What is Paleo Diet or Caveman Diet and does it Work?

Paleo diet, also called the Paleolithic diet, or caveman diet, or the Primal diet has gained a lot of popularity over the last decade or so. In this video we will discuss the paleo diet in detail and see if really works.

What is a Paleo or Caveman Diet?
The term Paleo in the Paleo dieting comes from the Paleolithic era, when agriculture was not invented. Paleo diet takes us back to eating the same way as a Caveman’s diet during the Paleolithic era. That means, only the food items available to humans prior to farming, are consumed and everything else is excluded.

During the Paleolithic era the food consumed by humans, mostly included animal meat, fruits and vegetables. A caveman’s diet would have included hunted animals and fruits and vegetables. Gathered locally. Therefore, appropriate animal-based food for paleo diet would be from hunted animals, or animals that are not farmed in confined cages. Free-range chickens are a good example of this. Considering the fact that hunting animals would be impractical for most of us, while following a paleo diet make sure that the animals should be living freely in the farm and being fed appropriate organic feed and not pumped with steroids or antibiotics.

Appropriate fruits are those that are naturally in-season in your region. A Caveman’s diet would not have included papaya in January while living in Alaska. Such fruits are not considered natural in a Paleo diet. Berries are the most commonly encouraged fruits in Paleo diet. Moreover while following a Paleo diet, you should only eat one to two servings of fruits daily.

Same thing applies to the vegetables; they must be naturally in-season in your region. You may also include nuts and seeds in your diet. Beware, not to include high sugar starches or legumes. It is argued that a Caveman’s diet did not include legumes and that they contain “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid and lectin.

Other restricted foods in the Paleo or Caveman diet include:
• Sugar- refined, white, brown and all other versions
• Soda and fruit juices (unless you squeeze it yourself from a fruit)
• Processed or preserved foods
• Grains such as wheat and corn, alcohol
• Dairy and dairy products such as yogurt and cheese

Benefits of Paleo Diet
Paleo diet works by helping you to cut out all the processed foods from your meals. Simply cutting out sugar and refined wheat flour provides significant results. Moreover, the foods eaten will be whole and natural; therefore paleo eaters consume less chemicals and preservatives, while increasing the intake of raw and cooked vegetables and berries. This aids in detoxification and cleansing of the entire dietary tract.
Should you follow a Paleo Diet?
Carbs in the recent times have received a lot of bad press; as a result there are many low carb diets that have gained popularity. Paleo diet is one such diet. Many of the claims that Paleo diet makes, does not really have a very strong reasoning behind it. Paleo diet claims that eating grains causes inflammation and legumes have anti-nutrients, which are bad for you. The scientific evidence behind these claims is not very strong. A lot of people around the world eat grains and legumes and most of them do not observed any side effects. Even the claim that caveman diet did not include grains is not well established. So if you have decided to follow this diet due to above-mentioned reason then we would recommend you to rethink your decision.

That being said, this diet due to its low carbohydrates and high protein content, is naturally suitable for someone who is trying to cut fat while maintaining muscle mass. But again you really do not have to eliminate grains and beans completely from your diet if you like to eat them

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, our recommendation would be definitely against a Paleo diet. You don’t want to get into a situation where you have limited food options such that certain macro or micronutrients will be completely cut off for you. You may choose to follow a looser version of Paleo dieting, which allows you to eat beans and other legumes and dairy for vegetarians.

In our opinion the greatest benefit of Paleo or Caveman diet is that it emphasizes eating natural food free from chemicals. You can get grains, beans and dairy free from chemicals also and we don’t see any reason why you should be excluding them from your diet. These foods are a very good source of nutrition and excluding them from your diet unnecessarily complicates the life for you and your loved ones.

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