Straight from Wikipedia:
“The Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.”
Let’s try The Whole9 Nutrition Elevator Pitch on for size:
“I eat “real” food – fresh, natural food like meat, vegetables and fruit. I choose foods that are nutrient dense, with lots of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, over foods that have more calories but less nutrition. And food quality is important – I’m careful about where my meat comes from, and buy produce locally and organically as often as possible.
It’s not a low calorie “diet” – I eat as much as I need to maintain strength, energy and a healthy weight. In fact, my diet is probably much higher in fat than you’d imagine. Fat isn’t the enemy – it’s a great energy source when it comes from high quality foods like avocado, coconut and nuts. And I’m not trying to do a “low carb” thing, but since I’m eating vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal and pasta, it just happens to work out that way.
Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body. It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym. It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.”
Food, What is IN?
Meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. If our grunting not so bright caveman ancestor would look at it and identify it as food, chances are you can consider that food “paleo”.
Food, What is OUT?
Grains, dairy, sugars, legumes (beans, including peanuts, soy), startchy vegetables (potatoes), corn, anything processed and anything that seems unprocessed that has any sort of weird preservatives or additives.
Paleo Food Lists
Here are a few web sites and pdf’s for quick reference to see if a food is considered “Paleo”:
Water. Clean water.
Herbal Teas like chamomile, nettle, peppermint or ginger are cool. Coconut water is fine. Coffee, regular tea? Purists will say no, but in moderation and black here and there is fine.
“Processed drinks” like soda or zero calorie lemonade spritzer powders are OUT!
Anything with chemically sounding ingredients? OUT!
Fruit juices? Chances are they are loaded with extra sugar, and if they are not, still avoid them! Juice squeezed out of fruits are leaving out the fruit itself, namely its pulp, which is full of fiber and other good stuff.
Beer? Booze? Both are made from grains and those beers made for people with gluten intolerance’s are gross. OUT!
Wine? A glass here and there is acceptable.
- Fruit: Again, full of sugar – if your goal is weight loss, keep fruit intake at a minimum.
- Meats: Go for local, organic, grass fed, free range lean meats.
- Fish: Wild caught, not farm raised/grain fed.
- Eggs: Local ‘free range’ eggs please.
- Sweet Stuff: Honey and maple syrup are more or less the only Paleo sweeteners – but remember, these are PURE SUGAR.
- Paleo ‘comfort foods’: There are a zillion of these recipes out there, most are attempts to ‘replace’ things like cookies and other junk foods. Be smart, sugar filled food is still sugar filled food.