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Introduction to the Paleo Diet

September 15, 2012

Paleo diet foods vegetables meat nutsA little over a year ago I first learned about the paleo diet. Back then I weighed in at around 205 lbs at 5’10. I would describe my self as muscular and stocky but not chubby. Over the past 15 months I have been on and off the paleo diet and have seen some great results. Today I weigh 173 lbs and have 10% body fat. I look and feel great and even have visible abs. I have been on a realatively strict paleo diet since May.

Paleo Diet Concept

The basic idea behind the paleo diet is to the foods that we evolved to eat and not foods that are manufactured to taste good but have no nutritional value. While on the paleo diet you should only eat foods that can be found in nature without processing. This includes meats, seafood and poultry, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Why Follow the Paleo Diet?

Unless you have been living under a rock you have heard about the obesity epidemic in the united states. One third of all adults are obese and another third of adults are over weight. Following the paleo diet will help you lose weight and decrease your chance of suffering from many diseases including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and alzheimer’s disease. The palso diet also reduces inflammation in your body which will relieve joint pain and skin irritations. Following the paleo diet has helped reduce my back pain.

How Does the Paleo Diet Work?

The foods that typical Americans eat are high in added sugar and carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates your body breaks it down into sugar, so all of the pasta and bread you eat might as well be candy as far as you body is concerned. When a person eats lots of sugar and carbs, it raises their blood sugar above healthy levels. The body responds to elevated blood sugar by releasing insulin which directs the excess sugar be stored in fat, thus causing you to gain weight. Excess insulin in your system also results in increased hunger making it more difficult to stick to a diet.

What to eat on the Paleo Diet

You can eat meats, seafood, eggs, poultry, vegetables, fruits and nuts. You would be amazed by all the incredible recipes you can make with just these ingredients. You can find hundreds if not thousands of paleo recipes by just googling it. Include whatever ingredient you are most interested in during the search to find relevant recipes.

What NOT to eat on the Paleo Diet

  • Do not eat any grains: rye, wheat, barley, corn, oats, rice, buckwheat,  millet, sprouted grains and quinoa
  • Do not eat sugar, real or artificial: honey, high fructose corn syrup, maple, splenda, sucrolose, Equal, Stevia, etc…
  • Do not drink alcohol – Some red wine, tequila and vodka is ok, but limit it
  • Do not eat legumes: beans of any kind, peas, lentils, peanuts(no peanut butter either), chickpeas and soy(in any form, including edamame, tofu, misu and soy sauce)
  • Do not eat or drink dairy: Butter, milk, cheese, cream cheese, and yogurt. Ghee is ok.

Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio

The ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is 1:1 or 1:2. This is very difficult because omega 6 is in all kinds of meats and nuts and omega 3 is only in large quantities in seafood and flax seed. While on the paleo diet you should limit your nut intake to a handful or two per day to reduce your intake of omega 6. Eat eggs that are fortified with omega 3, eat as much fresh caught seafood as you can and also take fish oil supplement. The benefit of having a low omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is reduced inflammation in the body.

Cooking Tips

I noticed that most cooking sprays have soy or other banned substances in them. The best oils to use for cooking are avacado oil and olive oil.

  1. I could do this, if it wasn’t for the ban on oats, nuts, wine and dairy. This sounds like a gluten-free, dairy free diet to me. I can see how it works, but prefer a little more balance personally. Congrats on your own results!

    • You are right, it is a gluten-free, dairy-free diet with a few extra restrictions. I can understand how paleo is not appealing to everyone.

  2. You said it. Thanks, Paleo.

  3. I’ve been following a paleo-ish lifestyle for a few months now, I say ‘ish’ because I still sometimes eat rice, and also full-fat yogurt. I grew up eating rice and it’s a big staple in the dishes of my culture, I’ve cut back a lot though and now eat it probably maybe once or twice a week. Yogurt is also something I love and I can’t exactly find raw milk yogurt here so the next best option is full-fat yogurt I would never touch low-fat/skim stuff.

  4. agirlstransformation permalink

    My boyfriend recently started eating Paleo after being diagnosed as gluten and lactose intolerant (not full blown allergic) and because we live together, it’s just easier for me to eat Paleo as well. Although I eat a modified version of it.
    I still eat (natural/organic) chickpeas and peanut butter because I find that in small amounts they’re great with veggie snacks at college and on the go. I eat about 20g of cheese every 2 days or so, only because we’re getting rid of it, and I see no need to waste food. I still include peas and quinoa as well every now and then as well just because I like them.
    Over all I’ve had no problem transitioning into my pseudo-Paleo intake, as I never really ate that many grains to begin with. So far, enjoying it a lot.

  5. That is why when you hear the word diet it usually means to limit what you are
    eating to a bare minimum. It is going to let you eat well,
    take pleasure in your evryday meals as well as allow you to attain the true overall wellness.
    Needless to say the Paleo quality recipes include healthier fats and oils.

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