If you like keeping up to speed with new or emerging eating trends, then odds are you’ve heard about the ‘Paleo Diet,’ or ‘Eating Paleo.’ With so many turning to the Paleo way of life, we thought we would break down the basics for you: what is the Paleo Diet, how does it work, what are the benefits, and most importantly, what foods are included!
A brief history of the Paleo Diet
The term ‘Paleo’ is short for ‘Paleolithic’ - a period in history when people hunted and gathered their food. Some people also refer to the Paleo diet as the ‘Caveman Diet’ or ‘Stone Age diet’, which may not sound too appealing!
Simply put, health-conscious foodies are adopting this ancient diet but with modern convenience - thousands of years after it evolved naturally. With the conveniences of the modern world, like grocery stores and reference books, the business side of the Paleo diet is booming.
What’s on the menu?
If you like lot of variety in your diet, and your modern treats as well, the Paleo diet might not appeal to you.
As a Paleo diet follower, you are allowed to eat the basic food groups that our ancient ancestors found, foraged or hunted - fresh fruits and vegetables, an array of seafood, meats and nuts. Essentially Paleo diets center on fresh, whole foods, that are unprocessed. In case you were wondering, pure olive oil, like La Española olive oils, are part of a Paleo Diet.
Things you can forget eating include: fast food, conventional chocolate, processed foods of any kind, most sweets and many carbohydrate-loaded foods such as breads and pasta, since these are made with processed grains, such as wheat.
The benefits of the ‘hunter gatherer’ lifestyle
Converts to the trendy Paleo diet often claim to have endless energy, complete balance in their diet, increased vitamin and nutrient levels, as well as weight loss.
There is some controversy, however, particularly related to many medical and health professionals, who disagree with the health claims made by Paleo advocates.
Doctors often claim that as humans have evolved since the time that we lived as hunters and gatherers, which means that our diet should evolve too. Some also state that while it’s true that our ancestors didn’t suffer from many of the diseases we do now, this may not be caused by their diet, but could be related to their physical activity levels. Doctors also point out that humans, on average, live roughly three times longer these days than we did thousands of years ago.
If you’re looking for a place to start diving deeper into the Paleo Diet, then try the Everyday Paleo website, which features all sorts of facts and health information, resources and an extensive online recipe book. We found the recipe for Ginger-Garlic Burgers pretty appealing!
When it comes to switching up your diet, it’s important to do your research before making big changes. At La Española, we love a natural, healthy approach for overall physical and mental wellbeing!