Beginners guide to Paleo
Starting paleo can be one of the best choices you make, this easy diet reduces weight while improving your health.
You’ll find all the information you need right here without all the bloat, so you can become prime Paleo!
What to Eat on Paleo
Paleo takes us back to our ancestral diet in an easy yet effective way; cutting out processed foods while favoring wholesome meat and veg. No calorie counting needed, as our bodies thrive on this natural diet.
Whole, unprocessed meats and veg form the basis of Paleo, supplying us with crucial vitamins and minerals:
- Unprocessed meat: preferably grass-fed (game meat is a great option!)
- Free Range Eggs: Packed full of nutrients, you really can’t get enough
- Fish & Seafood: Great source of healthy fats, vitamins & minerals
- Seasonings: Don’t be mislead, salt is actually crucial for good health
- Healthy Fats: Olive & coconut oil, animal fat, avocados
So many foods in our modern, industrialized world irritate and inflame out gut, causing chronic inflammation. In addition, the majority of processed foods contain added sugar, spiking our blood sugar and causing insulin resistance.
- Grains: A food we didn’t evolve to eat, grain causes chronic inflammation (Corn is a grain)
- Beans & Legumes: Phytic acid in these foods bind to nutrients preventing you from absorbing them (Peanuts aren’t actually a nut but a legume!)
- Industrial Oils: Most vegetable oils have been heavily processed (e.g. Soybean, canola, rapeseed, etc.)
Not all foods agree with people, especially dairy, if some of the following don’t agree with you, drop them:
- Dairy: A considerable amount of people are intolerant to some kind of dairy and to varying degrees.
- Nuts & Seeds: Has the potential to inflame and irritate the gut while containing anti-nutrients
- Starchy Vegetables: Can spike glucose levels and prevent weight loss, try incorporating keto for better weight loss.
A key principle of Paleo is its ease of use. If something doesn’t work for you, limit it and if, for instance, rice (safe starch) works for you, incorporate it. In the same vein, macronutrients aren’t set in stone and you won’t have to calorie count either.
Some people like incorporating keto into paleo, for a low-carb option bring several benefits. Whereas others, happy with their weight can thrive with a standard moderate-carb paleo diet.
How does Paleo work?
Have you ever wondered, why animals aren’t experiencing an obesity epidemic like we are? And why despite millions of years, we’re only seeing one now? You’d be surprised, but our bodies are actually great at regulating their own weight, hunger, and appetite. Just the same way you shake when you’re cold, in our natural environment we rid ourselves of excess energy when needed.
In this modern world, we’ve found ourselves in, we’re bombarded with, lab-created, processed foods designed to keep us addicted. They do this by filling products with sugar and carbs, keeping us constantly hungry and inflaming our gut.
Paleo takes us back to the foods we were designed to consume, allowing our bodies to regulate themselves. Instead of consuming post-agricultural foods that we can’t properly digest, we eat wholesome meat and veg full of nutrients. We don’t arbitrarily limit foods either; using evolution as a guide, paired with nutritional research, we create a diet that works for our bodies.
Why Agriculture’s the Problem
In the short amount of time humans have walked this earth, an even shorter amount has been spent farming. The agricultural revolution only occurred a few thousand years ago and has brought us to where we are today.
The issue is, our bodies have never adapted to the abundance of grain and sugar brought about by this revolution. In fact, in the 200,000 years of life, agriculture has only been present for less than 5% of that.
Today, instead of meat, vegetables, and seasonal fruit, we consume a diet dependant on carbs while becoming more sedentary. Reinforced by governments continuing to recommend bread, pasta, and corn as the primary source of energy. No wonder 70% of adults are overweight (1).
Are all Carbs bad?
Reading all of this, you may think all carbs are bad, yet that isn’t entirely the case. While we don’t require them to survive, functioning perfectly on low-carb diets like keto, they do have their benefits.
Naturally occurring vegetables and fruits make up most Paleo carbs and don’t require processing to consume (unlike grains). These carbs are an incredibly effective way of getting vital nutrients into our diet without spiking our blood sugar drastically. For example, you’d need to eat five times more broccoli to come close to the number of carbs in pasta.
What About Dairy on Paleo?
Dairy’s a mixed bag, some people rule it out entirely while others can have at least some amount of it. The issue is, lactose intolerance is quite common and those without it have at least some aversion to it.
The whole reason for this is because no other animal in this entire kingdom drinks milk beyond infancy; let alone milk from another species. As hunter-gatherers the only milk we consumed was from our mothers, leading to the same issues we have with grain.
The fact that dairy is still as nutritious as ever still remains, with many Paleo goers enjoying it. I myself can’t handle milk (severe flatulence) and am resigned to the fermented dairy where I can enjoy a moderate amount. If you’re unsure where you stand, cut it out and slowly introduce it back while monitoring your body’s reaction.
Healthy Eating is expensive
All this meat, fruit and veg probably sounds like it will be too expensive to adopt, but it needn’t be. In fact, I cut my regular shop down to half, just from avoiding junk food and snacks. If you can, farmers’ markets are a great way to get locally grown, healthy food at a good price.
If understandably, the grass-fed, organic requirements for meat and produce is too hard to stretch; the alternative is still far better than the bread, pasta and fast food you’re looking to give up. If you’re interested in getting paleo grass-fed meat, consider our partners both in the US and UK.
Paleo’s hard in today society
While you are going to be limited when eating out or dining with friends, it can be done. Despite the large grain dependence in the west, there are several go-to options to have at your disposal. Though anytime you eat out, careful planning and forethought is required but can be done.
But Cavemen died young?
This is actually quite a common piece of misinformation and comes from comparing the ages of everyone around. This is bad because it doesn’t take into account the considerable amount of babies and children dying of disease. In Fact, if you made it out of childhood, you would have a decent shot living until middle age.