When I hear the word “diet”, I usually cringe. Diet by Webster definition is “a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, usually for medical reasons”. There are all kinds of diets out there but for the most part, they are not eating patterns that can be sustained for life. For example, the cabbage soup diet is one where you basically just consume cabbage soup for 7 days. The diet advisors even admit this is not a long-term weight loss method but a quick 7-day quick fix to shed a few pounds. Along with this, is the Adkins diet which when people end the diet, they usually unfortunately gain their weight back and then some. When I heard of the Paleo diet, I of course thought of crazy diets that usually in the long term are not effective and just result in messing up the person’s metabolism. Personally, I think this diet should be called ta lifestyle because it can truly be a way of life and a healthy one that can really change your mindset of food for lifelong habits.
The Paleo diet (Otherwise known as the Paleolithic, caveman, and stone-age diet) was given these names based on the belief that we should be eating like our ancestors from that time. It includes vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, eggs, spices, oils, and roots that are found in nature. This list does not include dairy, grains, sugar, and processed foods with a shelf life of years. This lifestyle does not include special pills or supplements because if you are eating by Paleo ways, you will be getting all the nutrients and vitamins your body needs. There are many benefits of eating this way, but I am going to a highlight a few of the ones I found interesting.

Have you noticed recently the amount of energy drinks available at the store? Why is that? Because the average American diet is not good and do not give us the energy we need to feel good and make it through the day. A typical American breakfast consists of coffee and usually a simple carbohydrate like a bagel or toast. The Paleo diet consists of foods that have a low glycemic index, which means the natural sugars, and nutrients are absorbed slower into the blood stream that can help avoid the quick drop in energy that typically occurs after eating.

Science has shown that an increase in inflammation can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other illnesses. With the Paleo lifestyle, a lot of the foods contain Omega 3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish, seeds, and oils that are natural anti-inflammatories.

If you do any research with the Paleo diet, it is suggested trying to eat colors of the rainbow daily. Fruits and vegetables with different colors have different vitamins and minerals and eating a variety will insure you are getting most if not all of the recommended dietary intake.

Many people are not able to digest grains and dairy, which is why the Paleo diet tries to limit the consumption of these. Many people do not like the Paleo diet for this reason, but they are to be eaten in moderation because our body wasn’t designed to have most of our food coming from dairy and grains.

Because the Paleo way is not a short-term diet and can be a lifestyle, this concept of eating can be very beneficial to all ages and health conditions. An easy rule to follow is to do your grocery shopping around the perimeter of the store. If you think about it where the fresh food is, it is around the outside of the store. Once you get into the center aisle that is where the processed foods are kept because they do not need to be kept cold and can sit on the shelves without spoiling. I really believe the Paleo lifestyle is the way we were intended to eat and can provide all areas of the food groups, definitely one to consider when making better health choices!

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