The Paleo diet was invented by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin in the 1970s. In the seminal book entitled The Stone Age Diet, Voegtlin argued that a lot of diseases known to modern men such as cardiovascular conditions, autoimmune diseases, and osteoporosis, could have traced to the food we consume today. Despite the lack of medical advances in the paleolithic age, the paleolithic man (hence the term “paleo”) did not suffer from these conditions. Voegtlin himself suffered from a host of digestive problems, and he claims that going on the paleo diet was what actually cured him.
The food items allowed on this diet are all food items that could have been consumed by a human being living in the paleolithic age. The paleo diet is especially popular not only for its efficiency for weight loss but also because it seems to help with health problems in general. People who have gone on the Paleolithic diet have reported a decrease in blood pressure as well, probably because the diet eliminates the consumption of cholesterol- and preservatives-laden modern foods.
Unlike other diets that place stringent restrictions on territory control and calorie count, the paleolithic diet is more about choosing the right foods to eat. If you are considering getting on the caveman diet yourself, here are some guidelines you need to follow:
1. All food items that you consume should have been eaten by the paleolithic man. Therefore, it automatically disqualifies food that has been processed by modern methods such as ice cream, potato chips, and canned goods.
2. Grains like rice, barley, wheat, and rye are also not allowed. (If you look at the history of man’s evolution, the paleolithic man was not a farmer, but a hunter and scavenger). Potatoes and beans are also not allowed, as are dairy products, alcohol, sugar, salt, or vegetable oils.
3. The paleo diet is big on nuts, as these are great sources of protein and essential healthy fats. However, avoid peanuts and cashews, because they are technically not really nuts at all, but beans.
4. Vegetables and fruits are definitely a major part of the paleo diet since they provide fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While fruits are yummy and full of anti-oxidants, the caveman diet requires that you consume more vegetables than fruits, because fruits still contain a lot of sugar: fructose is a natural sugar, but it is still sugar nonetheless.
5. Meat and eggs are all allowed on the paleo diet, as long as it is sourced from free-range, organically-raised animals. Fish, lamb, poultry, pork, and eggs that are free range organic contain more essential fats and does not have any antibiotics or hormones that can affect your health.
For all its beneficial health claims, common sense and good health practices should still prevail when following this diet. It is best to consult with your doctor before starting any diet or regimen.
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