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What is the paleo diet and how to sit on it
What is the paleo diet and how to sit on it

Iya Zorina understands food that cavemen would approve of.

What is the paleo diet and how to sit on it
What is the paleo diet and how to sit on it

What is the essence of the paleo diet

The Paleo diet prescribes to eat as our distant ancestors did in the Paleolithic era - a period that began about 2.5 million years ago and lasted until about 10 millennia BC.

At that time, people led the lifestyle of hunters and gatherers, if meat and fish, as well as everything that can be found: vegetables and fruits, herbs, nuts. Diet proponents believe that since the modern human body finished evolving during this period, the diet of hunters and gatherers is ideal for him.

But dairy products, cereals and legumes, which appeared in the diet much later - about 10 thousand years ago - did not have time to become a habitual meal, and therefore contribute to the development of an obesity epidemic, cause diabetes, heart and vascular problems.

Opponents of this hypothesis argue that there is no evolutionarily correct diet, and human nutrition is largely determined by the environment. Here are some arguments against:

  • Genetic studies have shown that evolution did not stop in the Paleolithic: the body continued to adapt, including to changes in diet and lifestyle. For example, in humans, the number of genes associated with the breakdown of starches increased, and the evolution of lactose resistance continued.
  • Archaeological research has shown that people in the Stone Age could eat wild grains as early as 30 thousand years ago - long before they switched to agriculture.
  • Dietary preferences are shaped by society. We learn what is tasty and what is not, what can be eaten and what is not, and how to combine different products. This is not the kind of knowledge that is genetically inherent and given to us instinctively.

The topic is too complex and confusing to make an unambiguous conclusion. However, the paleo diet was extremely popular in the 2010s, so there is a lot of research into its effectiveness and impact on health.

How quickly the paleo diet allows you to lose weight

It is impossible to say for sure how quickly you will be able to lose weight. It depends on many factors: the characteristics of the body, the calorie content of the diet and the amount of physical activity. However, one can at least roughly draw conclusions from research data.

On average, the paleo diet allows you to lose, up to 3-5 kg in three months, up to 6, 5 kg - in six months and up to 8, 7 - in a year.

In addition, the paleo diet can help fight abdominal obesity. According to various sources, it can get rid of 1.5 cm in the waist in three weeks to 11 cm in six months.

However, when the body fully adapts to this type of diet, you can put on a few pounds again. For example, in a two-year study, women on the paleo lost an average of 8.7 kg during the year, kept this weight for another 6 months, and by the end of the second year gained about 3-4 kg.

What problems can the paleo diet cause?

In the scientific community, there is still no consensus about whether it is good for health or, conversely, can harm. We can say for sure that such a diet is not suitable for all people. Moreover, this applies to both health and household factors.

Heart problems

This diet is believed to have cardiovascular health benefits. Paleo lowers blood pressure and improves lipid profile: reduces,, the amount of triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol, raises the level of "good". But one 2019 study raised doubts about its heart health benefits.

A team of Australian scientists have found that people on the paleo diet have elevated levels of trimethylamine oxide, which is associated with atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Trimethylamine oxide is produced in the liver from trimethylamine, which in turn is produced in the intestine under the influence of its flora. Scientists have suggested that because people on the Paleo diet do not eat grains rich in fiber, it negatively affects bowel function and may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

This is just one study, and the mechanism of action of trimethylamine oxide is not yet clear, but if you have heart problems, it is worth consulting with a cardiologist and nutritionist before switching to a paleo diet.

Kidney problems

Since cereals and bread are prohibited in the Paleo diet, meat and eggs often become the basis of the diet, and the amount of protein in the diet increases. High-protein diets, on the other hand, can harm the kidneys with pre-existing problems, as well as contribute to the formation of stones.

However, the paleo diet does not have to be high in protein. If you want, you can change your menu to fit into a safe level of protein - add more fruits and vegetables.

Decreased bone mineral density

Since paleo does not include dairy (the main source of calcium in the diet of modern humans), the diet can lead to a deficiency of this trace element necessary for bone health. True, you can get calcium from permitted sources: sesame seeds, parsley and other foods rich in this element, or take nutritional supplements.

Increased spending on groceries

If you eat the Paleo diet, you will be spending about 10% more money than if you were on a regular diet. Meat, red fish, nuts and seeds, vegetables in winter - all this will cost much more than cereals, legumes or milk. Therefore, if money matters, first try to calculate how much money will be spent on a new diet.

Lack of opportunity to eat in cafes and restaurants

One of the problems with the paleo diet is the difficulty with ready-to-eat meals. You are unlikely to be able to follow the rules when eating in a cafeteria or restaurant, so you will have to cook at home or replace meals with legal snacks like fruits, nuts and seeds.

You can cope with this, for example, if you order meat and vegetables in a restaurant and ask them to cook them in olive oil, but you will hardly be able to eat constantly and fully in public places.

Dos and Don'ts on the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet does not include restrictions on calories and the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, but at the same time it has a clear list of permitted and prohibited foods.

What you can eat on the paleo diet

  • Meat: beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork, game. Livestock and poultry should be free range, grass or grain fed, not special feed.
  • Fish and seafood: salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish and others.
  • Eggs: Choose from free-grazing chickens or fortified with omega-3s.
  • Vegetables: broccoli, collard greens, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes.
  • Fruits and berries: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados and others.
  • Roots: potatoes, yams, turnips.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and others.
  • Some vegetable oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil.
  • Salt and spices: sea salt, garlic, rosemary, turmeric and others.
  • Sugar and Caffeine Free Drinks: water, including mineral water, herbal teas without caffeine, berry fruit drinks without added sugar, vegetable juices.

What you can't eat on the paleo diet

  • Sweet foods: sugar, any sweets, ice cream.
  • Cereals: including bread, pasta, wheat, spelled, rye, barley and others.
  • Legumes: beans, beans, peas and others.
  • Milk products: milk, dairy products, cottage cheese.
  • Some vegetable oils: soybean, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, grape seed, safflower and others.
  • Trans fats: margarine and processed foods containing hydrogenated oils.
  • Artificial sweeteners: aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium.
  • Heavily processed food: dietary and low fat, with a lot of additives.
  • Drinks with sugar, alcohol and caffeine: alcohol, tea, coffee, fruit juices, energy and sports drinks, soda with sugar or sweetener.

What You Can Eat in Some Versions of the Paleo Diet

In some cases, people modify their diet and, in addition to the basic foods allowed, also add:

  • Fatty dairy products: butter and cheese.
  • Tea and coffee.
  • Red winein moderation.
  • Dark chocolatewith 70% cocoa.

These foods provide the body with nutrients and make life a little more enjoyable on a diet.

What can be a menu for a week with a paleo diet

We've put together a rough meal plan for the week according to the principles of the paleo diet. Some recipes contain cheese. If you choose to stick to a strict paleo diet, just cut it out while cooking.

Day 1

Paleo Weekly Menu: Baked Pork with Ginger, Garlic and Chili
Paleo Weekly Menu: Baked Pork with Ginger, Garlic and Chili
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs with tomatoes and spices.
  • Lunch: salad with chicken, apple, walnuts and celery (do not add mayonnaise).
  • Dinner: baked pork with ginger, garlic and chili.

Day 2

Paleo Weekly Menu: Burgundy Beef
Paleo Weekly Menu: Burgundy Beef
  • Breakfast: diet salad with mushrooms, tomatoes and eggs.
  • Lunch: leftover baked pork, sliced fresh vegetables.
  • Dinner: Burgundy beef with onions, carrots and herbs.

Day 3

Menu for a week with a paleo diet: Fish hodgepodge with shrimps
Menu for a week with a paleo diet: Fish hodgepodge with shrimps
  • Breakfast: salad with shrimps, avocado and tomatoes (do not add mayonnaise and ketchup).
  • Lunch: leftover burgundy beef, fruit salad with kiwi, blueberries and orange juice for dessert.
  • Dinner: fish hodgepodge with shrimps.

Day 4

Paleo Weekly Menu: Vegetable Frittata
Paleo Weekly Menu: Vegetable Frittata
  • Breakfast: frittata with vegetables and spices.
  • Lunch: chicken baked with lemon and garlic, sliced fresh vegetables.
  • Dinner: meat muffins with eggs and vegetables, fruit platter.

Day 5

Paleo diet weekly menu: Soup of three types of mushrooms with potatoes
Paleo diet weekly menu: Soup of three types of mushrooms with potatoes
  • Breakfast: leftover muffins with eggs and vegetables.
  • Lunch: leftover chicken baked with lemon and garlic, vegetable slices.
  • Dinner: soup of three types of mushrooms with potatoes, for dessert smoothies with banana, pineapple and ginger.

Day 6

Paleo Weekly Menu: Healthy Salad with Chicken, Vegetables and Feta Cheese
Paleo Weekly Menu: Healthy Salad with Chicken, Vegetables and Feta Cheese
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs with tomatoes.
  • Lunch: salad with fried chicken breast, vegetables and feta.
  • Dinner: hot beetroot with meat and eggs (do not add mayonnaise).

Day 7

Paleo Weekly Menu: Chicken with potatoes, cabbage and pepper in pots
Paleo Weekly Menu: Chicken with potatoes, cabbage and pepper in pots
  • Breakfast: leftover salad with breast and vegetables.
  • Lunch: leftover beetroot.
  • Dinner: chicken with potatoes, cabbage and pepper in pots.

Also, in addition to the main meals, you can freely add snacks and desserts in the form of nuts, fruits and berries. But remember that nuts are a high-calorie food, so don't get carried away.

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