What is the paleo diet?
So what is this paleo diet everyone is talking about?
What is it based on?
What are the scientific principles related to the diet?
The paleo diet is simply put one of, if not the healthiest way you can eat. The premise of the diet is that there are certain foods which our bodies are better equipped to deal with. By focusing on these foods we effectively give our bodies exactly what they need to live a healthy, productive, energy filled life.
The truth is that our bodies know what sorts of foods they need to be healthy. They know that in order to fight disease and keep you happy they need to reach a state of balance. This balance is offset by various influences, one of which being the foods you eat.
Here is a great video by Tim Noakes on why he believes in Paleo:
A healthy paleo eating plan is built around the following:
- High quality proteins
Proteins are essential for maintaining healthy muscles, bones and immune system effectiveness.
- Plant matter
Loads of great vegetables and some specific fruits contain many beneficial minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants which help your body fight off diseases. Getting the correct nutrients can mean the difference between getting cancer, developing diabetes and preventing neurological problems.
The more healthy fat you eat, the less fat you will be…
Our bodies are hard wired to use fat for many bodily functions. Studies show that diets rich in certain high quality fats effectively reduce obesity. The benefits of a high-fat diet don’t stop at actually losing body fat either. Diabetes, cancer, heart disease and even alzheimers are all fought with fat.
And on that last point..
Most, if not all of the focus of the conventional wellness, health, weight loss and diet related “authorities” is on fat. Fat will kill you, they say. Fat will make you fat.
Fat does not make you fat. Fat is healthy and delicious!
Click here for a great article on why fat is so good for you…
Recently, the likes of Tim Noakes, Mark Sisson and many others have taken up arms against these authorities. Most of the claims by society and big business about the evils of fat are unfounded and based on some pretty shoddy evidence. Unfortunately, this means that most of the dietary advice given in the entire world is incorrect and as said before, based on incomplete, inaccurate evidence.
We are hard wired to deal with lots of fat in our diet. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors would near throw out the meat portions of hunted animals and eat only the high fat, nutrient dense parts like the liver, brain and actual fat.
And that brings us to what society tells you is healthy:
“You’d better eat those whole grains!”
I bet you’ve heard that statement before. The issue with grains however is that they contain many pro-inflammation compounds. Yup, you read that right. Grains are responsible for causing inflammation. This inflammation is so rife in fact that dealing with it is one of the core focuses of the paleo diet.
Inflammation of the intestines causes a multitude of issues in the body including contributing to irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance, chronic inflammation and here’s the big one, bad cholesterol.
You see when your body is constantly having to repair itself, in this case having to repair its intestinal walls, it starts to basically fight itself out of desperation. In time, the war on the negative effects of gluten and other anti-nutrients found in grains, legumes and other bad quality foods is lost and your body becomes inflamed.
The paleo diet aims at reducing and in time totally demolishing inflammation by removing foods which cause it to occur in the first place. This brings us to the point where it is important to understand that the paleo “diet” isn’t so much a diet as it is a lifestyle.
Its principles are simple, sustainable and will work for anyone, healthy or not.
After all, why wouldn’t you want to eat delicious foods that help build a better body, a healthier body and a illness-free body?
You don’t need to calorie count or worry about portions. All you have to do is feed your body foods that it knows what to do with.