The Paleolithic diet consists of consuming the foods to which the organism is more adapted, avoiding those introduced recently since they cannot be digested or used properly. It is based on two fundamental principles: the human being from the beginning is used to living in contact with nature and food is one of the main keys to having good health.
What is the Paleolithic diet?
The Paleolithic diet, also known as the Paleo diet, is an eating plan that consists of consuming foods typical of the Paleolithic era, now between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago.
This diet includes a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, dry fried foods and seeds ; that is to say, those that our ancestors obtained through hunting and gathering. In this eating plan there is no place for those foods that began to become popular after the birth of agriculture approximately 10,000 years ago, such as dairy products, legumes and cereals.
It is therefore a question of returning to the way of feeding that the first humans followed . Those who defend the Paleolithic diet argue that the human body is not genetically compatible with the modern diet, which was born from the origin of agriculture.
The reason is that agriculture changed people’s eating plan, introducing new foods such as dairy products, cereals and legumes. According to the mismatch hypothesis, this change happened too late and too quickly, overwhelming the body’s ability to adapt. Thus, incompatibility is considered to be one of the factors that most influences the development of obesity, as well as the appearance of certain diseases such as diabetes or myocardial infarction .
Advantages of the paleolithic diet
- Vitality: one of the main benefits offered by this eating plan, for which more and more people are betting on it, is that it helps to stay in top shape both physically and mentally. Generates a great feeling of vitality.
- Strengthens the muscular system : combining the paleo diet with sports training, it is possible to strengthen the muscles and, in addition, accelerate the burning of fat.
- Improves the quality of sleep: with this diet plan, the necessary nutrients are consumed for the correct production and metabolism of sleep neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and melatonin. Avoiding the consumption of toxic substances for the body prevents the body from having to work excessively at night to eliminate toxins, thus achieving a better rest.
- No to restrictions: Unlike other diets, paleo is not about counting calories or weighing food. You just have to respect the foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic stage.
- Daily meals: there are a maximum of three meals a day. Thus, intermittent fasting allows both the digestive and immune systems to rest. The first humans only fed sporadically since they did not have enough supplies to feed constantly. That is why the human being adapted to the storage of fat for use as energy in times of scarcity. However, currently there is a tendency to consume large amounts of carbohydrates , causing the storage of more fat than can actually be consumed.
- Diseases: those who defend the Paleolithic diet defend that it is one of the best methods to avoid diseases caused by the current eating plan, in which a large selection of foods with a high content of trans fats and refined sugars take place. Substances that are unhealthy for the body and that lead to serious illnesses such as depression, cardiovascular disorders or Alzheimer’s , among others.
- Satiety: one of the main advantages of the paleo diet is that it decreases the appetite and speeds up the metabolism, so it is a very useful tool when losing weight.
Disadvantages of the paleolithic diet
- Hyperproteic: there are those who point out that this eating plan is hyperproteic due to the high consumption of proteins that are consumed. However, the key is to find the right balance point, favoring the consumption of vegetables and fruits and reducing the consumption of meat.
- Life expectancy: the Paleolithic diet also has its detractors, who argue that during the Paleolithic life expectancy was only 35 years. However, most of the deaths were due to infections or trauma that occurred in hunting accidents, something that does not happen in today’s world.
To follow the Paleolithic diet, it is essential to know what foods it is made of.
Vegetables and fruits are the most consumed foods in this meal plan. The ideal is to opt for those seasonal vegetables since they are the ones that provide the most nutrients to the body and, therefore, the ones that most favor its development.
The s greens on one of the healthiest, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts or green cabbage. They are high in chlorophyll, a substance that stimulates the body’s defenses, as well as the bacterial flora of the intestine. In addition, these vegetables have very powerful antioxidants that prevent premature aging of both skin and cells.
The orange vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes are also very beneficial because they protect the immune system. In addition, its content in beta-carotene, an antioxidant substance, stands out.
And finally, highlight the yellow vegetables such as pumpkin or zucchini. Yellow pigments such as lutein have antioxidant properties, preventing cell damage in both tissues and mucous membranes.
Fruits provide water to the body, thereby promoting its hydration. Maintaining a good level of hydration is essential to avoid organ damage. In addition, many fruits provide the adequate amount of fiber to guarantee a good intestinal transit, thus avoiding diseases such as constipation . Do not forget that many fruits are antioxidants, helping to prevent premature aging of cells and skin.
And finally, it should be noted that they have a very low caloric content , thus promoting weight loss.
Fish is another of the foods allowed in the paleo diet, which also has great properties and health benefits: anchovies, mackerel, sea bream, hake, salmon, mackerel, etc.
This is a food with a very low caloric content and a high biological value since it contains all the essential amino acids that the body needs. It naturally contains Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, D, E and group B. It is also rich in minerals such as iodine , calcium, phosphorus and selenium.
Meat is one of the most important foods in the Paleolithic diet. Pork, rabbit, lamb, chicken and beef are generally consumed . Red meat is essential to avoid certain diseases such as anemia since they provide a large amount of iron. They are also rich in protein, calcium, and potassium .
As for eggs, you have to be especially careful with the type of eggs you eat if you follow the paleo diet . It is essential to opt for those that have the number 0 (organic) or 1 (hens that move) printed on the shell.
The nuts are also admitted to the paleolithic diet: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. They are one of the best sources of quality protein, so they provide a large amount of energy to the body.
In addition, they have a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as alpha-linolenic acids, which is why they are of great help to reduce high levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.
And finally, olive oil, one of the healthiest foods out there. The fatty acids present in olive oil reduce the levels of bad cholesterol and blood pressure. In addition, it promotes digestive function, thus helping to combat constipation.
Regarding the prohibited foods in this eating plan, they are all those that emerged from the Neolithic Age: dairy, grains and cereals, processed foods, sugars, legumes, alcohol and starches.
For whom is the Paleolithic diet indicated?
This eating plan is very beneficial for all those who want to avoid the diseases of the modern diet, such as hypertension or obesity, among others. However, there are a number of specific population groups for whom the Paleolithic diet is very beneficial.
- Diabetes: While it is true that there is no perfect diet for people with diabetes, some research indicates that consuming whole foods can be of great help in controlling blood sugar and lowering blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Cardiovascular health: depending on the type of food consumed within this eating plan, cardiovascular health can be benefited or harmed. The paleo diet allows unlimited consumption of red meat. However, it is not advisable to prioritize the consumption of this food because it can damage the health of the heart.
- Autoimmune diseases: recent research has indicated that the Paleolithic diet can help control certain autoimmune diseases such as psoriaosis or multiple sclerosis, among others.
What to expect from this diet?
This diet, like any other, is recommended to be followed under medical supervision. Once this point is taken into account, the allowed foods help to speed up the metabolism . Therefore, if it is accompanied by frequent physical exercise, it can be of great help to lose weight.
In the long term, it is important to ensure that the body is receiving calcium and other essential nutrients for its proper functioning both physically and mentally. Certain foods allowed by this meal plan such as salmon and spinach are rich in calcium, so it is advisable to include them in the diet.
Generally speaking, the paleo diet is not a bad option at all. It’s basically saying goodbye to processed foods and sugary drinks and welcoming fruits, vegetables, and foods with healthy fats.
Does the paleolithic diet help you lose weight?
This eating plan was not created to be a weight loss diet. However, the calorie intake is much lower than in the modern diet. And is that the paleo diet prioritizes the consumption of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables; very healthy food, with a very rich nutritional value.
Thus, although this diet is not followed to lose weight, it is true that it helps to lose weight, as long as it is accompanied by a healthy lifestyle.
Recipes in the Paleolithic diet
Cheese and spinach omelette
- Goat cheese
- Olive oil
- Fresh spinach
- First, wash the spinach with plenty of warm water and chop it up.
- The spinach is sautéed in a frying pan with a little olive oil.
- Then drain and add the grated goat cheese.
- Beat the eggs, season with salt and pepper and add the previously cooked spinach along with the grated cheese and stir.
- In the hot pan, the tortilla is curdled on both sides and served.
- Olive oil
- To begin with the preparation of the recipe, the bluefin tuna is cut into cubes. It is seasoned and painted with the olive oil.
- The tomato is washed with plenty of water and diced. It is seasoned.
- The tomato, avocado and tuna are mixed and served.
The paleo diet is very popular today and can help you lose weight. However, there are no long-term studies on the possible risks and benefits of this diet.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.