Go Paleo

By Jessie Schirrick Posted February 19, 2014

Ever heard of the Paleo? Sounds like a new dance craze, right? It’s actually a diet, and it could be the secret formula to a healthier life.

The Paleo Diet (often referred to as the Caveman Diet) is based on the food that prehistoric humans must have eaten. So why would you ever want to eat what our Neanderthal ancestors ate? After all their life expectancy was only 25 years. Well, don’t write them off just yet. I’m sure if they had the medical knowledge of today they could go much further.

The basis of the Paleo’s appeal is that it means only eating what your body was made for, un-processed food; so no grains and no dairy, because cavemen were alive before the agricultural revolution. What’s left includes grass-fed meat, fowl, wild fish, Omega- 3 enriched eggs, vegetables (not deep fried, obviously), natural oils (olive, coconut, and avocado), fruits, nuts, and tuber (sweet potatoes and yams.)

I’m aware this goes against everything we’ve been told since we were little kids, “Drink your milk if you want to grow big and strong.” Okay so maybe milk helps us grow BIG, but strong? Not necessarily. Cavemen didn’t drink milk past the breast-feeding stage of their life. So how’d they get their calcium? Spinach, kale, and almonds are all calcium-rich sources. In fact, one cup of almonds has 378 mg. of calcium while one cup of milk only has 299 mg. of calcium.

Grains (bread, pasta, and cereal) are the tastiest treats available to humans. Also some of the unhealthiest as a lot of grains contain gluten. I’m not criminalizing all gluten, it is rich in protein and has nutritional value, but it can also cause intestinal and digestive issues.

The paleo diet was ranked last of 31 diets reviewed by judges at US News. The different diets were judged on how easy they would be to follow, safety, how effective they were for weight loss, and how well they fight against diabetes and heart disease. The paleo was ranked so poorly largely due to the fact that it would indeed be very hard to follow, but if you’re serious about getting healthy then you should be prepared to go that extra mile. The panelists also argued that cutting out dairy and grains could lead to nutrient deficiency, but they can easily be replaced with a multivitamin.

Not only does this omit grains and dairy from your diet, but also all other processed foods left on the table like bacon and this diet leaves no room for liquid calories (water only.)

This may seem like a lot to ask, and you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) cut all of these foods out of your diet at once, but rather take small steps in order to make an easier transition to a healthy life. Your body will thank you.