Also know as “the paleolithic diet” and “the caveman diet”, this is a concept of dieting that includes only foods that cavemen from the paleolithic era would have had access to. This includes fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and even red meat. No processed food is allowed while on the paleo diet, which includes refined sugar, grains and dairy products. The theory is that the processed foods and pesticides that we ingest has led to the increased amount of disease and obesity that we find prominent in western culture.
Get Primal For Better Health
Our cavemen ancestors were very nomadic in nature, moving around from environment to environment in search of the best conditions to hunt and gather food. This allowed their bodies to adapt to whatever dietary changes that they experienced. Most of the meat that they consumed from land animals was very lean and did not contain much fat. It goes without saying that these animals were also eating a completely natural diet free of any kind of synthetic chemicals which had a positive trickle down effect on the health of the ancient humans who were consuming them. Once organized agriculture and domestication of livestock came about, the paleolithic diet became a thing of the past and humans moved into a new era of easy to obtain food that would eventually become mass produced and stripped of many of it’s natural benefits.
What’s Different About The Paleolithic Diet?
As I mentioned earlier, you will be concentrating mainly on cutting out any and all processed foods from your diet. Lean meats are not only okay, they’re actually encouraged as long as they are from animals that have lived their lives eating as natural of a diet as possible. Grass fed, lean cuts of meat are what you’re looking for. As far as vegetables and fruits, you’re looking for organic, locally farmed produce that hasn’t been sitting on a shelf for weeks at a time. Fish is also highly encouraged while on the paleo diet. You will be cutting out all grains as well as any vegetables that did not exist prior to the invention of agriculture.
Here are some foods that you will NOT be able to eat while on the caveman diet:
- No grains, oats, rice, corn, and wheat among others
- No potatoes and any kind of starchy tubers
- No legumes such as peanuts, beans and peas
- No dairy products
- No Cooking oil other than coconut and palm oil
- No Salt or foods with alot of salt added for flavor
- No fatty meats such as bacon, fatty cuts of beef and pork…keep it lean!
- No sweets
- No soft drinks
Here are some things that you WILL be able to eat while on this diet. Thankfully, there are entire cookbooks and websites devoted to paleolithic dieting recipes:
- Lean cuts of meat – Grass fed animals are the healthiest, but don’t stress over it too much if you can’t find these cuts of meat. As long as you get the least fatty cuts you can find you will be ok. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey and most wild game, even exotic game, are all acceptable on this diet.
- Fish – Almost any kind of fish holds tremendous nutritional value and is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Try to eat some kind of fish at least 3-4 times per week.
- Other Seafood – Shellfish such as oysters, mussels, clams, lobster, scallops and shrimp are all allowed on the paleo diet.
- Vegetables – Any kind of vegetable is allowed on this diet, except of course those that are starchy such as yams and potatoes.
- Fruits – Again, almost any kind of fruit is ok to eat while on the paleo diet. Try to eat the ones that are lower in sugar content such as berries, all kinds of melon, papaya, peaches and apples.
Since cavemen migrated often as a means of survival, we will never know with absolute certainty what they were eating at any given time. However, this list of foods is a very logical starting point for those of you wishing to live a healthier life through the dietary changes offered by the paleolithic diet.