What is the paleo diet?

The “Paleolithic” diet, or Paleo, revisits the way humans ate during the Paleolithic era. Paleo supporters state that because our genetic and anatomy have changed very little since that age, we should eat foods available during that time to promote good health. Our predecessor hunted, fished and gathered wild plants for foods and they did not have advanced tools to grow and cultivate other plants. They were believed to experience less modern-day diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease because of a consistent diet of lean meats and plant foods along with a high level of physical activity from intensive hunting.

What foods to include in the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

There is debate about several aspects of the Paleo diet: what foods actually existed at the time and how modern-day fruits and vegetables bear little resemblance to prehistoric wild versions. Because of these differences, there is not one “true” Paleo diet. For example, although white potatoes were recorded as being available during the Paleolithic era, they are usually avoided on the Paleo diet because of their high glycemic index. Processed foods are also technically off limits due to an emphasis on fresh foods. Overall, the diet is high in protein, moderate in fat (mainly from unsaturated fats), low-moderate in carbohydrate (specifically restricting high glycemic index carbohydrates), high in fiber, and low in sodium and refined sugars.