Since the very beginning of human civilization, experimenting with different sources of food has led us to sustainable sources. Before that, humans used to be gatherers and hunters spending their days relying on the food they availed. One such diet that kept them healthy and fit was the paleo diet.
What is the paleo diet?
The word ‘paleo’ comes from ‘Paleolithic’. It means ancient. Our ancestors used to eat food sources based on their hunting skills and gatherings. Using this concept, researchers have coined the food habits that depend on the wholesome sources found during ancient times. There is no stone-written rule regarding what the paleo diet stands for.
As per research, a clan ate animal foods whereas another relied on a plant-based diet. They were physically active and extremely hard working. These days, we follow a sedentary lifestyle and fall in the hands of various lifestyle diseases. Following a Paleolithic diet will help us recuperate from the situation and reduce the risks of lifestyle diseases.
Foods to eat in a Paleolithic diet
For beginners, following a list of foods to eat in this diet is a must.
- Vegetables – kale, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, carrots, beet, turnips, etc.
- Poultry products such as omega-3-rich eggs, etc
- Fish – trout, salmon, shrimp, shellfish, haddock, etc
- Meat – turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, pork, etc
- Fruits – bananas, apples, pears, oranges, berries, avocados, grapes, etc
- Tubers – sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, turnips, etc
- Seeds – macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, cashew, etc.
- Healthy oil and fats – virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc
- Spices and salt – sea salt, turmeric, garlic, coriander, cumin, etc
Always go for pasture-raised, grass-fed organic animal sources to add to your diet plan. What actually experts mean is to stay away from the processed food zone as much as possible.
Foods to Avoid in a Paleo Diet
- Carbohydrates containing food such as corn syrup, fructose, sweetened fruit juices, candy, table sugar, pastries, and other confectionery products.
- Grains including pasta, bread, spelt, wheat, rye, barley, etc.
- Lentils and beans
- Dairy products, especially the low-fat ones
- Vegetable oils like soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, grape-seed oil, etc.
- partially or fully hydrogenated oil or trans fats
- Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame, cyclamates, etc
- Processed foods. Canned processed food should be avoided at any cost.
7 days meal plan of a paleo diet
Follow this Paleo Diet Meal Plan for seven days and you will start to find the sequence.
Start the day with fried eggs containing vegetables followed by a fruit. Use coconut oil. Enjoy chicken salad garnished using olive oil and nuts for lunch. For dinner, try burgers without buns, perfectly fried in butter and stuffed with veggies.
A hearty breakfast with bacon and eggs and fruits will be a good start. In lunch, prefer eating leftovers of the burgers you made last night. At night, eat butter-fried salmon with ample vegetables.
Eat any meat (say beef) with veggies for breakfast. Move on to preparing a sandwich with meat, fresh veggies, and lettuce for lunch. Eat stir-fry veggies with ground beef. Enjoy some berries to end the day.
Enjoy omega-3-rich eggs with fruits. At lunch, eat nuts and stir-fry ground beef leftovers from yesterday. At night, fry pork and eat with vegetables.
Use coconut oil to fry veggies and eggs for breakfast. Eat chicken salad garnished with virgin olive oil followed by nuts at lunch. Prepare steak with fresh vegetables and include sweet potatoes for dinner.
Eggs and bacon again for breakfast with fruits on Friday! Enjoy the steak leftover for lunch. Bake salmon with avocado and vegetables for dinner.
A sumptuous breakfast comprising meat and vegetables will be very hearty. Prepare a sandwich with fresh vegetables, meat and lettuce for lunch. Grill chicken wings with salsa and vegetables for dinner.
A Paleo Diet Meal Plan will vary according to the need of an individual. A nutrition expert will suggest what to do considering all the physiological factors.
Paleo diet shopping list for beginners
- beef, pork, lamb, in the meat section
- turkey and chicken in the poultry section
- trout, mackerel, salmon, etc in the fish section
- Green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, yams, etc in the vegetable section
- Apples, avocados, bananas, pears, etc in the fruit section
- Blueberries and strawberries
- walnuts, cashew, peanuts, almonds, etc
- Coconut oil and virgin olive oil
- pepper, cumin, coriander, turmeric, sea salt, etc
Snacks included in paleo diet foods
A Paleo Diet Meal Plan dictates three-meals daily to be followed. You can munch on the snacks mentioned below if you feel hungry.
- hardboiled eggs
- baby carrots
- beef jerky (homemade)
- dark chocolates
What to drink in a paleo diet?
Coffee and tea (sugarless) are ideal. Green tea should be preferred. It is better to avoid drinking alcohol. You can eat high-quality red wine in a restricted manner. Stay hydrated as your body will need water to cope with the reduced amount of carbohydrate intake.
Frequently asked questions regarding paleo diets
How does the Paleo diet work?
Eating unprocessed food and cutting down carbohydrates will help you lose weight. It is better to exercise regularly to boost the process.
What is the difference between Paleo and Mediterranean diet?
Paleo diets consider dairy products, processed sugars, and grains inflammatory. Mediterranean diets rely on dairy products and whole grains.
Is peanut butter paleo-friendly?
Peanut is considered to be a legume. Hence it is not considered as paleo diet food.
Can I drink almond milk on paleo diet?
Paleo diets do not allow dairy products or milk. It can be replaced with almond milk.
What’s the difference between Atkins and Paleo?
Atkins diet is a controlled way to consume carbs whereas paleo eliminates carbs from the diet regime.
How many carbs can you eat on Paleo?
The conventional paleo diets contain 20-50 grams of various carbohydrate sources.
The basic idea is to avoid processed food and consume the entire sources by simply preparing it in the kitchen. There are master recipes to follow online and begin your paleolithic diet regime. Follow the instructions given in this article to enjoy an optimum output.