The Paleolithic Diet Concept
Imagine yourself living in the Paleolithic Era, without a machine for agriculture, without the food industry or instruments for cooking … just eating what you need to stay alive.
Well, you certainly wouldn’t be able to eat grains or legumes, since you couldn’t cook them.
I couldn’t taste pasta and other foods that contain refined flours and sugars, since it would be impossible to process grains and sugar cane …
And it certainly wouldn’t have access to today’s industrialized products.
In fact, during the Paleolithic period, our food was limited to what we were able to hunt or harvest.
And that is the spirit of the diet: you can basically eat what our ancestors ate before the advent of agriculture.
Obviously with some adaptations – after all, almost no one will go out eating insects or hunting with their bare hands.
If we get to where we got by eating this way, it is easy to see that this type of food probably has its benefits.
In fact, the human being (Homo genus) has been around for 2.5 million years – and agriculture for about 10,000 years.
That is, the Paleolithic diet advocates that we eat the way we evolved by eating. That is, with the foods that were available for 99% of the time of our existence on this planet.
And let’s talk about what foods are allowed in this style of food below.
What to Eat: The Foods Allowed and Prohibited on the Paleolithic Diet
We can condense the Paleolithic diet in basically 4 main rules:
- Cut the sugar;
- Eliminate grains and their derivatives, such as flours and oils;
- Do not consume processed foods;
- Avoid dairy products – below we will talk about which are tolerated and which are not.
To these 4 main and basic rules of the diet, we can add 2 commandments:
- Eat ” real food “;
- The natural fat in food is your friend, you need not fear it.
In reality, you can eat everything that is not processed.
Everything that you can simply “take in nature and eat directly”, or at most transform in a natural way.
Like coconut milk, for example : just peel the dry coconut, beat it with warm water, and you’re done: you have 100% natural homemade coconut milk in your hands.
But of course you can and should cook and season – as the focus is on low-processed foods, not bland food.
On the other hand, if the food has to go through a thousand industrial processes, adding chemical components, preservatives, and much more, you can forget: it does not fit this food philosophy.
Paleolithic Diet Menu
That you should eat “ real food ” and that the natural fat in food is your friend, you already know.
So now let’s take a more detailed list of the foods allowed in the Paleolithic diet.
In this link , we offer a comprehensive list of allowed foods.
And here you will find a complete weekly menu for the Paleolithic Diet.
Foods Allowed On The Paleo Diet
All meats are allowed and their fats do not need to be removed.
Because we evolved by eating fatty meats , and fat is not harmful to human health .
- All other types of seafood
3. Eggs :
Eggs are a complete food, and highly recommended . All formsare allowed.
( But it’s also not just for eating eggs .)
4. Vegetables and Vegetables:
All can be eaten without restrictions – and are still a great source of fiber and nutrients for your diet.
5. Natural fat:
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado mayonnaise
All of these foods are allowed. They also give you a feeling of satiety for a longer time, which helps in the weight loss process.
Remembering that it is good to stay away from “unnatural” fats, such as margarines, hydrogenated vegetable fat, and oils from seeds and grains .
- Chestnut of Pará
- Cashew nut
- Pecan nut
7. Low sugar fruits :
- Passion fruit
among other fruits with few liquid carbohydrates .
Foods That Should Be Eaten In Moderation On The Paleo Diet
- Sweet potato
- English potato
- among others
- among others
The consumption of these items depends on your dietary goal.
Remember that we said that the diet was not necessarily a low-carb diet and that it was not necessarily practiced by those who want to lose weight?
Well, that was precisely why:
- If you want to lose weight , then restrict the consumption of fruits and roots and make the diet restricted in carbohydrates;
- Now if losing weight is not your goal and you just want healthier eating habits, then you can eat these foods as you wish.
Special mention of red fruits, such as strawberries and cherries, which have less sugar and can be consumed more freely, even for those who want to lose weight.
Anyway, any type of fruit juice should be avoided (except for lemon and passion fruit juice), especially if you want to lose weight.
Other items that can be included in the diet, as long as in moderation, are as follows.
Alcoholic Drinks And Paleo Diet
Alcohol alone does not elevate insulin, and does not convert to fat – find out the truth about alcohol consumption here .
On the other hand, alcohol contains calories, and can actually make it difficult to lose weight if consumed in large quantities.
In the case of the Paleolithic diet, the option is for drinks with low carbohydrates, such as wines or dry sparkling wines .
Pass away from beer , and avoid mixtures with sugar (like vodka with juices, energy drinks or soft drinks ).
Dairy and Paleo Diet
The Paleolithic diet, as idealized by Loren Cordain, does not contain dairy products.
After all, in the Paleolithic period we did not have domesticated animals to provide us with milk.
However, some reinterpretations of the paleo diet (such as the Primal Lifestyle) adopt fatty, low-carb dairy products.
Related : Discover the difference between Primal and Paleo.
This refers to dairy products such as cheese, curd, plain yogurt with fat, butter and ghee .
In this context, both water and milk kefir also have their place in the Paleo diet (see some recipes with kefir here ).
In any case, milk is not well accepted.
Because it contains lactose (a type of sugar) and it also raises insulin – in addition to not being tolerated by many people.
In addition, many dairy products receive more sugar (such as various yogurts, dairy drinks, etc.) or other chemical additives in their compositions, so it is best to avoid them and always pay attention to what you are consuming.
And if you want a shopping list for the paleo / low-carb diet, read this post .
Prohibited Foods On The Paleo Diet
- Sugar : all foods that contain sugar should be cut out of the diet, such as soft drinks, sweets, fruit juices, cakes, pies , ice cream, breakfast cereals … the list is huge!
- Starch : mainly all derivatives of grains (corn, wheat, oats, rice, etc.) and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, etc.).
Eliminate wheat- based pasta and flour (a food that can cause a lot of damage to your health) , especially for people with celiac disease.
At this point, it is worth emphasizing again that it is important to eliminate processed oils from grains and seeds, such as sunflower and soy oils.
- Industrialized products with chemical additives: it may not be right to generalize, but the following rule of thumb is almost always valid:
- if the product is industrialized, pass away from it;
- if the product contains “ingredients” with “strange names”, pass away from it.
- Margarine: margarine could be included in the item above.
However, we decided to separate it for a simple reason: that many people still think margarine and butter are almost the same – or worse, they think margarine is healthier.
And this is a totally wrong concept: margarine is harmful to your health and should never be consumed .
“But Mr. Tanquinho, why can I eat olive oil and I can’t eat oils from seeds and grains?”
Simple, my dear reader. To obtain olive oil, just take an olive and squeeze it. There, you have the extra virgin olive oil .
Now, to obtain oils from grains and seeds the process is much more complex – and you can be sure: they are not natural products, much less foods that were consumed thousands of years ago.
In addition, vegetable oils are associated with imbalances in the proportions of omega-3 and omega-6, in addition to the intake of artificial trans fats.