At its simplest, paleo is an eating style emphasizing whole, nutrient-rich foods like fruits and veggies, meat, seafood, nuts and seeds. The goal is to maximize health and well-being by eating more of the foods our ancient ancestors knew, the kind of foods paleo fans believe our bodies evolved to thrive on. Although there are no absolute guidelines, ingredients to avoid include grains, refined sugar, legumes, dairy, artificial additives and highly processed foods.
As our dietary recommendations tend to eliminate many of the staples typically consumed on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet (such as grains, legumes, soy, most vegetable oils and/or conventional dairy) your protein choices may be significantly limited to strictly pastured sources of dairy products and eggs and you may likely require more supplementation to compensate for those food sources (including meat) which we eliminate in the program. Also, since a vegetarian diet is typically very rich in antigenic foods (endemic to a post-agricultural diet), sensitivities to some foods may unfortunately be more common. We strongly encourage openness to incorporating high quality, healthfully, humanely and sustainably raised animal source foods and seafood over time.
For immediate weight loss, Paleo is a great and healthy solution. But after carefully reading and considering, I’m unconvinced that Paleo is optimal for long-term health. I think, in fact, it might lead to heart disease and other ills associated with heavy meat consumption. Although many of Cordain’s theories fall apart long-term, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and highly recommend the book. You should read critically and decide for yourself.
Most Paleo dieters of today do none of this, with the exception of occasional hunting trips or a little urban foraging. Instead, their diet is largely defined by what they do not do: most do not eat dairy or processed grains of any kind, because humans did not invent such foods until after the Paleolithic; peanuts, lentils, beans, peas and other legumes are off the menu, but nuts are okay; meat is consumed in large quantities, often cooked in animal fat of some kind; Paleo dieters sometimes eat fruit and often devour vegetables; and processed sugars are prohibited, but a little honey now and then is fine.
According to the CDC, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Interestingly however, our Paleolithic ancestors and contemporarily studied hunter-gatherers showed virtually no heart attack or stroke while eating ancestral diets. The references below will explore these facts to better help you understand the heart-healthy benefits of a Paleo diet.
Buried in the middle of The Revised Metabolic Oncolytic Regimen for Effecting Lysis in Solid Tumors one can find their diet recommendations for tumor control. It has a paleo diet orientation. Protein is 35%, preferably Omega 3 rich. Carbohydrates (also 35%) are only vegetables and fruit, no beans, bread, potatoes, or any grain. Then dietary and supplemental forms of fat should provide 20-30% of (daily) calories.
Take 30 days and give it a shot – cut out the grains and dairy, start eating more vegetables and fruits, eat more humanely raised and non-grain fed meat, cut out the liquid calories and sugar, and see how you feel after the month is up. If you’re analytical and want numbers to use in your final verdict, get your blood work done at the beginning and end of the month.
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some versions of the diet.
The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostak and Melvin Konner. This book, published in 1988, was the start of the Paleolithic diet movement. Its recommendations are not in line with what today is considered a paleo diet, as whole grain breads and pastas, legumes and some low fat dairy products are allowed. However, it is still a profoundly important book. Used books are available for a reasonable price.
By latest count, about 800 Hiwi live in palm thatched huts in Colombia and Venezuela. In 1990 Ana Magdalena Hurtado and Kim Hill—now both at Arizona State University in Tempe—published a thorough study (pdf) of the Hiwi diet in the neotropical savannas of the Orinoco River basin in Southwestern Venezuela. Vast grasslands with belts of forest, these savannas receive plenty of rain between May and November. From January through March, however, precipitation is rare: the grasses shrivel, while lakes and lagoons evaporate. Fish trapped in shrinking pools of water are easy targets for caiman, capybaras and turtles. In turn, the desiccating lakes become prime hunting territory for the Hiwi. During the wet season, however, the Hiwi mainly hunt for animals in the forest, using bows and arrows.
As you might expect from the previous paragraph, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables naturally leads to higher fiber intake. Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what you’ve probably heard, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more fiber than refined grains. Even fruits contain twice as much fiber as whole grains and seven times more fiber than refined grains!
We also believe there are benefits in putting an extra emphasis on organ meats, bone broths, Antarctic krill oil supplementation (due to very high EPA and DHA demands on fetal brain development —potentially draining mom’s stores) and 100% organic/fully pastured/wild caught sources of meats, seafood, eggs vegetables and greens. As mother’s milk is an extremely critical source of medium chain triglycerides meant for the rapid growth of the baby’s brain and nervous system, we believe using a little more coconut oil in the diet could be helpful, too. Quality has never mattered as much as it does during this time. Also, in our opinion there has never been a more important and utterly critical time to avoid highly antigenic foods such as gluten, grains and dairy products (except for possibly camel’s milk, which is expensive and a bit hard to come by, but is generally safe from an immune reactive standpoint. It’s nearly identical in its total composition to human milk, and as such may prove useful where supplementing regular breast-feeding might be necessary, as well as a non-immune reactive dairy alternative).
Proponents of the Paleo diet follow a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture and industry, humans presumably lived as hunter–gatherers: picking berry after berry off of bushes; digging up tumescent tubers; chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion; scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed; and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows.
Even if eating only foods available to hunter–gatherers in the Paleolithic made sense, it would be impossible. As Christina Warinner of the University of Zurich emphasizes in her 2012 TED talk, just about every single species commonly consumed today—whether a fruit, vegetable or animal—is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor. In most cases, we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection: we have bred cows, chickens and goats to provide as much meat, milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits—with the biggest fruits, plumpest kernels, sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale are all different cultivars of a single species, Brassica oleracea; generation by generation, we reshaped this one plant's leaves, stems and flowers into wildly different arrangements, the same way we bred Welsh corgis, pugs, dachshunds, Saint Bernards and greyhounds out of a single wolf species. Corn was once a straggly grass known as teosinte and tomatoes were once much smaller berries. And the wild ancestors of bananas were rife with seeds.
Paul Burke's Neo-Dieter's Handbook: When We Lost Our Nutritional Roots; Where to Find These Foods Today by Paul Burke M. Ed. The book focuses on nutrition, the right nutrition to enhance health, exercise, weight training, and fitness. The diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. He is opposed to grains. He wants you to stay away from grain-fed meat. The single review at Amazon.com gives the book 5 stars. Published August 21, 2009.
However, as I already mentioned, the Paleo template simply gives us a starting point from which to decide how to feed ourselves in the modern world. I make my own choices by weighing the health consequences of the foods I eat—and I also consider the gustatory pleasure of the experiences, too. Over the past few years, my attitude toward food has evolved. When I first adopted a Paleo lifestyle, I strictly followed the rigid dictates of the Paleo diet because this new way of eating made me feel so much better. I didn’t even think to question why it worked. But with time, I’ve learned that it’s more important to stay curious about the science behind the approach, and to be fully conscious of my food choices. I learned that I don’t need to strive for “Paleo perfection” as long as I’m mindful of what I’m choosing to put into my mouth, and why.
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were "civilized." Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason. The book shows you how easy it is to take any dish and Make it Paleo! Adapted from Chinese, French, Mexican and classic American meals, the over 200 recipes are each accompanied by good photos and notes to ensure you recreate each dish with ease. Most recipes are ones that can be found in an ordinary cookbook. Butter and vinegar are also used, which I do not consider paleo. Published October 20, 2011.
Fasting for a predetermined period of time, shortening the eating window. Popular IF protocols include daily 16 hour fasts with 8 hour feeding windows, or weekly 24 hour fasts. Less of a “diet,” more of a philosophy. You can combine damn near any diet with a practice of intermittent fasting, be it Paleo, Primal, vegan, vegetarian, Bulletproof, Standard American, or anything between.
Autoimmunity is a process in which our bodies own immune system attacks “us.” Normally the immune system protects us from bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections. The immune system identifies a foreign invader, attacks it, and ideally clears the infection. A good analogy for autoimmunity is the case of tissue rejection after organ donation. If someone requires a new heart, lung kidney or liver due to disease or injury, a donor organ may be an option. The first step in this process is trying to find a tissue “match”. All of us have molecules in our tissues that our immune system uses to recognize self from non-self. If a donated organ is not close enough to the recipient in tissue type the immune system will attack and destroy the organ. In autoimmunity, a similar process occurs in that an individuals own tissue is confused as something foreign and the immune system attacks this “mislabeled” tissue. Common forms of autoimmunity include Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Vitiligo to name only a tiny fraction of autoimmune diseases. Elements of autoimmunity are likely at play in conditions as seemingly unrelated as Schizophrenia, infertility, and various forms of cancer.
Advocates of the diet argue that the increase in diseases of affluence after the dawn of agriculture was caused by changes in diet, but others have countered that it may be that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers did not suffer from the diseases of affluence because they did not live long enough to develop them. Based on the data from hunter-gatherer populations still in existence, it is estimated that at age 15, life expectancy was an additional 39 years, for a total age of 54. At age 45, it is estimated that average life expectancy was an additional 19 years, for a total age of 64 years. That is to say, in such societies, most deaths occurred in childhood or young adulthood; thus, the population of elderly – and the prevalence of diseases of affluence – was much reduced. Excessive food energy intake relative to energy expended, rather than the consumption of specific foods, is more likely to underlie the diseases of affluence. "The health concerns of the industrial world, where calorie-packed foods are readily available, stem not from deviations from a specific diet but from an imbalance between the energy humans consume and the energy humans spend."
Followed this diet, lost 15 pound, back to my high school weight. My weekly migraines stopped. My 20 year back pain from herniated disk, tennis elbow and old motorcycle accident knee injury all stopped hurting. All I have to do is eat a pizza or sandwich if I want the pain back. Also I generally feel better and have more energy. It is not easy because pizza and chips an salsa and deli sandwiches all taste great, but it is worth it and not that hard to make the food amazing it about choices. Oh and I have three kids. One had ADD, another migraines and two bad acne, on this diet all cleared up. To get political for just a minute. If you read this and watch movies like Corn King, and In Defense of Food you will find that corn is a major source of the heath issues in our country, yet the government subsidizes the growing of corn, leading to 30% of American's being Diabetic or Pre Diabetic causing healthcare costs to sky rocket and now they what to fix health care, how about stop paying farmers to grow poison and direct them toward growing Paleo friendly foods. Try this for 6 months hard core and notice your ailment fade. Like I said, if i want a headache, I just need to eat a pizza or drink a beer. Oh one other thing, don't for the masses of "gluten free" junk food like cookies etc. These are just made of corn instead of wheat and are not paleo. Sorry but all cookies are junk food. Eat real food, you will be amazed.
Another 2014 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the effects of the Paleo plan to those of a standard low-fat diet on 70 obese, postmenopausal women. After six months, the Paleo group lost 14 pounds on average, while the other group lost nearly 6 pounds. After a year, the Paleo group had lost 19 pounds on average, and the low-fat dieters had dropped 10 pounds. A year later, both groups had regained some weight: The Paleo group was still down 10 pounds, while the low-fat group had dropped an average of more than 6 pounds.
Closely examining one group of modern hunter–gatherers—the Hiwi—reveals how much variation exists within the diet of a single small foraging society and deflates the notion that hunter–gatherers have impeccable health. Such examination also makes obvious the immense gap between a genuine community of foragers and Paleo dieters living in modern cities, selectively shopping at farmers' markets and making sure the dressing on their house salad is gluten, sugar and dairy free.
We strongly advise that you seek the professional advice of a health practitioner before you make any changes to your current diet and lifestyle and we do not suggest that you discontinue taking any medication you might have been advised to take. There are many long-standing myths and misconceptions surrounding cholesterol that we cover over the course of this program. That said, there are numerous peer reviewed papers showing a beneficial impact on all health-related markers, including cardiovascular and lipid profiles through the adoption of a dietary similar to what we advocate in The Paleo Way program.
Grass-fed beef is often highlighted on the diet, which is promoted to contain more omega-3 fats than conventional beef (due to being fed grass instead of grain). It does contain small amounts of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a precursor to EPA and DHA. However, only a small proportion of ALA can be converted in the body to long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). The amount of omega-3 is also highly variable depending on the exact feeding regimen and differences in fat metabolism among cattle breeds.  In general, the amount of omega-3 in grass-fed beef is much lower than that in oily marine fish.  Cooked salmon contains 1000-2000 mg of EPA/DHA per 3-ounce portion, whereas 3 ounces of grass-fed beef contains about 20-200 mg of ALA.
Dried Fruit Bars Bite-Sized Raspberry Popsicles Apple and Almond Butter Bites Acorn Squash with Walnuts & Cranberries Valentine’s Day Smoothie Bacon-Wrapped Avocado Baked Apple Chips Granola Bars Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Apple cinnamon fruit rolls Chocolate nut granola Morning Paleo smoothie Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds Grilled peaches with Prosciutto and Basil Paleo Snacks Kale chips Raspberry-Lime Fruit Dip Chocolate Strawberry Hearts Banana Raisin Cookies Chunky Fruit Popsicles Bite-sized chocolate treats Broiled Grapefruit Fruit Pudding Fried Honey Banana
Experts estimate that our ancestors consumed a one-to-one ratio of calories from meats to produce. Since you have to eat a lot of salad to consume the same amount of calories in a steak, the paleo diet should ideally include mostly fruits and vegetables, Katz says. However, many people don't realize that and eat too much meat. Consuming excess protein and not enough carbs can cause kidney damage and also increase your risk of osteoporosis, Dr. Ochner says. Plus, since most of today's meats are higher in saturated fat than those of yesteryear, it can increase the risk of heart disease, Dr. Katz says.
Yes, high-quality proteins and fats are part of the equation, but so are lots of vegetables and even (gasp!) carbohydrates. It’s not like I dumped all the grains (which, let’s face it, aren’t naturally nutrient-rich) and processed junk off my plate and replaced it with bacon. Instead, I substituted with more vegetables and some fruit—and I replaced the low-quality, CAFO-raised, steroid-injected meat I used to eat with grass-fed and pastured proteins and sustainable seafood.
Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids by Paleo Parents. The Book is a colorful children's story describing the paleo diet, chock-full of recipes without grains, dairy, soy or refined sugar. For those with food allergies, the top 8 allergens have been visually marked on each recipe for children to self-identify recipes that may contain eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. Published March 20, 2012.
The basic premise: we should eat how we’ve been biologically and genetically programmed. If our ancestors thrived on the food they hunted and gathered – high fat, animal protein, seafood and vegetables, for instance – we should too. And since they weren’t subject to today’s more diverse options – processed food, grains, carbohydrates, dairy products, salt, vegetable oil and refined sugar (among others) – then we should avoid those food groups as well.