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The Paleolithic Diet and Foods You Can Eat on the Paleo Diet

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet or paleolithic diet is not just a diet, as it aims to carry out a ♥ HEALTHY EATING , like the one used by the men of the Paleolithic. Although it is true, it is a bit complicated since the foods are not like those of that time. Food is currently treated, and altered, but we can eat almost as healthy as at that time if we have some will.

This diet is based on what our hunter and gatherer ancestors ate . Basically meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, flowers and sprouts, so they did not eat bread, cereals, pasta, cookies or processed foods. This diet was popularized by Doctor Walter L. Voegtlin when in 1975 he published his book “The Stone Age Diet”.

And you may wonder …  why eat as in prehistoric times?

Well, the answer is very simple, because it is a healthy diet, Paleolithic man carried out this diet in which meat of animal origin has a significant weight and despite the fact that it is currently recommended to minimize the importance of meat in the diet, especially red for its high fat content; Paleolithic man compensated for the high consumption of meat and fat with a good level of daily physical exercise . And they carried out this diet for a long time, just over two million years, long enough for the species to evolve to adapt to the needs of the body.

Currently we have introduced the consumption of dairy products, cereals and legumes into our diet, and I say today because around 10,000 years ago these foods have appeared in human diets, but if we think about it, our body has not evolved so much as to tolerate such foods, since genetically we are still the same as 50,000 years ago; That is why we can conclude that the paleo diet is an adequate and healthy diet for our body.

What to eat at the Paleodieta?

This diet is based on eating  very healthy and free from chemical processes  which add unnatural sugars and fats to food.

Basically we can eat meat, fish, vegetables, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and flowers . That is, we can eat practically everything that nature offers us but without refining and without adulteration.

Unprocessed natural products ,  proteins, healthy fats and nuts , etc. are ideal .

What NOT to eat at the Paleodiet?

Basically refined sugar, dairy, gluten, cereals, legumes or processed foods.

  • Grains and cereals (corn, wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, etc.) and no food containing gluten.
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc).
  • Refined sugar and sweeteners.
  • Dairy products.
  • Vegetable oils.
  • Hydrogenated or trans fats (that is, modified fats, not natural).
  • Processed sauces or sauces with sugars as well as foods to which sugars are added such as packaged juices, ice creams, pastries or soft drinks.
  • Processed or adulterated meats.
  • Fast food and other processed foods.

Summarizing…

And you will wonder;

And what is wrong with eating cereals, dairy and legumes?

We explain it to you below;

Starting with cereals, they really have a high glycemic index , when consuming them, the level of sugar in the blood rapidly increases, which means that we need the body to secrete a large amount of insulin. This results in the possible occurrence of diseases such as obesity , disorders of sugar levels in the blood (hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia) and diabetes, among others. This also happens with legumes because of their high glycemic index .

The most important things in cereals and legumes are fiber, minerals, and protein. The latter are found in greater quantities in meat, as well as minerals. Fiber, on the other hand, is not soluble and is not well assumed in the body, and we can find fiber in other foods such as fruit. It has also been shown in several studies that cereals , and especially those that contain gluten , harm the intestine , because even if we are not celiac they also affect us negatively, although, of course, celiacs have a greater sensitivity to the negative effects that produces gluten in the digestive system.

On the other hand, the consumption of dairy is something that has been written a lot and a great variety of researchers have concluded that the consumption of milk does not benefit us beyond childhood. And if we think about it, what animal consumes milk from another species? the answer is clear, none . Here you can see a very interesting article about whether cow’s milk is good or not .

Although milk is a fundamental food in the early stages of life to make us grow and properly develop our immune system , it is also true that milk is necessary when we are babies or even in stages of development, but when we become For adults, milk no longer makes us grow and, on the other hand, it continues to  stimulate cell growth and continues to increase the levels of a hormone called IGF-1, which recently some researchers have linked to tumors and cancer.

In addition, when we consume milk we consume bovine insulin that interacts with our immune system, which detects it as something foreign and creates antibodies to it. This causes us to become resistant to insulin, and this can lead to problems of diabetes and obesity in the long term . Due to this same interaction with the immune system, the consumption of milk is closely linked to the appearance of autoimmune diseases and allergies .

If we think about it, the fact that around 60% of the world’s population does not tolerate lactose has made society aware of the possible problems that milk intake in adulthood can generate, although lactose is not the principal problem.

The reason not to consume legumes

They have always told us that we should eat legumes, which are great because they give us protein , but what type of protein do they give us and in what quantity? They really provide us with proteins, but compared to meat or fish, little protein and of lower quality for our body, as you already know, proteins of high biological value are of animal origin, not vegetable.

I do not want you to think that legumes are a harmful food, that they are not, but they are not as good as they say, we have simply stayed with the positive information about them but … has anyone told you what is wrong with legumes ? Here you will be able to discover it.

First of all, we must highlight the lectin content of legumes. Lectins are proteins that are responsible for the protection of the plant and these are harmful to our health since they cause intestinal discomfort. These proteins disappear, according to various studies, when cooking legumes for about 15 minutes.

Secondly discuss the presence of phytate in legumes, phytates are known as antinutrients, components which prevent the mineral absorption . In the case of legumes, of which we have always been told that they are a source of iron and fiber, these elements prevent their correct absorption by our body, and although it has been shown that part of the phytates disappear when we soak the legumes for more than 8 hours, we must emphasize that only part of it disappears.

Phytates are found in the fibrous part of food, and although they provide a large amount of phosphorus, it has been shown that our body cannot digest them because we do not have an enzyme called phytase that is responsible for doing so and that is why when we consume legumes they produce gas , bloating or flatulence.

In addition, the latest studies reveal that phytates cause calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc to not be absorbed correctly because they adhere to these minerals and expel them from your body.

The phytates are present only in legumes, also the nuts possess and seeds also resist well and although high temperatures, can partially remove food by soaking for more than 8 hours. That is why we recommend soaking the seeds for a long time to be able to take advantage of all their nutrients, with nuts it is already a bit more difficult, since soaking them is not a good option in some cases.

  • It should be noted that recent epidemiological studies reveal that large amounts of phytate are required in the diet for significant mineral deficiencies to occur.

And where do I get my calcium from on the Paleo diet?

Much of the detractors of this diet arise from this question. Although it is true, dairy products provide us with calcium; but not as much as they want us to believe.

The calcium is present in many foods and seeds as are the sesame , the bluefish , the almonds , the eggs and green leafy vegetables such as chard or spinach , and algae .

The Paleo Diet is not just a diet, but a healthy and balanced way of eating, its goal is to eat healthy and natural, especially avoiding processed foods that could be harmful to our health.

Is it good to eat so much meat? Is So Much Animal Fat Healthy?

Previously, reference was made to two important aspects that have been modified today with respect to Paleolithic society, which can make the paleo diet not as effective as it was before.

On the one hand, the process we use today to produce food , because animals are not raised as before  . What happens with this? Well, very simple; Palaeolithic man ate the meats of animals that ate what nature offered them and moved freely so the meat of that time was leaner, at present, these animals are usually enclosed, in a limited field and some fed to I think base so that they develop quickly so the amount of fat in the meat is usually slightly higher.

Although the closest thing to Paleolithic meats are those that have the ecological or bio distinction ,  it is always advisable to know that the meat comes from animals that graze freely and naturally .

On the other hand, at that time the   high consumption of meat and fat was compensated with an important physical activity , since to eat meat before they had to hunt it and they spent hours hunting; something that we do not do now, therefore, we should complete the diet with  moderate aerobic activity on a regular basis .

 

Are fats bad?

Just as there are different types of proteins (of animal or vegetable origin) different types of carbohydrates (fast or slow absorption),  not all fats are the same , you can learn more in this post, we must learn to choose the fats that they are more convenient for us according to our needs, because we do not forget that fats are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

Certain scientific evidence has shown that diets rich in monounsaturated (omega-9) and polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) fats dramatically reduce obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Therefore; What foods are a good source of healthy fats? Nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios), seeds, avocados, olive oil, fish and in this case the meat of free animals .

 

The benefits attributed to the Paleo diet:

  • Improve your physical condition for daily life and exercise.
  • Regulates blood sugar levels.
  • Loss of accumulated body fat due to increased oxidation of fats also due to a poor supply of carbohydrates.
  • Increase in muscle mass due to the high protein intake.
  • Stabilizes energy levels in the body.
  • Avoid autoimmune diseases and allergies, as well as digestive diseases related to dairy and gluten.
  • Greater vitality and energy.
  • Improves sleep, reduces fatigue.
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases.
  • Decreases appetite especially between meals as it increases the feeling of satiety.
  • Improves mood, even increases sexual desire.
  • It improves the skin by making it smoother and healthier, as well as reducing the signs of acne.

The best tips for following the paleo diet correctly :

  • Eat in a balanced way , eating a lot of vegetables daily will not make you healthier if you neglect other nutrients.
  • Cook all kinds of meat with its own fat , but do not add oils or other sauces.
  • You should eat fish , if it is fresh, the better. As well as shellfish , it is a main source of mineral salts and essential nutrients for development.
  • Eat at least three times a day , you can skip lunch and a snack if you feel satiated and consider that you don’t need it .
  • Eliminate cereals from your diet .
  • Also eliminate as much sugar as possible from your diet. There are many foods that contain added sugars; try to do without them, it is not just enough to avoid coffee sugars.
  • Eliminate precooked and processed foods , especially those that contain hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or trans fat.
  • You must consume the animal offal that is so healthy, such as beef liver.
  • Do not consume vegetable oils from seeds . Consume nuts but without abusing them.
  • It consumes eggs , they contain a high biological value and they are very healthy.
  • You should consume energy foods such as the carbohydrates present in potatoes, or sweet potatoes that help you face the day with energy. Also the fat in the meat will give you energy.
  • Eat different vegetables and fruits , although the latter avoid tropical fruits because of their high sugar content.
  • Exercise and move in your daily activities as much as possible.
  • Sunbathe , it is healthy and it helps you recharge with energy.
  • Eliminate margarine from your diet.
  • Consume around 20% carbohydrates , 35% protein, and 45% healthy fats .
  • Don’t waste time weighing food or counting calories , it can become obsessive.
  • Do not base your diet only on fruit because it is high in fructose, raises blood sugar levels and could be harmful to your health.
  • Drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty or unsweetened infusions , coffee is also healthy. No juices if they are not natural, the packages have large amounts of sugar.

Put your hunting instinct to the test and you will be able to eat healthy and natural like the real men of the Paleolithic!

If you want to download the paleo diet in pdf for free to print, click on the following link:

To make things easier for you…, we have prepared a shopping list of the foods that make up this paleo diet, CLICK ON THE IMAGE to obtain a higher RESOLUTION, then you can download and print it.

Paleo Shopping List

What is the Paleo lifestyle?

Actually, when we decide to diet, either to lose weight or to feel better about ourselves by modifying lifestyle habits that help us achieve a better state of health, we always think of a diet setting a duration; a limited time, and this is one of the main mistakes around healthy nutrition.

The Paleo diet is a lifestyle that aims to get you away from foods that do not benefit your health and approach a life plan based on what gives you benefits for your health, therefore it does not have a specific duration, it is intended to be carried carried out for a long time, it aims to teach you to eat well, to eat what your body needs and what is best for you.

Basically it is a lifestyle that is closer to natural life, distancing ourselves from the excessive manipulation to which certain foods are subjected for our consumption, a life that is increasingly adulterated; That is why the paleo life brings us as many benefits as we have mentioned before, because it wants you to eat in the most natural way, as our ancestors did.

It is clear that life evolves and advances, nutrition studies put us on the path to health, but we have to say that for the moment the latest studies on the application of the Paleo diet affirm that it is a healthy and safe trend .

I think there is no need for more reasons for you to go paleo, but if you are still not convinced, keep reading this post with all the information you need to lead a healthy life , it also includes a weekly menu so you can start enjoying all its benefits .

Autoimmune paleo diet protocol

The Paleo lifestyle has developed dietary guidelines to promote immune development and thus strengthen it by increasing our defenses through food. Let’s say that within the Paleo lifestyle, we can carry out habits that encourage the consumption of certain products that help us strengthen the immune system to prevent certain types of diseases.

This AIP ( Autoimmune Protocol Paleo ) protocol is composed of some nutritional strategies aimed at curing diseases of the body and strengthening the immune system as mentioned above, for this it recommends reducing intestinal inflammatory levels , since most of the immune defenses They are found in the intestine and according to recent studies most of the autoimmune diseases that develop have their origin in the intestine.

For us to understand how the protocol works, it is essential to know that an autoimmune disease is one in which the body itself attacks itself and in many cases, these autoimmune diseases “wake up” and begin to develop due to different causes, among which We highlight irritable bowel syndrome, undiagnosed gluten intolerance, exposure to toxins, high levels of stress or due to a greater genetic predisposition ; That is why diet is related to the predisposition to suffer a disease, since if we reduce the inflammatory response of the organism, consuming the foods that benefit us and eliminating those that harm us from the diet; We will therefore reduce the risk of disease.

To carry out the AIP protocol , we must be strict when it comes to eating and base our diet on allowed foods and completely eliminate prohibited foods to be able to notice the benefits of the paleo autoimmune protocol. The protocol has a minimum duration of between 30 to 90 days to be able to observe if the symptoms are reduced.

 

Allowed foods of the paleo autoimmune protocol:

  • Organ meats, fish, seafood, meats (organic not treated with hormones), poultry (preferably wild), green leafy vegetables, vegetables, crucifers, algae, fruits, fermented foods, herbs, etc.

Forbidden foods of the paleo autoimmune protocol:

  • Seeds, cereals, nuts, legumes, sugar, sweeteners, dairy products, alcohol, eggs, vegetable oils, processed and refined products, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid …), coffee, tea etc.

 

Weekly Menu Paleolithic diet

To finish, we attach as an example a weekly menu of the paleo diet , in case you have doubts when starting …, you can follow this weekly plan of the paleolithic diet.

This menu is only indicative so you can enter your own variants always taking into account the foods of the paleo diet.

As always, we recommend that you follow up on your diet with a medical professional, dietician or nutritionist!

 

DAY 1 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
2 boiled eggs + 2 slices of serrano or york ham (not packed) and a glass of orange juice.
Midmorning
A handful of walnuts.
Meal
Varied salad and 200 grams of grilled beef.
Mid afternoon
Orange juice and an apple.
Dinner
Assorted vegetables and 200 grams of grilled salmon.

 

DAY 2 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
Bowl of mixed fruit salad and a glass of apple juice.
Midmorning
A handful of hazelnuts.
Meal
Asparagus omelette with 2 eggs and carrot and grated apple salad.
Mid afternoon
 A piece of fresh fruit.
Dinner
Chicken fajitas with guacamole and special sauce.

 

DAY 3 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
2 boiled eggs + 2 slices of serrano or york ham (not packed) and a glass of blueberry juice.
Midmorning
A handful of almonds.
Meal
Chicken salad and vinaigrette.
Mid afternoon
Berry juice and an apple.
Dinner
Roasted aubergines with steamed hake and a roasted apple.

 

DAY 4 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
50 grams of white rice with 2 slices of ham (not packed) and a glass of orange juice.
Midmorning
A handful of walnuts.
Meal
Assorted vegetables and 200 grams of pork loin.
Mid afternoon
Grapefruit juice and a piece of fruit to choose.
Dinner
Scrambled eggs with prawns and ranges with a variety of vegetables.

 

DAY 5 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
Scrambled eggs with 2 eggs with asparagus and a glass of apple juice.
Midmorning
A handful of hazelnuts.
Meal
300 gram hamburger with cooked potato.
Mid afternoon
A piece of fresh fruit.
Dinner
Chicken skewer, green pepper, onion, a few slices of grilled or natural pineapple.

 

DAY 6 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
2 boiled eggs + 2 slices of serrano or york ham (not packed) and a glass of blueberry juice.
Midmorning
A handful of almonds.
Meal
Zucchini spaghetti with tomato sauce and tuna.
Mid afternoon
A piece of fresh fruit.
Dinner
Grilled sea bass or sea bream with assorted vegetables.

 

DAY 7 – PALEO DIET
Breakfast
50 grams of white rice with 2 slices of serano or york ham (not packed) and a glass of orange juice.
Midmorning
A handful of cashews.
Meal
Assorted vegetables and 200 grams of pork loin.
Mid afternoon
A piece of fresh fruit.
Dinner
Tuna and artichoke omelette.

 

And if I am an athlete, is the paleo diet suitable for athletes?

If you are an athlete you can perfectly do the paleo diet, which we must bear in mind that we must increase the carbohydrate content, although we do not forget that healthy fat gives us energy , so if we consume healthy fats, we do not have to have problems with when doing workouts. Remember that fruit and vegetables also provide us with carbohydrates, so carrying out a paleo lifestyle should not be an inconvenience for athletes if we adapt the shots to our workouts, in fact there is also the possibility of adapting the diet by incorporating wholemeal pasta Although not everyone shares this trend, it is an alternative for athletes.

  • Although pasta was not eaten at that time, it has been shown that adding an extra contribution of carbohydrates to this Paleolithic diet makes it even healthier and more balanced , it is one of the variants of the paleo diet, so You can modify your menu by adding a plate of pasta or rice a week if you wish.

Actually, the option of adding pasta (preferably wholemeal) is a variant that not everyone shares, as much has also been studied on the incorporation of carbohydrates into the paleo diet to adapt it to athletes who need an extraordinary contribution glycogen.

For more information you can see this post about the paleo diet adapted for athletes with carbohydrates .

What if I skip the diet?  We are all people, we go out to dinner, we socialize … and this can cause us to skip the diet. If you have the option to eat healthy, do it. If one day you skip it, nothing will happen, it is preferable that you skip it one day eating a paella or a dairy dessert than skip it a little every day. That is, it is worth taking care of yourself as much of the time as possible.

If you do paleo, you take care of your health ; If you skip the diet one day, nothing happens, but try to take maximum care of yourself and following the paleo diet you will. There are people, for example, who cannot imagine their life without cereals, especially bread, but when they eliminate these foods from their diet, the improvement is indisputable in many aspects. Cereals, and especially gluten, have an inflammatory action on the body and worsen the symptoms of a multitude of diseases, so it is a good idea to try to eliminate them, give it a try.

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