Paleo Diet

What is Paleo Diet?

Paleo diets are based on a simple premise – if the cavemen didn’t eat it, you shouldn’t either. So long to refined sugar, dairy, legumes and grains (this is pre-agricultural revolution), and hello to meat, fish, poultry, fruits and veggies. The idea is that by eliminating modern-era foods like highly processed carbs and dairy, you can avoid or control “diseases of civilization” like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and likely lose weight too. What you eat and how much depend on your goals or the specific program you’re on, if you choose to follow one. The high-protein diet is ranked poorly among U.S. News experts, who consider it too restrictive to be healthy or sustainable.

Pros & Cons

  • Carnivore approved
  • Very low in sodium
  • Goodbye to grains and dairy
  • Pricey

How does Paleo Diet work?

Fortunately, you don’t have to go all-in on a paleo-style diet. If you want to test the waters, try just incorporating a few of these principles into your days first:

  • Eat a (cheeseless) veggie omelet for breakfast rather than a bowl of cereal.
  • Use lettuce instead of a tortilla to create “wraps” out of sandwich meat for lunch.
  • Invest in a spiralizer to create “noodles” out of vegetables like zucchini; pair them with (bread crumbless) meatballs or a fish fillet.
  • Snack on nuts – but not peanuts, which are technically legumes and off-limits on most paleo plans.

It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. “The Paleo Diet,” for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.

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