The Paleo diet has been viewed by many as the ideal way to eat and by others as extreme. Understanding what is really involved in adopting this dietary lifestyle will better equip you to appreciate what the Paleo diet consists of and to make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
What Are Paleo Foods?
Simply put, Paleo foods come from plant and animal sources which have been grown and raised in their natural environments, free of harmful chemical additives and pesticides. Modelled after the caveman diet, the Paleo diet consists of any meat from animals which can be hunted or fished from the sea as well as seeds, nuts, fruit, mushrooms, vegetables, herbs and spices which can be gathered.
The Paleo diet allows healthy oils from flaxseeds, avocadoes, coconuts, walnuts, olives and macadamia nuts.
There is speculation some quarters as to whether raw dairy is a true Paleo food since humans are the only ones to drink it beyond infancy and cavemen never did.
What a Balanced Paleo Diet Consists of
If you are thinking of trying out the Paleo diet, a healthy breakfast idea for example might consist of free range or omega 3 eggs, a fruit and tea. To build your own breakfast menu, just look at the foods you are allowed to have and try to cover the food groups.
Lunch may consist of a salad accompanied by protein and a lemon/oil dressing, with tea.
Dinner is allowed to be more lavish. You may start with raw vegetables as an appetizer, then the protein course, accompanied by your choice of steamed vegetables. Then as a dessert, fresh nuts and berries/dried fruit.
While on a Paleo diet you may snack between you regular meals so you may want to choose nuts, fruit and slivers of protein. These Paleo snacks assist with weight loss.
Draw Your Conclusions about the Paleo Diet
Some people have problems with the Paleo diet, arguing that it is too restrictive because it eliminates organic food grown in the ground like potatoes. It does not include legumes or cereals, like wheat and rice and salt as well. Further, refined sugars, processed foods and refined vegetables oils are eliminated. There are benefits and drawbacks to these exclusions.
The benefits of having them eliminated are that many people have developed lifestyle diseases and even allergies from grains, refined sugar, salt and refined oils. In fact grains are the least nutrient rich of all the food groups. On the other hand salt and sugars add flavour to food making them more palatable. The organic items which are not a part of the Paleo diet add variety to the way we eat.
Having an objective look at the facts will help you to decide if what the Paleo diet offers is for you.