The Paleolithic diet is based on the premise that human beings are genetically adapted to eat what our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic period, that is, meat, fruits and vegetables and seafood, and it questions whether a healthy diet should be based on cereals, dairy products and vegetables.
The Paleodiette, also known as the Stone Age Diet or the Cave Man Diet, considers that the most suitable foods for human beings are those that were available in the Palaeolithic era: meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts and roots -which provide the necessary amount of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants-, and proposes avoiding sugars and processed foods in general, but also other foods considered healthy such as legumes, cereals and dairy products.
Paleo, the most natural food
The followers of the paleo-diet defend that the natural diet of the human being, and to which we adapted throughout millions of years, cannot include flours, sugars or milky because these foods were incorporated much later to the feeding and are very recent in our evolutionary history.
This type of food includes large amounts of animal protein, also the fatty parts, and vegetables – whether fresh or frozen – and eliminates from the shopping list the packaged products, choosing only fresh foods. They also recommend that the meat comes from animals fed with grasses, and that the fruits and vegetables are seasonal (and better of ecological production). That is, everything as natural and less processed as possible.
Benefits of the paleo diet
Proponents of the paleo diet claim that this type of food has health benefits such as :
- Maintain the balance of energy throughout the day.
- Achieve stable and adequate blood sugar levels.
- Improve skin and teeth.
- For people who play sports, training is more effective and easier to complete.
- Reduce allergies.
- Burn accumulated fat and therefore lose weight and prevent obesity in the long term.
- The combination of meat and fish with vegetables and fruits is sufficiently satisfying, so people who need to control their weight do not go hungry.
- It promotes rest and quality sleep.
Contraindications to the paleo-diet
- Despite the many advantages of this diet, it also has some disadvantages for health. Some contraindications of the paleo diet are :
- Vitamin D deficiency: this lack of vitamin D occurs in the short term but can be replaced by supplements or by the recommendation of daily sun exposure.
- Hypothyroidism: Some people who switch to low-carbohydrate diets may have long-term symptoms of hypothyroidism, as the body loses too much weight and reduces thyroid function to save energy.
- Cravings: one of the characteristics of this diet is that you tend to have many cravings, especially for sweets, since any kind of sugar is totally dispensed with.
- Ketosis: is a process that occurs when this diet is implanted in people with low fat and the burning of it can cause bad breath, dizziness or even insomnia.
- Kidney problems: with so much protein the kidneys have to work harder, eliminating more urea from the bloodstream.