So an ancestral diet might be one of the most traditional, essential, and logical diets known today. Many assume that the ancestral diet is something way foreign and long gone. But this type of diet only dates back three or four generations before us.
Its main goal is to nourish the mind and body, simplify food choices, and return to the most natural ingredients possible. It can also challenge ideas about what a person thinks is healthy and nutritious for a diet.
Why people follow paleo diet
Today, the reasons for following a paleo diet drift towards several objectives. In particular, some people practice it as a weight loss diet to lose weight or maintain their healthy weight. Nevertheless, the paleo diet recommendations are variable since it is often for commercial purposes and far from official nutritional recommendations.
A paleo diet typically includes lean meats from grass-fed animal, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, in short, foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering.
the goal of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that is more like what early humans ate. It limits foods that became common when agriculture emerged around 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes, and cereals.
Thus, the diet reasons that the human body does not genetically match the modern diet that has emerged with agricultural practices, creating many gray areas.
Agriculture changed what people ate and established dairy products, cereals, and legumes as other staple foods in the human diet. This relatively late and rapid change in diet exceeded the body’s ability to adapt. Therefore, this would contribute to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Although the growing popularity of this type of ancestral diet is fueled by an increasing desire in people to eat healthier and know where their food comes from, it is essential not to take everything at face value and pay attention to our real nutritional needs.
The reasoning behind paleo diet
Our predecessors didn’t have tools that were advanced enough to grow and cultivate most plants. They hunted, fished, and gathered wild plants to feed themselves and their community. Therefore, if they lived long enough for the times, it was thought that they would suffer less from modern diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease.
This is due to a constant diet of lean meats and plant foods and a high level of physical activity resulting from intensive hunting. However, the life expectancy of our predecessors was only a fraction of that of people of our time.
What foods to eat and what to avoid
Standard paleo diet guidelines advise eating: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean meats as chicken breast, skinless poultry, fish as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, fruit and nut oils. Foods to avoid are certain types of grains such as wheat, oats, and barley, legumes such as beans, lentils, peanuts, and chickpeas, dairy products, refined sugar, salt, potatoes, and highly processed foods.
It is assumed that grains, legumes, and dairy products are linked to the development of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. people with autoimmune disorders to avoid eggs, nuts, seeds, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Spices, such as curry or paprika, are also eliminated.
How to start the paleo diet?
Adopting the paleo diet should not be done without the recommendations and advice of a health professional.
The paleo diet includes lean meats such as chicken breast, skinless poultry, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Proponents of the diet emphasize choosing fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index.
How to follow the paleo diet?
Note that there is debate on several aspects of the paleo diet. Indeed, we don’t know what foods existed back then, how diets vary by region, or how modern fruits and vegetables bear little resemblance to prehistoric wild versions. Because of these differences, there is no one proper paleo diet in today’s era.
White potatoes were recognized as being available in Paleolithic times, they are generally avoided in the Paleo diet due to their high glycemic index. Processed and highly processed foods are also technically off-limits due to the emphasis on fresh foods.
But some paleo diets allow frozen fruits and vegetables because the freezing process could preserve most nutrients.
On the other hand, calorie counting and portion size are not emphasized in the paleo diet. Also, some plans for this diet allow for a few non-paleo meals per week, especially at the start of the diet, to improve overall compliance.
Overall, this diet is high in protein, fats as unsaturated fats and saturated fatty acids, low to moderate in carbohydrates (no high glycemic index carbohydrates), high in fiber, and low in sodium. And refined sugars. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fats come from marine fish, avocado, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
What foods are allowed in the paleo diet
Fresh lean meats, Pisces, Shellfish, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, Fresh fruits and vegetables (some root vegetables like sweet potatoes and cassava may be allowed in moderation due to their high nutrient content), Olive oil, coconut oil (rich in saturated fatty acids), Small amounts of honey
What foods to avoid on the paleo diet
Whole grains, cereals, refined grains, refined sugars, dairy products, potatoes, legumes, peanuts, beans, lentils, Alcohol, Coffee, Salt, refined vegetable oils such as rapeseed, processed foods