Is the Paleolithic Diet Right for me?

The Paleolithic diet, popularly known as “Paleo diet” is a simple eating plan based on foods that were eaten during the Paleolithic era 2 million years ago. It consists of foods typical of a caveman’s diet which could be obtained through hunting and gathering. It’s basically a return to how human beings used to eat in the Stone Age era.

What can I eat on the Paleo diet? 

  • Fruits
  • Nuts 
  • Seeds 
  • Vegetables 
  • Eggs 
  • Spices
  • Fish
  • Lean meats and healthy oils from nuts. 

What can’t I eat on the Paleo diet? 

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Potatoes 
  • Salt
  • Processed sugar 
  • Artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated fats.

People who follow this diet are also encouraged to take lots of water. Coffee and green tea are also allowed. Regular exercise is an important aspect of the paleo lifestyle.

What are some of the proposed benefits to the paleo diet?

  • Weight loss 
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. 

Are there any negatives to the Paleo diet?

The absence of legumes and whole grains can be a concern as they are considered to be rich in fibre and minerals, which are needed for healthy digestion. 

Another downside is that the foods in this diet such as beef from exclusively grass-fed cattle and game can be quite expensive compared to other readily available options.

For further information on modern diets, click here.

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  • Mellberg, C, et al. “Long-Term Effects of a Palaeolithic-Type Diet in Obese Postmenopausal Women: a 2-Year Randomized Trial.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 68, no. 3, Mar. 2014, pp. 350–357., doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.290.
  • Norwood, R, et al. “The Psychological Characteristics of People Consuming Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free and Weight Loss Dietary Patterns.” Obesity Science & Practice, vol. 5, no. 2, 14 Feb. 2019, pp. 148–158., doi:10.1002/osp4.325.
  • Pitt, C E. “Cutting through the Paleo Hype: The Evidence for the Palaeolithic Diet.” Australian Family Physician, vol. 45, no. 1, 2016, pp. 35–38.
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