Eat only things that occur naturally:
- Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
- Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
- Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
- Eggs – Look for Omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
- Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
- Fruits – Have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them.
- Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.
Keep it simple: Try to get a really good protein source with each meal (eggs, steak, chicken, fish, pork) with each meal along with some vegetables or fruit. That’s it. If you’re having trouble getting enough calories daily, add some healthy fats to the equation: avocado, a handful of almonds or walnuts, almond butter, olive oil, etc.
Now, fruit does have quite a bit of sugar in it, and nuts have quite a few calories…so if you are following the Paleo Diet but not losing weight, check your fruit and nut consumption and see if you are loading up on those at the expense of vegetables and healthy protein.
GRAINS – No-No.
Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet.
Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function – any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.
Grains contain gluten and lectins.
- Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley. It’s now being said that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant. Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
- Lectins are natural toxins exist within grains to defend against consumption! Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.
The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.
So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.
Our bodies are designed to operate on a lower amount of carbohydrates than what we’re used to eating, so less carbs isn’t an issue. When there is an absence of carbs (which is how we’re USED to operating), our body will take stored fat and burn THAT for energy in a process called ketogenesis.
So, less carbs = less glucose in your system, which means your body will have to start burning fat as your fuel source.
The other great thing about vegetables is that you can eat as many of them as you like and you’ll never get fat. They’re incredibly nutrient dense and calorie light – six servings of broccoli (and who would eat 6 servings at once?) has 180 calories and only 36 grams of carbs. A single serving of pasta (and NOBODY eats just one serving of pasta) has 200 calories and 42 grams of carbs.
Dairy’s a tough one, as most Paleo folks tend to stay away from it – a portion of the world is lactose intolerant, and those that aren’t usually have at least some type of an aversion to it. Why is that? Because no other animal in the entire kingdom drinks milk beyond infancy. Hunter-gatherers didn’t lug cows around with them while traveling – milk was consumed as a baby, and that was it. As with grains, our bodies weren’t designed for massive dairy consumption.
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