What Is the Paleo Lifestyle and Is It Right for You?
Have you been considering the Paleo lifestyle but weren't sure whether it was the right choice for you? In this blog post, we'll explain Paleo, its benefits and risks, what you can eat and what you can't, and then you can decide whether you want to give it a try.
Let's get to it!
What is the Paleo lifestyle?
The Paleo lifestyle, also called the "stone-age diet," "caveman diet," or "Paleolithic diet," is a weight-loss diet that asks people to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors. That means eating mostly meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. The Paleo diet is based on the idea that humans are genetically programmed to eat this way.
There are a few things to consider before deciding if the Paleo lifestyle is right for you.
First, the Paleo lifestyle is very restrictive. It eliminates many of the highly processed foods that we typically eat. This can be difficult for some people to follow.
Second, eating Paleo can be expensive. Meat and produce can be pricey compared to processed foods.
Despite these drawbacks, there are some significant benefits to following the Paleo lifestyle. If you are able to stick to it, the Paleo lifestyle can be a great way to lose weight and improve your health.
Check our Paleo-friendly Chicken Tikka Masala:
Tender chicken breast strips in a bright tomato curry made with coconut milk, ginger, and Indian spices.
Chicken Tikka Masala
The Benefits of Paleo
The Paleo lifestyle has a number of health benefits.
First, the Paleo lifestyle is high in protein and fiber when balanced with the proper foods. Protein can help build muscle and fiber can help us feel full after eating. This can be helpful for weight loss.
Second, the Paleo lifestyle eliminates unhealthy additives and preservatives found in processed foods. These additives can be harmful to our health and can cause problems like obesity and cancer. By eliminating these harmful ingredients from your diet, you can reduce your risk for chronic diseases.
Finally, the Paleo lifestyle is an elimination diet. That means it eliminates foods that might be causing digestive problems, like gluten or dairy. This can be helpful for people with food allergies or sensitivities.
Although the Paleo lifestyle is a very different way of eating than most people are used to, the benefits outweigh the challenges for most people who decide to give this diet a try.
The Risks of Paleo
The Paleo lifestyle can be risky for some people. First, the Paleo lifestyle is high in protein. Too much protein can be harmful to our kidneys according to the Mayo Clinic.
Extra protein in your diet can lead to elevated blood lipids and heart disease as well, since many protein sources are also high in saturated fat. It's important to keep your protein intake levels reasonable (no more than 35% of your total calories) to avoid health risks.
Second, the Paleo lifestyle eliminates many of the healthy foods that we typically eat. For example, eliminating dairy products can lead to deficiencies in important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
In eliminating whole grains from your diet, you may also eliminate the bulk of your fiber.
So what can you do?
You may have to compensate with a great deal of high-fiber vegetables or a fiber supplement.
Third, the Paleo lifestyle can be expensive. Meat and produce can be pricey compared to processed foods.
Although the Paleo lifestyle has many benefits, there are also some risks associated with it. It is important to discuss these risks with a doctor before starting the Paleo lifestyle.
What's on the Menu
The Paleo Lifestyle foods includes:
Lean meats and grass fed meat are best. You can find the following vital micronutrients in beef: Riboflavin, Thiamin, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Vitamin B12, and Selenium
Important micronutrients found in high levels in poultry are Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid, Thiamin, Magnesium, and Phosphorus
Ideally, you should eat 2-3 seafood meals a week and there's no disadvantage to eating canned vs fresh. The top 10 fish to eat for Paleo is:
Eggs are a fantastic source of nutrition! Packed with Selenium, Phosphorus, and Vitamins A, B2, B5, B12, and D, as well as a healthy source for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, adding eggs to your diet is definitely a good choice!
From almonds to hazelnuts to pecans, nuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats.
Any fruit is fair game, but some offer better nutrition. So-called superfoods such as blueberries, cranberries, and pomegranates offer an extra boost of micronutrients and antioxidants with each serving.
On the Paleo lifestyle, fiber will be in short supply unless you're strategic in your portions of fruits and vegetables. Certain vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, and beets, are fiber-rich and can help you keep your body balanced.
Paleo foods can be a challenge for some people who are used to eating a lot of grains and processed foods. However, following the Paleo lifestyle can be rewarding because it allows you to eat healthy, unprocessed foods.
If you decide to stick to this diet long-term or you're a gardener prior to switching your diet, you can save money on groceries by growing your own food.
Making Your Paleo Lifestyle Plan
At first, it may seem like Paleo is not only restrictive, but a lot of work - at least in the kitchen. But it doesn't have to be with a meal prep or meal delivery service.
In addition to easy-to-use products, Kevin's has loads of Paleo recipes to choose from so you never get bored with your diet!
Check our Thai style Coconut chicken
This mild but flavorful curry will make a great meal for the entire family! Tender chicken breast strips in a rich and creamy blend of coconut milk, basil and Thai spices.
Thai-style coconut chicken
What's NOT on the Menu
While there are plenty of ways to get creative with the Paleo lifestyle, it is a very restrictive diet, and it eliminates many of the foods that we typically eat. This can be difficult for some people to follow.
Some of the foods that are not allowed on the Paleo lifestyle include:
- Processed foods
- Sugary drinks
- Refined vegetable oils
For some people, eliminating all of these foods can be a challenge. If you are considering the Paleo lifestyle, it's important to make sure that you are prepared to make major changes to your diet.
If all this seems overwhelming, you may consider reading about what is keto diet friendly to see if the foods allowed on keto would better fit your lifestyle. It's also important to talk to your doctor about the Paleo lifestyle and whether it's right for you.
Is Paleo Right For You?
Although the Paleo lifestyle calls for big changes to most people's eating habits, it also encourages healthy eating and a real focus on maintaining a healthy diet. Getting back to the basics of meat, fruits, and vegetables can bring with it clarity about the healthiest foods and unhealthiest foods in our modern diets.
Even if you only give Paleo a try for a short while, it will certainly give you a new perspective on eating and nutrition. It's so important to be aware of what our bodies need to stay healthy - macronutrients and micronutrients. To stay in balance.
Here at Kevin's, our goal is to support you in your journey and to offer tasty solutions to challenges along the way. We hope this post has helped with that. Until next time...