Call the diet what every you want, Paleo, Paleolithic, Caveman or Hunter Gatherer. It is using clues from groups of humans that were generally healthy. It is not trying to replicate exactly what they ate (good luck finding wooly mammoth steak at the butcher counter), but is eating modern foods that keep inflammation low and the body in good health. You can reproduce paleolithic nutrition using foods available in the modern world.
This diet is so simple, don’t make it difficult.
The Diet in a sentence is: Eat whole foods – Avoid grains/legumes, seed oils and sugar.
Keep in mind, there are as many ways to eat a paleo style diet, as there are people eating the diet. Everyone has different tolerance levels. Pay close attention to how you feel after eating and adjust your diet accordingly. Right now I feel great eating high fat, moderate protein and carbs.
Avoid the Big Three
Grains – especially the gluten containing grains. I enjoy a sprouted corn tortilla or some white rice from time to time with little problems
Seed Oils – Do not ingest industrial oils. Canola, Soybean and the rest. Use beef tallow, palm oil and shortening, butter and coconut oil.
Refined Carbohydrates - Don’t eat processed food and you’ll be on the path to greater health.
Is the Paleo Diet Low Carb?
It doesn’t need to be. I think a short period of low carbohydrate intake may make it easier to get off processed foods. However, I find potatoes, sweet potatoes and other starchy plant products make meals more satisfying and reduce my daily intake of food. Plus, they really make the diet more affordable.
More about Grains – Our bodies have not evolved to eat bird seed, instead eat things that eat bird seed.
I find that eating grains makes my stomach and joints hurt. If you feel like you want to try eating some grains Nourishing Traditions shows you methods that reduce (not eliminate) the irritating compounds in grains. In Weston Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration he did find some groups of people that were healthy and ate some grains. It seems like they always ate the grains with lots of animal fat and either ate it whole (not broken open or ground) or used sprouting and soaking. The choice is yours, but I feel best without grain. Don’t forget that corn is a grain, not a vegetable.
Fructose – I know it is a sugar but deserves a heading of its own. Fructose ruins metabolism, it makes it difficult for your body to tells you it is not hungry.
It is beautiful from an evolutionary stand point. The fruit tree wants you to eat as much fruit as you can, so you will deposit seeds elsewhere and more fruit trees will grow. And, humans have been selectively breeding trees to make sweeter and sweeter fruit (meaning fruit today is nothing like the fruit from the past).
Agave nectar has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. It is messed up metabolism disguised as health food, don’t eat it. And, by don’t eat it, I mean don’t eat large amounts. A teaspoon here and there should be fine, as long as it doesn’t increase your appetite.
Each person has a different tolerance to fructose. I find if I eat too much, I am hungry the rest of the day. If you are at your desired weight, you could probably include fruit in your daily diet.
Dairy – It is probably best to limit dairy. Grass fed butter and whole cream should be alright for most people, since they are just fat. Gee is also an option to consider.
Disclaimer: This is not advice, this is what works for me.