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The Paleo Diet: Pros & Cons At A Quick Glance

Paleo diet is the contemporary version of what our ancestors ate from Palaeolithic era about 10,000 years ago. The diet plan mainly lays stress on foods that can be gathered or hunted naturally like fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seafood, seeds, poultry etc. Small quantity of healthy oil is permitted though dairy products, grains and processed foods are a complete no-no.

So let’s take a closer look at pros and cons of the Paleo diet and whether it is good to follow it or not.

Pros

Paleo diet is packed with soluble fibre, photo chemicals, antioxidant vitamins, monounsaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acids as well as low glycemic carbs. Also, it is gluten free and has less added sugar, salt, trans fat.

Foods that people generally overindulge in include chocolate caramel brownie etc and they are completely off the limits in Paleo diet. Thus, the health benefits like high energy levels may be less linked with this diet and could be a result of cutting down the high caloric processed food.

The diet stresses on the importance of eating grass fed, raw, organic foods. As our agriculture system is not like the way it used to be in previous times, our food has thus become low in quality. With toxic pesticides, harmful animal feeds etc, the food we eat these days is not safe for our health. Thus the Paleo diet places much emphasis on eating the food items that are grown naturally and organically. So, in a way, going Paleo simply means going back to basics of old times.

Cons

Paleo eating has a number of qualities and benefits. It emphasizes on fruits, lean proteins, whole foods, fruits, healthy fats and vegetables. Including more of such food items in your diet will surely help a great deal in maintaining a healthy and fit body. However as there are two sides to a coin, the diet has some cons as well.

First of all, it allows low carbs. As bodybuilders, fitness freaks and athletes, such people need more carbs than the average individual. The brain and body is fuelled by carbohydrates and by following an active life, it is impossible to get all these carbs you require from the vegetables only and that too when majority of them are non starchy.

A lot of Paleo athletes follow modified version of the diet that incorporates some rice and potatoes in order to meet the carbs needs.

Also, the diet is a bit restrictive when it comes to choosing what to eat. Talking about the Paleo diet, some foods that are generally considered to be healthy are not allowed in this diet. Legumes, grains and dairy products seem to get bad reputation today due to Paleo popularity. But for majority of people, such good nutritional staples do not have to be avoided even when they follow this diet.

These are just a few cons of the diet. But on the whole, Paleo living is more of a boon for the population.

Starting With The Paleo Diet- What To Know

Paleo is not only a diet and this is one of the most common misconceptions. Diets need you to measure your food and be restricted in what to eat and what not to. But there are no limitations when you are on a Paleo diet. The only things you have to check and control before eating are the ingredients you use.

Paleo is basically a lifestyle which promotes a way of eating a healthy diet. As Atkins diet is the one that helps you to lose weight and South Beach diet is the one that prevents the problem of heart disease. In the same way, Paleo offers a lot of health benefits. Surely it cannot help you to get into your swimsuit in a day or so, you need to be highly dedicated and follow a proper Paleo diet, it will make your life all the more healthy and wonderful.

All types of processed foods are a complete no-no on the Paleo diet. All you need to eat is what is naturally available in the nature.

10 rules of Paleo diet:

1. Do not eat processed food at all
2. Eat nuts, grass fed meats and eggs
3. Give up gluten
4. Say no to grains and sugars
5. Avoid taking alcohol and the non coloured spirits are good like gin and vodka
6. Include coconut in your diet in any form like coconut oil, coconut water, coconut flour etc
7. Have natural sweeteners only
8. Bypass legumes and beans
9. Include loads and loads of veggies in your diet
10. Do not sip any sugars and sodas

So, if you are excited about starting the Paleo diet, you may be looking for how to start with it. All you need to do is to just go to the local grocery store and buy naturally raised, all organic and grass fed items like pork, beef, venison, bison, salmon, perch, tuna, shrimp, scallops, spinach, broccoli, greens, onions, fresh herbs, cabbage, sprouts, mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes etc. When it comes to buying fruits, you can take mango, avocado, watermelon, orange, banana, apple, peach, cantaloupe, plums and blueberries. Also, you can have coconut oil and milk along with some nuts and seeds. Do not take peanuts.

At your home, just discard off everything that is not Paleo. This means you should trash refined sugars, grains, legumes, starchy tubers, processed meats, vegetable oils like soybean, peanut, corn, cottonseed etc, iodized salt and other non Paleo items. You can use Himalayan salt in the Paleo meals.

Paleo health benefits

Apart from weight and fat loss, there are certain benefits of the diet including:

• Enhanced energy and better sleep patterns
• More mental clarity
• Healthy skin and hair
• Good attitude and mood
• More muscles and better fitness
• Reduced depression and stress
• Better glucose tolerance

A lot of Paleo followers see that they lose weight and muscles easily with this diet. So, along with eating a strict Paleo meal diet, it is also important if you do some exercise and get ready to shake hands with good health.

Beginner’s Guide To The Paleo Diet

If you are new to starting with Paleo diet, it is about eating natural food with no or little processing.

In simple terms, paleo diet lays emphasis on eating in a way in which our Mother Nature has intended for us to eat.

When starting with the Paleo living, a lot of experts recommend taking the 85/15 approach after the very first month. It means 85 percent of the time you can stick to Paleo diet strictly while 15 percent you can have the non paleo items. When doing this, pay close attention to the way you feel as you reintroduce such things in your diet.

In a way, paleo diet helps in removing simple carbohydrates from the diet. And when this happens, our body can no longer be healthy with cheap carbs as they need energy and so the body is forced to make use of the fat stores.

Without constant flow of cheap carbs that the body would generally turn into sugar, the blood sugar falls to normal and insulin level starts regulating. And so, regulated insulin level allows lipolysis to take place. Lipolysis is basically the process where your body releases fat stores to be then burned in the form of energy. So, by lowering down the cheap carbs in your body, paleo diet helps the body to start burning fat in no time.

Further, the diet works through focusing mainly on the unprocessed and real foods which have been there for thousands and thousands of years.

Below we present a quick guide to what foods are allowed on paleo diet. These are the foods that our ancestors had access to.

• Lean meats – beef, veal, venison, lamb, chicken, bison etc (try eating grass-fed version of these)
• Fish – salmon, tilapia, bass, etc.
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Vegetables – don’t leave these
• Berries and the less sugary fruits are good
• Nuts – not too much (avoid peanuts)
• Natural oils – olive, coconut and avocado oils

So, keep in mind that you can eat such foods when on the paleo diet. Make your diet plan accordingly and enjoy paleo living effortlessly.

How To Recognize What Is and Isn’t Paleo?

Many times it is clear what paleo is. Beef is found naturally and so it is paleo but ice cream is not paleo as it is manufactured by the humans. But there are certain times when you cannot judge between paleo and non paleo food. Like you may think that peanuts are paleo as nuts are considered to be so but you will be surprised to know that peanuts are legume and not paleo.

The basic reason why people find paleo diet to be so good and effective is that it helps in losing fat and turns the body from carb burning machine into fat burning system.

So, by now you must have got an idea as to what is the paleo diet, what to eat in it, what is paleo and what is not. This beginners guide can be of your help if you are looking forward to start paleo living and have a healthy life ahead.

All About Paleo Diet- What Is It And How It Helps?

If you are looking for a healthy diet to change your life for the good then Paleo diet is the best option available. This diet is actually based on the idea of eating foods that our bodies were actually made for thousands of years ago. Such foods were there to the early people through gathering and hunting. During the modern times, innovation in technology have made other foods like processed items, dairy products etc. which are not that simple to digest. Foods that are recommended in this diet provide the body with longer lasting and more efficient results that even help in burning the fat.

The Paleo diet is believed to be perfect for regulation of blood regulation, digestion, better sleep and metabolism. There is no right way of eating in this diet. Everyone eats as per their body type and preferences. While some eat low carb diet, others opt for high carb one with loads of plants.

What types of foods are included in the Paleo diet?

It is often confusing as to what all to eat in the Paleo diet. There are a lot of fish, meats, poultry, vegetables, fruits, eggs, healthy fats from avocado, coconut etc that can be had in this diet. Actually the options are innumerable and your plate will always be filled with something interesting to eat.  So, what all to eat? Let’s check it below:

• Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
• Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
• Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
• Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
• Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
• Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
• Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil
• Salt and Spices: Sea salt, Himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.

What to avoid in Paleo Diet?

Soy, refined sugar, alcohol, grains, pasteurized dairy etc. are some of the items that you need to avoid when following the Paleo diet. Also, you don’t need to keep a record of the macronutrients or calories on this diet. But if you want to lose weight then it is recommended that you cut on carbs and restrict your consumption of potatoes and nuts.

So, now as you are aware of what all to eat and what to avoid, you can prepare your meal diet properly and follow the diet without any hassle.

More than a diet

Apart from providing a fit body, there are a lot of health benefits as well that can be enjoyed with the Paleo diet. For many people the very fact that this diet offers best results is what all they need. Enhanced blood lipids, less pain from autoimmunity and weight loss are the proof. A lot of people are not actually satisfied with following the recommendations like a strict diet or exercise schedule.

So, in all, it can be said that Paleo diet is not just any diet which helps in keeping fit, it is a healthy lifestyle to adopt.

Paleo Vs. Primal Diet

A lot of health specialists believe that modern civilization’s rate of diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, cancer etc. stem from adopting a diet that is rich in processed foods, further exacerbated by sedentary lifestyle and eating habits. But by adopting healthy ways of eating, one can enjoy having a healthy body.

The two popular diets that follow the early times of eating and living include the Paleo diet and the Primal Diet. Paleo or the Caveman diet was introduced by Loren Cordain in the year 2002 and it follows the plan that dates back to the times when people ate meals that were there with freshly caught fish, grass fed game, seeds, berries, vegetables, nuts and fruits.

Created by Mark Sisson in the year 2009, the Primal Blueprint is in a way similar to Paleo diet to certain extent. For instance, as you follow primal diet, you can easily consume the healthy meats, fats, vegetables, fruits and even dark chocolate. The main concept behind this is that such foods are mainly made up of fats and proteins.

Linda Larsen, the popular author as well as follower of The Big Book Of Paleo Recipes says that both the diets focus mainly on the way the ancestors ate. The main goal is to stay away from the grains and processed foods which are manipulated differently when compared with the cavemen period. She further said that the main difference between the diets is respective attitude of them towards saturated fats.

People who follow the Paleo diet avoid saturated fats. On the other hand, the Primal blueprint followers consume fatty meats etc. Also, primal diet lays emphasis on your whole lifestyle like there is emphasis on immunity and fitness. There is much stress on taking the antioxidants and supplements. The Paleo diet focuses more on the diet over exercise.

How to follow the diets? What to keep in mind

Eating more of healthy fat and less foods which spike the insulin level is the very first step towards primal diet. It is also important to avoid the industrial oils such as corn and soy that are rich in omega 6s and trans fat. As you eliminate taking refined carbs, industrial oils and sugar, you eliminate all the convenience food items.

It is observed that these days there are toxins almost everywhere and some pollutants cannot be avoided at any cost. However you can avoid some. It is good if you eat the organic foodstuffs whenever possible, use the natural cleansers etc. In fact, primal living is more than just a diet. It is a kind of lifestyle that you follow. As you eat in the way that is optimal for your body, you don’t have to look back again.

Also if you are thinking if treats and cheats are allowed on these diets, then don’t fear. Both the diets have many options for desserts and other treats. An easy dessert on Primal diet can be coconut macadamia bars with coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, macadamia nuts, salt and chia seeds. And what can be your favourite Paleo dessert? The blueberry coconut crisp can be made from honey, lemon juice, coconut, blueberries, vanilla, butter, coconut flour and salt.

Is Alcohol on Paleo Diets Banned?

When the weekend hits, it’s natural that you’d want to relax and have some fun. For many people, that includes heading to a favorite hangout and having a few drinks. You wouldn’t need to give much thought to what you’re drinking unless you’re on the paleo diet.

On this diet, you’ve noticed that you feel better and look great, but your eating habits have started affecting your ability to eat or drink whatever is offered when you do go out.

So does this mean that if you’re on a paleo diet that you can’t have any alcohol? No, that’s not what it means at all. Being on the paleo diet means you just need to be aware of the choices when you do drink.

Some drink choices are high in sugar content and can also affect your weight loss efforts, your healthy living efforts and even your fat loss. There are many choices that don’t affect a paleo diet and those are the drinks that you’ll want to consume.

What you do need to know is that alcohol is not paleo. The reason that it doesn’t qualify is because the ingredients don’t fit paleo guidelines as well as being unhealthy for your liver.

But that doesn’t mean every kind of alcohol is off limits. With moderation, you can have alcohol while you’re on a paleo diet. If you want a drink, one of the best choices you can pick is to have a glass of wine, but not all wines will be good for a paleo diet.

Wine is recommended by doctors for good health if it’s red wine. This kind of wine offers many health benefits such as helping to protect your heart and bringing down high cholesterol levels.

Out of all the alcohol options you can choose from, red wine is the most widely accepted when you’re on a paleo diet. If you love beer, then you’re going to have to learn to prefer another type of alcohol because beer isn’t compatible with a paleo diet.

It contains grains like barley and hops. Plus, beer is pretty high in sugar even if it’s light beer. If an alcoholic drink is more grain based, then you want to stay away from it. You want to pay attention to preservatives and make sure that the drink has the least amount of sugar possible.

You can have vodka as long as it’s not grain based and you can also have rum and tequila. You’ll want to stay away from bourbon and whiskey. The best way to include alcohol in your paleo diet though, is to drink in moderation. Consuming a lot of alcohol adds extra sugar and empty calories to your diet.

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Paleo Diet Eating Out Tips

When you’re eating following a paleo diet, it’s not that difficult when you’re at home. You’re the one who buys the food and prepares it, so you know what’s going into your body.

But when you eat out, you don’t get to control the foods bought, the way it’s prepared or the choices offered to you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t stick with a paleo diet when you’re eating away from home.

You can still follow this healthy way of eating whether you’re eating at a restaurant near your home or travelling on the road. It can help to plan ahead. If you know where you’re going and what food options will be available to you, then you can know ahead of time what you’re going to be able to order.

Learn what ingredients come with the meal you’re going to order and plan around the ones that aren’t paleo friendly. Don’t set yourself up for discouragement by expecting that you’re going to be able to find 100% perfection with paleo eating every single time you dine out.

Instead, opt to make the best possible choices based on what you’re faced with. When you’re at the restaurant, choose the meals that offer you the best paleo friendly choice. Some of the meals you’ll find will have side items that aren’t healthy and aren’t on a paleo diet.

This is when you can simply ask if you can exchange one side item for one that is paleo friendly such as choosing to have a vegetable instead of potatoes covered in some kind of sauce.

If at all possible, make sure you’re not too hungry when you go to a restaurant. This can make it too easy for you to forget what you should eat and order anything so that you take care of those hunger pangs.

So either have a light snack before you leave the house or eat a paleo friendly snack in the car while you’re travelling before you stop to eat the meal. Many gluten free meals are often paleo friendly.

So if in doubt, order gluten free. Also, look for meals that say they’re an organic choice. Most organic meals are also paleo friendly. If your only option to eating out as you travel is a burger joint, order a burger but take off the bread and just have the meat, lettuce and tomato.

Or, add a side salad and have that without dressing and eat it with the meat. Since some restaurant salads can contain ingredients that aren’t paleo friendly, you can always build your own salad.

Also, if you are travelling and don’t see a healthy option, some grocery stores have a deli and sandwich section. You can ask for individual bags of the vegetables that are put on the sandwiches and top it with some roasted chicken.

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Does the Paleo Diet Help You Lose Weight?

Going on a paleo diet offers you a lot of benefits. You can stave off certain diseases, stop inflammation and lose weight. It’s because of these benefits that many people choose this diet over other ones.

One thing you’ll hear over and again about this diet is that you don’t have to count calories. This might shock you, but you don’t. However, that doesn’t mean that you can eat everything you want and consider it free foods that won’t count.

Even though the foods on the paleo diet are healthier, better for disease fighting and lower in calories, these calories can still add up. Because the paleo diet focuses on more natural foods and a more natural way of looking at the food, you will lose weight.

Like all diets, though, you can’t expect to lose weight overnight. You will lose it but it’s not going to be in the blink of an eye. So you need to determine up front that you’re aiming to change your lifestyle and focus on losing weight and keeping it off rather than quickly dumping weight.

You lose weight on the diet because the foods that you can eat are more nutrient rich than calorie rich. You should avoid grains and sugar. You also need to stay away from dairy and certain types of oils.

paleo diet fishWhat you can have are fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and foods that are good for you. These foods, when combined with eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re not, work together to eliminate excess weight.

What you have to remember when it comes to eating on the paleo diet is to focus on foods that are real. If the food comes in a jar, box, can or bag, look closely at it for ingredients that are unhealthy and can sabotage your weight loss efforts.

One thing that might surprise you about eating on a paleo diet is that while you can still have plenty of different types of fruit, you want to be careful not to overdo your fruit consumption.

Fruit can be high in natural sugar which can quickly lead to you getting more sugar in your diet than is healthy. Natural sugar spikes your glucose often higher and faster than processed sugars do.

Make the main focus of your diet one that’s rich with plenty of protein and vegetables. You can have carbs when you’re on this diet, but the amount of carbs that you eat should be considered in proportion to your lifestyle.

If you’re sedentary, then you should pay more attention to your carb intake. Remember to choose the foods that offer you the most nutrients for what you’re eating. And watch your hunger cues carefully to see if you’re eating out of habit or true hunger.

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Benefits of the Anti Inflammatory Paleo Diet

Dealing with inflammatory issues is never fun. You can often develop inflammatory health problems because your body’s response system begins to attack the body. In many cases, you won’t even know what’s going on until you start to develop symptoms.

Inflammatory problems are on the rise and much of this can be traced back to the foods what we consume. You might not know that there are foods that can cause an immediate inflammatory response within your body, but there are.

What you eat or don’t eat can make a big difference in your symptoms and in the way that you feel. There are multiple benefits to changing your lifestyle to include an anti inflammatory paleo diet.

You can benefit from improvements in any of the glands that often struggle due to inflammatory responses. This would be things like the thyroid, adrenal glands, the digestive track and more.

Regardless of whatever inflammatory problem you have going on in your body, this diet can help. When you eat this type of paleo diet, it directly targets the problems that cause the inflammation within the body.

When you follow an anti inflammatory paleo diet, it gets to work relieving the symptoms associated with the inflammation in your digest track because you’re no longer putting foods into your body that can trigger a flare up.

The diet soothes the inflammation from head to toe. This process of elimination and addition of foods that work to restore your body’s health can prevent many inflammatory issues from recurring.

You’ll have to let some foods go when you follow this type of diet because they contribute greatly to inflammation. Even having small portions of the foods that trigger the response can cause problems.

When you change your eating habits, you can enjoy better health. While many inflammatory conditions never completely go away, they can be successfully managed by using a lifestyle change with the paleo diet.

You’ll want to avoid foods that are processed like meats. These are packed with preservatives, colors and are often full of sodium. The chemicals in the process used to help the meat stay fresh longer can cause inflammatory reactions.

You can have meats like chicken, beef, turkey or pork as long as it’s not processed. In fact, there are a lot of meats as well as seafood that you can have on this diet. You can also have plenty of fruits and vegetables that have antioxidants that help to fight inflammation.

Stay away from sugars in things like sodas and syrupy fruit drinks. Avoid things like energy drinks because they’re also full of additives the body doesn’t need. Focus on what all you can add, rather than what you have to give up and you’ll feel relief from inflammation quickly.

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Basic Paleo Diet Rules

A paleo diet refers to the way that cavemen once ate. It’s a healthier, more natural way of eating than what most people do today. There are a few rules, but they’re simple and pretty easy to follow, which is one of the reasons the diet is so popular.

Plus, it eliminates the harried calorie counting, which is the basis of most diets that fail. Instead of focusing on the food itself, what the paleo diet does is it focuses on the person and the person’s natural drive to eat – or not.

The foods you should eat on this diet are in a healthier form, less processed – so you end up gaining more vitamins and nutrients, which helps your body fight inflammation and diseases.

The first rule is to eat when your body tells you it needs to eat. Don’t just eat because it’s a certain time of day. Listen to your body. It will let you know when it’s hungry. You need to eat protein in its natural state rather than processed meats.

 Quinoa & Tomato salad It’s best to choose grass fed meats whenever possible. Eat what you need to eat to feel full and don’t fret over the size of the meat, how much of it you eat or how little you eat. Just consume the food until your body has had enough.

That means no longer hungry, not full or stuffed. You have to eat slower to give your brain time to catch up with your stomach. This way of eating frees you from constantly counting calories or measuring out portions.

On the paleo diet, it’s okay to eat the fattier types of meats in your meals. In caveman times, the people didn’t worry about the fats in their meats. Make sure that you eat carbohydrates as well as fats like olive oil.

You can learn to adjust your tastes to having natural oils on your foods and on things like salads versus having preservative heavy salad dressings. Fruits and vegetables are part of the paleo diet, but you’ll want to avoid buying the ones in the cans because there are unnatural additives with foods in cans.

Remember that on this diet, you’ll want to consume food in as close to its natural state as possible. You can have these foods in their fresh state or you can cook them. You can have nuts on the paleo diet, especially ones that contain plenty of the omegas.

But if you’re following the anti inflammatory paleo diet, you’ll want to either limit the consumption of nuts or remove them from your diet altogether since nuts can sometimes trigger an immune reaction that can cause inflammations.

Take grains out of your food intake, especially ones like wheat, barley and oats. Don’t consume products that are laden with sugar. If the food has been processed in any way, don’t have it.

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