The paleo diet is otherwise known as the Caveman diet, Hunter-gather diet, and Stone Age diet. The paleo diet focuses on the way of eating foods that is good for health. It means what you eat and avoid which type of foods in your daily routines. Especially, it is more effective for people with diabetes. It was familiar in the 21st century and was first introduced in the 1970s (1). It’s basically a high-protein, high-fiber, and low-carbohydrates eating plan that promises you can lose weight. This diet includes fruits, nuts, protein, veggies, whole foods, and sets cut out of all dairy foods, grains, and legumes. However, eating these foods might lower the rates of some chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It enhances health by providing balanced nutrition and avoiding processed foods.
Foods to Eat and Avoid on the Paleo Diet
What to Eat
- Meats (poultry, beef, pork, and lamb).
- Nonstarchy Vegetables (pumpkin, onions, peppers, and asparagus).
- Game animals like venison, bison, and quail.
- Herbs and Spices (pepper, sea salt, turmeric, garlic, ginger, rosemary, parsley, and other).
- Fruits (figs, apple, grapes, mango, citrus fruits, banana, berries, melon, and peaches).
- Oils (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil).
- Seeds and nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, chia seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts).
What to Avoid
- Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter).
- Legumes, like lentils, peas, beans, and peanuts.
- Grains (oats, wheat, barley, rice, rye, and other gluten-free grains).
- Artificial sweeteners.
- Sugary soft drinks and low-fat products.
- Sweets, like candy, sugar, and honey.
- Starchy vegetables (potatoes).
- Highly processed foods.
People following this diet must consume a lot of water, and some may drink green tea or black coffee by avoiding sugar. Getting ordinary exercise is another vital part of the paleo lifestyle.
A Sample Paleo Meal Plan for One Week
This sample meal plan contains a balanced amount of paleo-friendly foods.
Breakfast: Banana, kale, apple, avocado, and cocoa powder smoothie with almond milk.
Lunch: Enjoy a cupful of fruit. Mixed salad leaves with olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and fried sea bass.
Snacks: A handful of mix nuts, 5 strawberries.
Dinner: Roasted chicken with a stuffing of tomatoes, onions, and carrots.
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and bacon. Side of boiled potatoes and a cup of black coffee.
Lunch: Salad with leftover roast chicken, dried pecans, cranberries, and apple slices.
Snacks: 1 cup diced rockmelon, green tea.
Dinner: Kale salad and turmeric chicken with an olive oil dressing.
Breakfast: 1 cup of coconut water, a smoothie made with almonds, bananas, and blueberries.
Lunch: 1 cup of mixed vegetable soup with chicken salad.
Snacks: 2 squares dark chocolate (85% cacao content).
Dinner: Beef stir-fry with cauliflower and peppers, using coconut oil to fry.
Breakfast: Eggs and fried broccoli with coconut oil and a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Salad with boiled eggs, tuna, and olive oil.
Snacks: A handful of nuts or apple slice with some almond butter.
Dinner: Baked chicken wings with vegetables.
Breakfast: Mixed berries, coconut milk, vegetables, and eggs fried in coconut oil.
Lunch: 2 cups of spinach or mixed salad with one cup of baked sweet potato.
Snacks: Hard-boiled eggs.
Dinner: Salmon stir-fry with broccoli, baby corn, and red pepper.
Breakfast: Eggs, tomatoes, and bacon fried in olive oil or coconut oil.
Lunch: Mixed chicken and vegetable soup with turmeric.
Snack: Baby carrot or a piece of fruit.
Dinner: Boiled Salmon with avocado and vegetables.
Breakfast: Meat with vegetables or tomato, mushroom, and spring onions omelet.
Lunch: Sandwich in a lettuce leaf, with fresh vegetables and meat or mixed salad with avocado, seeds, and olive oil.
Snacks: A bowl of berries with some coconut cream.
Dinner: Grilled chicken wings with vegetables.
Health Benefits of Paleo Diet
Following the diet and lifestyle helps achieve more excellent benefits because it instructs us on those basic principles from our ancestors. Here are a few health benefits of the paleo diet,
1. Aids Weight Loss
One of the main characteristics of the paleo diet is eating unprocessed food. Therefore, it is very low in carbohydrates as it omits foods that need to be processed. The high carb foods affect blood sugar levels, and by eliminating these foods, this diet can help lessen body fat and reduce blood sugar levels. Thus, the diet helps you in achieving weight loss as a result of caloric restriction.
2. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Insulin resistance is a hazard factor for diabetes. Most paleo foods are relatively low carb that helps insulin production in the pancreas. This diet reduces insulin resistance and increases insulin sensitivity, which helps people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar level (2).
3. Improves Heart Health
The paleo diet is more effective for cardiovascular disease risk factors because it reduces body weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, waist circumference, and total cholesterol (lowers LDL and raises HDL). Thus, paleo foods help in protecting the heart from overall heart diseases (3).
4. Decreases Blood Pressure
The paleo diet may help lessen blood pressure and blood lipid profile, which can enhance cardiovascular health. Following the paleo diet for a few weeks may keep the blood pressure in check and decrease your body weight and body mass index (BMI).
The paleo diet provides lots of health benefits because of its unprocessed food planning, which can help you lose and maintain your weight. However, it also supports to fill in the nutrient gaps with a multivitamin.
So, suppose you want to start the paleo diet. In that case, you should talk to your dietitian or doctor to evaluate whether the diet is suitable for you because it’s not safe for everyone, especially to pregnant women and children.