I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day and heard two women talking. One was talking about how she might try paleo and the other asked her what that was. She said, “I don’t know, but I think you eat a lot of meat and you lose weight.” It took everything in me to keep my mouth closed and to walk away.
But the truth is, there are many myths about Paleo/Primal and it’s often misunderstood. So let’s clear some of the confusion up because for most people, it really is the healthiest way to live.
What is the Paleo/Primal Diet?
Your ancestors who lived in the Paleolithic era roamed the earth about 15,000 years ago. One of the most important strides humans made at this time was the development of the very first stone tools. Obviously, those human beings had a drastically different diet than the unhealthy Standard American Diet (SAD) eaten by most modern-day societies.
They only ate natural foods.
They ate whatever they could get their hands on, which predominantly meant fish, meat, seeds, vegetables and some occasional fruits. There was no pollution in the air. There were no chemicals being pumped into animals, onto plants, or impacting our natural water supplies. The animals and plants during the Paleolithic era were natural products.
They made up the diet of humans, and other carnivores living at that time.
Because of this, your cave dwelling predecessors were extremely healthy, both physically and mentally. Since the way that your body processes foods, and the way it works internally and externally, has not changed significantly since the Paleolithic era, adhering to that type of diet can offer you the same benefits.
How can your health benefit from a Stone Age dietary approach? Let’s take a look.
Health Benefits of a Paleo Lifestyle
Guess what? You may have a much more comfortable living environment then your paleo ancestors did, but they were likely much healthier than you are. Did you know that high blood pressure, heart diseases, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity simply did not exist when humans were living in caves 15,000 years ago?
Those difficult, chronic, debilitating and sometimes deadly health conditions are a gift of modern times. This began in Europe when drought forced human beings to start eating wheat. Wheat was combined with water, which became the precursor for what we call bread today.
This eventually led to modern day agriculture and food manufacturing processes. Unfortunately, those food development procedures have led to the creation of refined sugar, simple carbohydrates, trans fats, MSG, table salt, artificial additives and flavors, steroids, preservatives and other unhealthy food ingredients.
Those nutritional voids were created so that food could last longer on grocery store shelves. Many of those components, like sugar and salt, are extremely addictive. So human beings end up eating processed food which has much of its nutrients removed, causes unhealthy addictions, and leads to a long list of diseases and illnesses.
A move back to smart eating, enjoying fish, vegetables, meat, nuts, whole foods and some fruits, is what the paleo lifestyle is all about.
The benefits include …
-Healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
-You will also find that your mental functioning is sharp and clear.
-If you have tried to quit smoking before and failed, you will discover, like other paleo converts, that it is easier to give up tobacco on this diet plan.
-You will experience plenty of healthy energy, and better sleep patterns.
-You also develop stronger, healthier looking skin and hair, and more muscle mass as well.
For those of you who have fought and lost the “Battle of the Bulge” for years, you will also notice immediate and lasting weight loss, helping you regulate a healthy body weight for your size and age (more on that weight loss benefit later).
Why is The Caveman Diet Better Than “Normal” Diets?
One of the most attractive traits of the caveman diet which makes it better than “normal” diets concerns calorie counting. You don’t have to do this on the paleo diet. You simply eat foods that are good for you, and eat whenever you are hungry.
When you first adopt a Paleolithic lifestyle, you should track important food metrics, like protein, fat and carbohydrate consumption. After a few weeks, there will be no need for calorie counting, carbohydrate watching or fat avoidance. This is one of the ways a Stone Age diet is much more attractive than most other diet plans, where daily nutrition tracking is a priority.
Another benefit of this nutrition approach over traditional diets is that it actually works!
This is a lifestyle, not a 30, 60 or 90-day diet. As you probably know, most “diets” may work for a short time, but they are unsustainable. This is because you do not supply your body with the wonderful nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.
You end up packing on all of the weight that you lost on your miracle grapefruit diet, and in many cases, adding even more weight. On top of that, since you starved your body of the nutrition it so desperately required for the period of time you were dieting, you may have done serious damage to your health.
And it’s soooo simple.
There are no intricate charts and systems to memorize. You eat healthy, natural whole foods, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meat and some nuts and fruits. That’s it. When your nutritional approach is simple, it is much easier to stick to it.
To read more on the Paleo/Primal Lifestyle check out:
Why Go Primal? The Life Changing Benefits of Eating Like our Ancestors