Exploring the Paleo Diet Plan

The paleo diet is a lifestyle and weight loss program that was developed in the 1970s. It is based on the premise that the biology, genetics, and metabolism of modern human beings is similar to that of people from the Paleolithic era that occurred between 10,000 and 2.5 million years ago. The diet includes only foods that Neolithic humans would have consumed during that period in history. The idea is that the body will have fewer problems and lower risks of disease because the foods that are eaten are better digested and have a high potential health benefit. Several variations of the paleo diet plan currently exist.

PaleoThe basic paleo diet food list is made up largely of proteins like beef and fish. The plan calls for a diet that of half to two-thirds protein and a much smaller percentage of carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are a major staple of the diet. Some other foods like nuts, mushrooms, and root vegetables are included. The foods that are excluded from the plan include anything that has been processed, such as flour or oil. Grains, dairy, and beans are also excluded from the diet. Most people who follow the diet will only eat grass-fed or organic meats and produce in order to avoid any contamination that might have occurred because of modern agricultural practices.

The relatively strict original version of the paleo diet has been modified so that it better fits with what is available in the modern world. One of the most widely accepted variations of the paleo diet is essentially a high-protein and low-carbohydrate plan that avoids simple carbohydrates and processed foods. The carbohydrate content of most modern plans is higher than the original diet specified. Some variations of the paleo diet do not even have strict food lists and instead just specify avoiding processed foods and maintaining a specific protein-to-carbohydrate ratio.

Most individual paleo diet recipes are fairly balanced. They include a good amount of vegetables and proteins. Certain plans are very strict and make it impossible to have a balanced meal that includes all of the correct food groups and nutrients that are necessary for good health. The general selection of paleo diet foods give dieters a good selection of items to choose from although fiber and complex carbohydrates do need to be added. Most diet plans also include intense exercise that supposedly simulates the life of Neolithic humans.

There are varying opinions about the effectiveness and concept of the paleo diet. The fact that there is difficulty defining exactly what a paleo diet plan is in the modern day makes the task of studying the effectiveness of the plan harder. Many people who benefit from the paleo diet do so because of increased activity and restricted caloric intake as opposed to the selection of foods that are eaten. Revised plans that include fiber and carbohydrates in sufficient proportions are actually very healthy but closely resemble the traditionally accepted dietary guidelines that have been in use for years.