The paleo diet was designed to mimic what people ate during the Paleolithic era about 2 million years ago. Its purpose is to return to a way of eating that is similar to what modern humans ate during that time. Our ancestors during that time used simple tools and hunted and gathered for foods. They were believed to experience less of the diseases that plague society today. There is no “true” paleo diet because there are several debates on the actual foods consumed during that time period. However, there are general guidelines to follow if you wish to adopt the paleo lifestyle.
The paleo diet limits foods that have emerged within the last 10,000 years including dairy products, legumes, and all grains. Refined sugars, potatoes, and highly processed foods are also prohibited. Removing processed foods is the biggest benefit of paleo. By removing processed foods from our diet, we can see numerous improvements to our health. Another benefit of the paleo diet is that it does not include calorie counting or portion sizes which can make it easier for some people compared to other conventional diets. The foods allowed on the paleo diet include fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, lean meats, fish, and oils from fruits and nuts.
Some research shows that the paleo diet may help people lose weight, improve heart health, or decrease inflammation. Currently, there are no clinical studies on the long-term benefits or risks of the paleo diet. More studies will have to be conducted in the future to determine the long-term benefits of the paleo diet. Anyone interested in the paleo diet should consult their doctor or dietitian to determine if this diet is suitable for them.
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