What is the Paleo Diet?

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Paleo diet was some kind of dinosaur or arthritic condition if someone said it to you quickly with any level of background noise. It is in fact the nickname for the Paleolithic or caveman diet, an ancient theory of eating that goes back before our era of processed food and animal farming to the simpler time of the hunter-gatherer.

Tapping into what Paleo experts claim our bodies were genetically coded to flourish on, this diet has a strict in or out measure policy for foods and eliminates anything processed and everything that we have as a result of farming or agriculture including sugar and added salt, dairy, grains and even beloved cheese.

The Paleoticians also advise against eating anything that can’t be eaten raw or requires additional preparation which means no legumes or starchy root vegetables.

Receiving some criticism for being difficult to stick to, the Paleo diet is the flavour of the month in dieting circles worldwide with an avid following among athletes, those wanting to lose weight, people living with chronic illnesses and is even favoured by our own Tim Noakes.

IN: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts & seeds, healthy fats
OUT: dairy, grains, processed foods, added sugar, legumes, starch, alcohol

Stick to that and you will be following the Paleo diet.  There are no limits on quantities and the general principle of eating when you’re hungry. Unweighed, unmeasured and up to you (with no cheese). This itemised list from LiveStrong gives a thorough breakdown of what you are allowed to munch and they’ve also got some handy Paleo diet tips.

Benefits of following the diet include lower cholesterol, an improvement in heart disease susceptibility and the risk of diabetes onset, allergen free eating and a simple way to sidestep gluten.

If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, Palieodietlifestyle.com have rather a lovely selection, including Roasted Cauliflower with Mint and Pomegranate and a lovely Mushroom Salad. A word of warning to check with you doctor before embarking on this caveman food mission as it can cause sudden weight loss and needs to be carefully followed to stay balanced and healthy. And alive.

Here at Yuppiechef HQ, we quite like the full span of food groups, although there is a brave lady in our ranks about to embark on the Ironman 70.3 who might give the Paleo diet a try some day.

Any takers?

Image from Greenprophet.