Ever wondered what it’s like to eat like a caveman? That’s essentially the idea behind the Paleo diet. It’s all about channeling our inner hunter-gatherer, harkening back to the Paleolithic era when our ancestors roamed the Earth.
The theory? Our bodies haven’t quite caught up with the rapid changes in our diet brought about by modern farming and food technology. So, going back to a Stone Age-style of eating might just be the health boost we need.
Clinical trials exploring the Paleo diet have painted a pretty positive picture. They’ve shown that it can help with metabolic syndrome, tackle cardiovascular issues, and even give a helping hand with weight management. One study concluded that it can make you feel fuller for longer through adjusting the hunger-related hormones.
Now, let’s talk rules. To be a modern Paleo eater, you will follow a menu that includes a variety of red meat, organ meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
What doesn’t make the cut? Legumes, grains, dairy, processed foods, sugar, and extra salt. The status of potatoes and alcohol is up for debate, but my take is that they can be enjoyed in moderation once you’ve adjusted to the diet and hit your ideal weight.
Some nutritional experts worry about ditching whole food groups like dairy, fearing it might lead to calcium deficiency. Fear not! You can still meet your calcium intake from sources like almonds, chia seeds, and leafy greens.
Here’s a twist – when it comes to meat, the Paleo diet encourages a “nose-to-tail” approach. That means no part of the animal goes to waste. It’s a nod to a more responsible way of consuming meat, honouring the creatures by eating every part of them. Plus, organ meats are often easier on the wallet and packed with goodies like iron and zinc.
Speaking of goodies, the Paleo diet is a treasure trove of micronutrients – those vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that keep our bodies humming along. Athletes who swear by the Paleo way report fewer colds and better performance. And for women considering pregnancy, it’s a win-win: higher iron levels and a lower risk of gestational diabetes.
Now, let’s not forget the fun part – the recipes! They’re a culinary adventure, bursting with flavours and a rainbow of colourful foods. So why not give it a whirl and see how you feel? Who knows, you might just discover your inner cave-person.
1. Why should people choose the Paleo diet?
Paleo is all about keeping it natural – whole foods, fruits, veggies, and even that nose-to-tail approach with animals while avoiding those sneaky processed foods.
2. Who is best to follow this meal plan?
Honestly, anyone who’s into it can give Paleo a shot. It’s especially great for people with autoimmune conditions (the Autoimmune diet is based on Paleo!) and active people such as athletes.
3. Is it safe for breastfeeding mums?
While there aren’t many studies on this, if you were on this diet from preconception and during pregnancy, then you please continue this way of eating if it feels good for you. Remember to adjust your calories for additional needs during breastfeeding. Just don’t jump into it whilst exclusively breastfeeding.
4. Is it safe for pregnant mums?
Yes and no. There’s a study that suggests it could improve iron levels and glucose tolerance during pregnancy, even though they only looked at women who had established this diet during preconception. The key here is not to make drastic dietary changes during pregnancy. Following the diet compared to a western style processed diet will be so beneficial for your unborn child, but perhaps during pregnancy be a bit looser with the rules and include whole-grains and dairy as needed.
5. Can my kids follow this meal plan too?
They can, but watch out for their nutritional needs, especially calcium if they’re skipping dairy. Paediatricians usually prefer kids to have dairy, so be cautious. Include whole grains if required for growing bodies.
6. Is there anything I can’t eat when following this meal plan?
Grains, legumes, salt, sugar, alcohol, dairy, potatoes, and modern processed foods are on the Paleo “no-no” list. Stick to the basics for a more natural eating experience.
Our program offers NO 1200 calorie restrictions
Follow guided training videos with expert fitness instructors (no equipment needed!)
In our private support groups with other mums just like you!
With family-friendly, weekly meal plans & over 6,000 easy recipes developed by nutritionists
No lock-in contracts, cancel anytime.