The Paleo Diet in a Nut Shell
For tens of thousands of years, primitive humans only ate what they could hunt or collect from the wild. It is only within, approximately, the last 10,000 years that domesticated agriculture has appeared. Many researchers think that people have had too little time to adapt to this change. This is the idea behind the paleo diet.
The domestication of plants and animals has resulted in a profound alteration in what sorts of foods are normally consumed. Organized agriculture has meant more reliance on cereal grains than anything else. The archaeological evidence indicates grains were of little importance to our ancestors.
This has been confirmed through the study of various hunter-gatherer tribal societies that exist today. The studies of these tribal people also indicate that they don’t suffer from such diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. The foods they rely on form the basis of the paleo diet.
They appear to consume fairly high amounts of meat, which includes fish and poultry along with red meat. They also eat fruit and vegetables. Few advocates of the paleo diet try to exactly duplicate the foods eaten by these various tribes. This is just as well, since many of them include insects, like grubs and ants, in their diets. Instead, modern equivalents with the same general characteristics are used in putting together the paleo diet food list.
This isn’t too much of a stretch when applied to fruits and vegetables. Seafood and poultry are also easy to substitute. When it comes to red meat, there is some debate on using grain-fed beef. Many advocates recommend that only grass-fed meats be used. They have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. This would make them more closely resemble the wild animals ancient hunters would have eaten.
Rounding out the paleo diet food list would be tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, seeds, and mushrooms. What won’t be included on the list is grains, beans and peanuts, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Dairy products are usually excluded, but some advocates think they are acceptable.
All of this seems to be vindicated by studies of people in modern cultures who have switched to this diet. They show improvements in weight, blood pressure, and blood-sugar levels.
- Eating Naturally With the Paleo Diet Cookbook (paleodietfoodlistonline.com)
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- Paleo Diet Food List (paleodietfoodlistonline.com)
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