If you have stumbled across a health junkie’s Instagram post, you probably have seen them following a new (and, quite possibly, extreme) diet trend that is blowing up on the Internet. The two seemingly popular diets that are invading mostly everyone’s Instagrams are the Paleolithic diet, which is also known as the paleo diet.
I happened to come across the paleo diet during one of my lunches at the Whole Foods’ hot bar, which specifically had a paleo-friendly section that was labelled with a few trays of hot foods. Based on what was displayed, nothing about the paleo-friendly foods seemed to be quite different from the other hot bar selections. The lack of contrast has definitely intrigued me to look more into what the paleo diet really was.
So, what is the paleo diet? The paleo diet is based off of the Paleolithic or “caveman” diet that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate from. Compared to our modern diets, the paleo diet consists of foods that were readily available for humans to eat that dated back to millions of years ago such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and seeds. Rather than our regular consumption of processed foods, followers of this diet are limited to whole and healthy foods that range from salmon and tuna to fruits and vegetables to grass-fed animals and wild game. The paleo diet is all about cutting out all sugar and fat that are commonly found in processed foods because of the little nutritional value and the high caloric count provided by these processed foods. With all diets, it is surprising how we take for granted the little things that we eat regularly. In this case, the paleo diet strays away from grains, dairy products, refined sugar, salt, and even potatoes.
Why should anyone follow this diet if it cuts out salty potato chips? Following a paleo diet is claimed to be linked to a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, studies show that a paleo diet hold many short-term benefits such as increased weight loss, better blood pressure control, and better appetite management.
Although this diet may limit many foods like ice cream and potato chips, the paleo diet is, overall, a great diet to follow for those that are willing to take on a challenge in curbing weight gain or to try a new lifestyle that may provide many health benefits!