What Is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet, sometimes called “The Caveman Diet,” “The Stone Age Diet,” or the “Hunter-Gatherer Diet,” is modeled after the eating habits of people who lived during the Paleolithic period. The Paleo diet plan is based on what our ancestors ate, before highly refined carbohydrates and processed foods were created. Modern humankind’s eating habits are drastically different from those of our earliest ancestors, and common conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are thought to be remarkably more prevalent now than they were during the Paleolithic period.
Paleolithic dieters argue that the human body is not inherently able to process our modern diet, and the widespread health problems associated with poor nutrition help prove their point. The Paleo diet focuses on eating clean and natural foods filled with the nutrients our bodies intrinsically crave, while eliminating refined and processed foods known to be problematic to our health.
What Do You Eat on the Paleo Diet?
For Paleo to be successful, knowing how and what to eat is crucial. The Paleo diet emphasizes whole foods and nutrient-dense meals over harmful processed foods. A good rule of thumb for the Paleo diet is to make sure your plate is at least two-thirds plant-based food and only one-third of foods made from animals. Choose from the list of foods below when trying to follow a Paleo diet to lose weight and promote a healthy lifestyle.
- High-quality, lean meats like chicken, turkey, beef, and bison (grass-fed and pasture-raised are best)
- Fish and shellfish, including salmon, shrimp, mackerel, and tuna
- Significant portions of all fruits and vegetables
- Seeds and nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts
- Herbs and spices, including garlic, mint, ginger, and cinnamon
- Healthy oils and fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Fermented or probiotic foods like fermented fruits and vegetables, kombucha, and coconut milk
What Foods Should You Avoid?
Avoid foods that provide your body with very little nutrition and are not organically grown or raised. Foods that are hard to digest, lead to inflammation, or fluctuate hormones should also be restricted.
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Grains, including oats, wheat, rice, bread, and pasta
- Refined carbohydrates
- Refined sugars and added sweeteners
- Salty foods, including chips, soy sauce, and sports drinks
- High-starch vegetables like potatoes and corn
- Legumes and beans, including peanut butter, tofu, edamame, and hummus
- Prepackaged meals
- Junk food and fast food
What Are the Benefits of the Paleo Diet?
Since you are eating only fresh and natural foods, the Paleo diet can lead to weight loss from the absence of refined sugars, processed foods, carbohydrates, empty calories, and foods that are hard to digest. Results of the Paleo diet vary significantly between individuals depending on the rigidness of their diet. The Paleo diet has been shown to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress while improving various common health issues, including:
- Inflammation, blood pressure, and weakened immunity
- Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases
- Diabetes, low insulin sensitivity, and poor blood sugar regulation
- Symptoms of autoimmune disorders
- Risk of cancer
The Paleo diet and other modifications that focus on plant-based nutrition and excluding refined sugars and processed foods are scientifically beneficial for your health, and millions of people have joined the Paleo movement to improve their health and weight. More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, meaning health issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension will only continue to rise without action.
Is the Paleo Diet Safe?
Medical professionals and dieters have praised the Paleo diet for its health benefits and relative flexibility. Several products have even been created to accommodate Paleo dieters, including Paleo protein shakes and bars. However, certain conditions, such as kidney disease, could put you at a higher risk when participating in a high-protein Paleo diet. It’s important to consult your doctor before you begin drastic dietary changes, particularly if you have a medical condition. Since you won’t be consuming dairy, it’s crucial to ensure you still receive the proper amount of calcium by eating enough fish and calcium-rich vegetables like broccoli and spinach.
Does Diet Doc Recommend the Paleo Diet?
Diet Doc’s medical director notes that the Paleo diet has changed over the last five years—much research has revealed that there is no one specific Paleo diet. Eating as our ancestors ate boils down to eliminating the consumption of processed foods, simple sugars, and carbs.
Despite the various health benefits and good results for many individuals, the Paleo diet is not necessarily healthy or suited for every person—it requires high levels of dedication and consistency each day. In addition, some aspects of the Paleo diet are not supported by the American Diabetes Association’s dietary recommendations or leading medical professionals. Despite its general health benefits, the Paleo diet is not ideal for every person because it is not customized for individuals’ specific needs.
Why Dieters Should Try Diet Doc
You’ll find effective, customized diet programs at Diet Doc Medical Weight Loss. Our doctor-supervised diet plan is custom-created for all patients to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle. The blueprint for the Paleo diet, eating plant-based foods while eliminating unhealthy processed foods, can work. Diet Doc can help you modify the basics for a more individualized plan.
During your Diet Doc consultation, you’ll receive a detailed weight loss plan based on your unique nutritional needs and medical history. Losing weight with Diet Doc is safe, simple, and affordable. Nutrition plans, exercise guidance, motivational support, and dietary supplements are all part of our comprehensive weight loss programs.