question is what foods can be eaten on this program, which this article sets out to answer.
But first, a quick introduction to what this dieting strategy is.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is a moderate-fat, low-carb program designed by Loren Cordain, Ph.D.
This plan is sort of a “caveman’s diet” in that followers are urged to eat the same type of foods as their ancestors. Thus, the focus of this eating strategy is vegetables and protein, especially fish with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.
Convenience foods, fast foods, dairy products and grains are virtually shunned for the most part on this program. If you feel you cannot skip milk, you can drink coconut milk while following the otherwise strict rules. Just be aware that this is more of a healthy fat choice than a dairy choice and be careful how much coconut milk you ingest.
Preservatives and too many carbohydrates are a chief cause of weight and health problems in this day and age, according to the Paleo Movement. But unlike many low-carb diets, the Paleo Movement allows fruit and nuts.
Fruit and Vegetables
Most freshly available fruits and vegetables are allowed on this plan, so by all means go ahead and have a great time shopping in fresh produce sections of supermarkets or farmer's stores. The best options are to go with more leafy green vegetables and varying colors to add interest and variety to meals.
There are many choices, such as red, orange, yellow bell peppers; carrots; tomatoes; different colored squash. Don't forget all the many colored fruits, especially dark red and purple fruits and berries that are high in antioxidants to help boost the immune system and fight off disease.
While high starch veggies like potatoes are considered good to go, it is best to keep portions very small or switch to healthier alternatives like sweet potatoes. Beans and legumes are great for increasing vegetable protein sources if you are vegetarian or vegan.
What About Meat?
Meat choices are not just limited to fish, though fish is obviously a great source of brain-boosting nutrients and healthy fats. The Paleo Diet allows a variety of meat choices including:
Shellfish such as crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams, oysters, and mussels can also be incorporated into a daily plan of eating.
Eggs are not entirely banished from the Paleo Movement; after all, our ancestors did gather and eat plenty of eggs. However, people with cholesterol and blood pressure problems should always keep an eye on their sodium and cholesterol intake.
All types of eggs including those from chickens and geese are chock full of sodium and cholesterol. For this reason, some people with the above problems choose not to eat the yolks.
Herbs and Spices
Most herbs and spices can become a part of your food plan while following this diet, but try to stay away from manufactured preparations especially when it is a mix of spices. Again, the focus of a Palaeolithic diet is designed to get us to go back to a previous era of eating.
When you think about it, our ancestors did not have access to blends such as Mrs. Dash, for example. But they did use certain readily available spices and herbs such as:
- Hot pepper
- Red pepper
The bottom line with this plan is to try to avoid the modern processed and manufactured foods that are always prominently displayed on the supermarket shelves. Instead, it's a back-to-basics concept using natural food sources that our ancestors had access to.
Many dieters following this plan have successfully lost weight and several inches from their waistlines, while noticing a marked improvement in overall physical health. This is something well worth considering as a major benefit from following this plan in the long term for benefits it can provide.