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What is the Paleolithic Diet?

Paleolithic Diet

Out of all the diets being marketed nowadays, nothing catches the attention of health buffs more than the Paleolithic Diet. Its name alone conjures up images of primal looking food. So what exactly is the Paleolithic Diet?

Also known as the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet, the Paleolithic Diet, is a nutritional plan based on the supposed ancient diet of our ancestors during the Paleolithic age. Although one would automatically assume that cavemen used to eat thick bloody slabs of raw meat, their presumed diet is actually healthier and composed primarily of plants and sea food.

The modern-day Paleolithic diet consists of healthy food such as fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, nuts, pasture raised meats. Some common dishes consumed by people on this diet include sashimi, seafood stews, and lean cut pork loin with raw vegetables and fruits.

People who follow the Paelolithiv diet do not consume dairy products, beans and peanuts, salt, processed oils, and refined sugar.

The Origin of the Paleolithic Diet

The Paleolithic Diet was proposed by a number of scientists and doctors during the seventies and eighties.

Walter L. Voegtlin, a gastroenterologist, published a book n 1975, stating that following a diet closely related to that of our ancestors during the Paleolithic age is ideal for most modern-day humans. During the late eighties, Staffan Lindeberg, a Swedish medical doctor, studied the Kitava population of Papua New Guinea. The said population had a diet closely related to that of our Paleolithic ancestors. Base on his studies, the Kitava population apparently did not experience common illnesses in the western world such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and stroke.

The Benefits of the Paleolithic Diet

Based on a number of studies, people who start practicing the Paleolithic diet achieve lower triglyceride levels, lower levels of cholesterol, lower insulin secretion, lower insulin levels, and reduced blood pressure as well. In most cases, all these can be achieved in a matter of only three weeks. All these changes, when combined, can reduce the risk of getting serious illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The Disadvantages of the Paleolithic Diet

The most obvious downside to following the caveman diet is the process of cutting out most of our tasty food staples such as salt, processed food, and refined sugar from our lives. This lifestyle change can be pretty drastic and involves a lot of discipline, patience, and determination.

Aside from the drastic lifestyle change however, the Paleolithic diet can also have a few adverse physiological effects. First is having an unbalanced diet. People who strictly follow the Paleo diet are found to have a dietary deficiency in dietary fiber and carbohydrates. Second, food consumed by people who follow the Paleo diet have a high saturated fat consumption. Although saturated at is good or the body, consuming too much of it can also bring about a number of health problems.

How to Start the Paleolithic Diet

For those who are interested in starting the Paleo Diet, it is important for them to understand the different facets of the diet first. Usually, it is a good idea to consult their doctors first in order for them to find out if this type of diet is ideal for them, Aside from consulting a doctor, it is also suggested for people to do research on this type of diet. By doing so, they can find out if it is something that they can actually do.

Just like most things in this world, the Paleolithic diet had its own fair share of pros and cons. That is why it must also be practiced in moderation.

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