What is the Paleo Diet, is it right for you?
Paleo based diets, also known as ‘stone age’ or ‘caveman’ style diets, are rapidly increasing in popularity, with more and more international level athletes and coaches basing their nutrition around paleo principles. Stone aged body, space aged food
The Paleo diet is based around choosing the types of foods that were around before the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago. In other words our intake is based on the following:
‘Paleo Food Groups’
• Fibrous vegetables and some starchy vegetables,
• Meats and fish,
• Fruits and berries; and
• Nuts and seeds.
Our lineage as a species is 2.5 million years old, for the vast majority of that time our diet was based on the same types of foods, however about 6000-10000 years ago this all changed. 70% of the food we eat today has not existed for most of our time on earth; much of it did not exist 100 years ago.
Like putting diesel in a petrol car, our bodies do not run well on these “modern foods”.
Modern foods include:
• Processed oils, even so called ‘healthy’ ones like seed oils and vegetable oils
• Highly processed compound foods (ready meals, sugary cakes, biscuits, energy bars and the like)
The ‘modern foods’ listed above break down into thousands of different foods, making things complicated. Nutrition can become highly complex very quickly if you try to select each individual food. The ‘Paleo’ diet provides you with a simple framework to work with and eliminates the confusion surrounding food choices.
So why go Paleo?
There is a long list of health issues connected to a poor diet. The biggest killers in the western world today are all diseases directly related to a poor diet. In addition, physical performance is heavily dependent upon diet and nutrition. In order to get the best out of your body you need to be mindful that you’re eating good quality, nutrient dense foods in the right form.
A complex subject simplified
Health and performance is a huge subject. Diet is mind bogglingly complex, each food is a combination of hundreds or thousands of types of compounds that impact our health and there are hundreds of foods in your local shops to choose from. Nutrition science is a relatively young subject, changing rapidly and growing ever more confusing, the idea behind paleo is to rely on a higher authority – the natural world – to guide food choices.
Your body is a machine, if you put the right things in then you’ll get the best result in terms of your health and performance. I