In an effort to live a healthy lifestyle, you may always be on the lookout for new ways to increase the amount of nutrients you get, improve your exercise routine and cut out bad-for-you ingredients that don’t offer you any benefits. Maybe you’ve tried going gluten-free or skipping red meat, for example. But have you heard of the Paleo diet? While it does have to do with what you eat, it’s not exactly a “diet” in the common weight-loss sense. Paleo is more like a lifestyle. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the ‘caveman diet’?
If you’ve heard of the caveman diet, Paleo is the same thing. It basically champions the notion that humans should be eating real, whole, unprocessed foods to get optimum health benefits – like the cavemen did. It might sound a little strange, but just think: According to NomNomPaleo.com, over the past 200,000 years, humans have biologically adapted best to whole foods like plants, meats and seafood that are packed with the nutrients our bodies evolved to thrive on. We’ve never needed processed foods before, so why would we need them now?
There are some restrictions on the Paleo diet.
What can you eat?
ThePaleoDiet.com breaks down which foods are good for you and which ones you should avoid while living a Paleo lifestyle. Here’s what’s on the good list:
- Grass-fed meats
- Fish and seafood
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy oils.
Healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, fish and grass-fed meat are particularly important in the Paleo diet. According to Robb Wolf, author of “The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet,” scientific research and epidemiological studies have shown that diets rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids dramatically reduce the instances of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline.
On the do not eat list, you’ve got:
- Cereal grains
- Refined sugar
- Processed foods
- Refined vegetable oils.
A Paleo diet can offer several health benefits for your body, including improved brain health, strengthened immune system, reduction of allergy symptoms, and boosted energy levels, to name a few. If you’re looking for a basic set of rules to help you get started with your new lifestyle, check out Paleo Diet 101’s guidelines.