10 Things You Should Know About Paleo
The paleo diet has not only provided millions of people with great health results, but it’s also become a lifestyle. Whether you’ve already begun following the paleo diet, or are just looking for more information before you take the leap to the change in lifestyle, there are some basics that are great to know.
1. You don’t have to count calories when you go paleo. The paleo diet isn’t like a typical fad or crash diet, because you’re not constantly obsessing or measuring every bite of food you eat. If you’re eating high-quality, nutrient-filled foods, and filling your diet with lean proteins and vegetables, you’re not going to have to worry over every morsel of food you eat. Also, it’s important to note that all calories are not created equally, meaning 500 calories coming from a package of cookies is not the same as 500 calories of lean protein and vegetables.
2. The paleo diet didn’t come about as the result of scientists, nutritionists, celebrities or authors. It is actually based on the diet of our paleolithic ancestors, which is the diet that our bodies are genetically designed to best digest.
3. Most practitioners of the paleo diet believe about 65% of food energy should come from animal sources and the remaining amount should come from plant sources. This balance of animal and plant food sources is optimal to keep your body functioning at its best.
4. Two of the most common food sensitivities among people are gluten and lactose-intolerance. With this being said, it makes sense that the paleo diet is the diet that is genetically ideal for people, since it excludes all foods with gluten and lactose.
5. The paleo diet eliminates refined carbohydrates, and focuses on lean protein. A diet that is rich in protein is more likely to make you feel fuller for longer, and also more energized, because your blood sugar isn’t spiking and dipping rapidly, as it would with the consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrate food sources.
6. Most beans, legumes and grains are actually toxic to humans when consumed raw, therefore they would not have been part of the diet of our paleolithic ancestors and are not included in the modern paleo diet.
7. Unlike other diets classified as low-carb, the paleo diet calls for the consumption of high quality meats. Other low-carb diets don’t differentiate between types and quality of meat. For example, the paleo diet encourages the consumption of grass-fed beef when possible, whereas low-carb diets don’t specify, and only encourage the consumption of meat in general.
8. Whereas humans have eaten a paleo diet for over 2 million years, the advent of processed and packaged foods only came about less than 200 years ago, with the onset of the industrial revolution.
9. The paleo diet does consist of fiber. Many people think the paleo diet only consists of meat and protein, but it is actually based on a large consumption of vegetables as well, so in general people who follow the paleo diet are actually likely to be consuming more fiber than many people who follow a standard, modern diet.
10. Research has shown that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were not plagued with modern diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. These are diseases that didn’t begin appearing until agriculture and the industrialization of food sources.