What is the Paleo Diet?


Have you heard about the caveman diet? It is also known as the Paleo diet, because it mimics the foods that humans ate during the Paleolithic era. Contrary to popular belief, the Paleo Diet is not totally plant based. Yes, humans during this prehistory did eat whatever plants, fruits and vegetables were available to them. But they ate a lot of meat as well.

As a matter of fact, they ate whatever they could whenever they had a chance. This period of time saw humans learn to make and use stone tools, and begin to form bands or groups. This was the beginning of societies as we know them today. They gathered plants, hunted and fished, and it was during this very influential age of man that art, religion and spiritual practices first developed.

These humans who lived 15,000 years ago ate only natural foods. This was pre-agriculture and pre-dairy. Obviously, there were no industries and corporations spewing unhealthy pollution into the air and water. There were no McDonald’s or Starbucks stores pumping garbage into Paleolithic man either. He enjoyed a healthy diet of fish, seeds, fruits and meat, and truly “lived off of the land”.

That simple nutrition plan means that only natural foods entered the human body.

Why is that important? Well, scientists have studied the remains of human beings from the Paleolithic time period, and found something very startling.

These humans didn’t suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, obesity and heart disease.

Those dangerous and deadly conditions began to pop up when humans began eating wheat. Massive droughts in Europe and other areas around the world meant that humans had to eat what was available … and at that time, there was plenty of wheat. Wheat was mixed with water, and this was the origin of today’s bread. Experimentation led to the basis of unhealthy foods and food components we know today, such as trans fats, processed foods, processed sugars and simple carbohydrates.

This drastic shift in the human diet meant that people did not have to hunt and roam for their food anymore. But since they turned away from the fish, meats, seeds, fruit and nuts that made up the Paleolithic diet, this led to many of the diseases we know today.

Protein will be as much as 30% of your daily eating plan, with as much as 45% or 50% of your calories coming from carbohydrates delivered in the form of high fiber fruits and vegetables. As much as 25% to 45% of your calories will come from healthy fats.

For a hard definition, you can consider the Paleo diet as …

“A nutritional approach to eating that adopts the diet of Paleolithic man. Vegetables, leafy greens, seeds, meats, fish and nuts comprise that diet.”