The Paleo Diet is built on the notion that our bodies are still just as effective at processing different foods as they were back when we were just cavemen in the Paleolithic Era tens of thousands of years ago.
Back then, the hunter-gatherer societies survived on a diet of unprocessed and unadulterated fruits, vegetables, and meats.
Since paleolithic times, our diet has changed dramatically. Most of our meals today are filled with preservatives, numerous multi-syllabic artificial ingredients, and are grown, bred, and prepared on a global industrial scale.
It’s this radical change in diet that many Paleo proponents claim is leading to the development of diseases like:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Heart disease
According to Paleo enthusiasts, we can eliminate these diseases by adopting an ancient diet. Our bodies today just aren’t equipped to handle most modern foods properly.
Consequently, the Paleo Diet is primarily driven by a need to remove foods and drinks that weren’t available to our cave-dwelling ancestors. In other words, a paleo diet has no grains, dairy, beans, or legumes or foods with any refined sugars, vegetable oils, or table salt.
Refined, hydrogenated, and processed foods should be dropped entirely as well.
A number of clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean Diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared with diets of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.
Paleo Diet benefits may include:
- Weight loss
- Improved glucose tolerance
- Better blood pressure control
- Lower triglycerides
- Better appetite management