The Paleo Diet has been around since the 60s but in the last few years it’s begun to gain popularity rapidly.
Why shouldn’t it? We’re told if we eat like a cavemen we can be lean, ripped, and incredibly healthy. Who doesn’t want that?
If you didn’t already know, the Paleo diet directs followers to adopt a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period. That’s eating as though we roamed the planet between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago.
Before agriculture and industry, humans weren’t plucking their food off the shelves of grocery stores and tossing it into carts. They were busy picking berries from bushes, digging up edible roots, and getting meat by stalking and chasing mammals over vast prehistoric acres. When they failed to make a kill, they were scavenging for meat, fat and organs leftover from other animals more skilled at bringing down the prey. As they evolved they learned to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows which provided them with fresher meat.
Today’s Paleo eaters seem to be neither hunting nor gathering.
Instead, the Paleo diet is mostly a list of foods they do not eat. Foods forbidden for “Paleos” include foods that weren’t invented yet such as dairy and any kind of processed grains. Peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are excluded although nuts are included.
Meat is the foundation of the Paleo food plan and cooking it in animal fat of some kind is typical. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables is endorsed but processed sugars are strictly prohibited. If sweet is what the caveman-like-eaters want, a little honey can fill the bill.
If it sounds complicated to know what’s okay Paleo and what’s not, today’s caveman can shop at Paleo-friendly supermarkets and of course, the Internet.
They are shopping for their Paleo produce and their caveman cutlets at Whole Foods.
While there are elements of Paleo eating that are healthful and would effectively help with weight management, much of what’s involved in this fad is, at best clever marketing (Paleo Wraps! because every caveman liked to “eat and run!”), and at the worst, expensive (7 Paleo wraps cost $8.99!) and nutritionally challenged.
I won’t suggest the would-be-Paleos eschew this way of eating, but for me, I like eating like an inhabitant of the 21st Century!
There are healthier, easier, tastier and far less expensive ways to achieve a lean, healthy body!