The Paleo Diet is one of the hottest nutritional trends today. Adopted by athletes and the super-fit, you might even say it has become a way of life. What many people may not know is this health phenomenon has been around for nearly 10 years. When it comes to physical benefits, Paleo delivers.
Originally created and founded by Dr. Loren Cordain, the Paleo movement was named after the Paleolithic Era, when we ate in a way that was genetically congruent with our survival.“The fundamental premise of the Paleo mindset is that you eat food that’s actually food,” says Dr. Jake Brown, Chiropractic Director of the Chiro One Wellness Center of Naperville North and a follower of the Paleo diet since 2009.
What Can I Eat?
Essentially, the Paleo diet consists of foods you can grow, pick and hunt. That means fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean meats like poultry, fish and lean beef. Avoid processed foods, as processing adds chemicals and changes the structure of food.
Dr. Jake’s tip for identifying actual ‘food’, and what he says to his own children, is “if there is a long ingredient list for what you are eating or if you cannot pronounce the ingredients, you are not eating food.”
Wanna Go Hardcore?
If you are interested in getting really strict about your Paleo diet, you will want to cut out legumes such as beans, peas, lentils, peanuts and soybeans. Wait, aren’t those healthy, fiber-full foods? They may have fiber, but they also contain compounds called phytates, which cause inflammation in the body and prevent the absorption of essential minerals. Not to mention the fact that legumes are higher in carbohydrates than protein; a bummer for people who think that they can get all of their protein from legumes.
Another consideration in choosing your food, specifically your lean meats, is to think about what those animals ate. Select animals that were eating a diet congruent with their own genetic structure. So, look for grass fed beef and free range chicken.
What’s in it for Me?
So, based on our genetic makeup, the Paleo diet is what we ‘should’ be eating. There’s even more good news about going Paleo. This diet boasts some awesome benefits starting with nearly everyone’s diet goal. “Weight loss is definitely a bi-product of the Paleo lifestyle,” says Dr. Jake.
But that’s not all. Since changing to the Paleo diet, Dr. Jake says he has seen a dramatic change in his sleep habits, energy level and ability to work out extremely hard with less inflammation.
One thing Dr. Jake does note is that the Paleo diet is not restrictive in terms of calories, so you need to make good choices about the foods you consume. The more starchy foods you eat, the more likely you will not lose or even gain weight.
For more information on the Paleo Diet, check out www.thepaleodiet.com and www.whole9life.com.