Paleo Diet

Paleo (Paleolithic) is a diet and lifestyle, based on evolutionary principles. It has nothing to do with imitating cavemen! The paleo lifestyle is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans such as grass-fed meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, and excluding dairy or cereal products (grains) and processed foods.

Any recipes suitable for paleo will be listed in the categories section.

Always aim for organic produce when your budget allows. It’s not always necessary to buy organic so use the food table below as a guideline.

Most Contaminated Foods

Least Contaminated Foods

Eat only organic:

Organic is not necessary for:

Apples

Asparagus

Blueberries

Avocados

Celery

Bananas

Cherries

Broccoli

Corn

Cabbage

Cucumber (if you can’t buy organic, peel the cucumber, removing the waxy skin that holds most of the residue).

Cauliflower

Grapes

Kiwis

Kale

Mango

Lettuce

Melon (cantaloupe)

Nectarines

Onions

Peaches

Papaya

Pears

Pineapples

Peppers (any colour)

Peas

Potatoes

Sweet potato

Red raspberries

Yams

Spinach

 Sweet corn (if still on the husk)

Strawberries

 Sweet peas (still in their pods), or buy frozen peas

If you cut out grains, sugars, processed foods, and dairy, you’re left with only things that occur naturally such as:

Okay to eat: Avoid:
Eggs: look for free-range and/or organic Omega-3 enriched eggs. Dairy: butter blends, cheese, natural and processed cheese products, cultured dairy, yoghurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, dips, frozen desserts, ice cream and cakes made with dairy ingredients, milk, milk powder, whey.
Fruit & Veg: eat as many vegetables as you like but fruit contains natural sugar, so limit if you’re trying to loose weight. Grains: bran, barley and barley malt, bulgar, couscous, beer (yes, beer!), glucose made from wheat kamut, corn / cornmeal / polenta (all gluten-free but when corn is harvested and the seeds are dry, it is considered a grain), millet (a gluten-free grain-like seed), rice (gluten-free), oats, teff (gluten-free), montina flour, Graham flour (wheat), commercially made stock: chicken, beef or vegetable stock in either powder or liquid usually contains some kind of grain, soy sauce (contains wheat), rye, semolina, sorghum (gluten-free), spelt.
Meats: grass-fed rather than grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as it does in humans. Beef, pork, lamb, veal, rabbit, goat, sheep, bison, wild boar.
Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, quail, goose.
Processed Foods & Sugars
Fish: wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish. Look for salmon, tuna, trout, bass, halibut, sole, haddock, turbot, walleye, tilapia, cod, flatfish, grouper, mackerel, anchovy, herring. Legumes: peas, lentils & beans (barlotti, cannellini, kidney, black-eyed, chickpeas, butter beans etc)

Nuts & Seeds: nuts are high in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat too many of them. Pistachios, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, chestnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts.

Fats & Oils: avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, clarified butter (ghee), lard, tallow, duck fat, veal fat, lamb fat, fatty fishes (sardines, mackerel, salmon), nut butters, nut oils (walnut, macadamia), coconut flesh, coconut milk, palm kernel oil, pumpkin seed oil, rice bran oil.

Starches: bread, pasta, rice, noodles, potatoes
Tubers: sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are particularly good for right after a workout to replenish glycogen levels. Alcohol
 Purchase ‘Practical Paleo’ from  Amazon.co.uk

paleo-chart

TO CONSUME DAIRY or NOT TO CONSUME . . . THAT IS THE QUESTION!

When it comes to dairy and Paleo, it’s most definitely a grey zone. In the strict Paleo sense, dairy of any form was not consumed in the Palaeolithic era, other than human milk in infancy. However, the fact that something wasn’t consumed during the Paleo era doesn’t make it bad, but experience shows that it is quite often the case.

TO CONSUME DAIRY can be an excellent way to introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut by eating fermented dairy such as sour cream, kefirs and hard cheeses. Fermented dairy is probably one of the best choices to make if you decide to consume it on the Peleo diet, mainly because of the good bacteria, but also because the fermentation process will consume most of the sugars and reduce insulin response. This is a good thing because milk’s main sugar, lactose, can be a problem for some people.

NOT TO CONSUME DAIRY – As mentioned, lactose is not well tolerated by most people, so removing it from your diet can make a significant difference. This is because the pancreas produces lactase, the lactose digestive enzyme, up until the age of two years old, to cover the period where we are actually supposed to drink the stuff.

In addition, we are not supposed to drink the milk from other animals. We are the only mammals that do it. This often translates to intolerance or an allergic reaction to one of milk’s proteins, casein. It’s believed that the casein in goat or sheep’s milk, the A2 form instead of A1, causes less or no problems. Some breeds of cows also produce A2 casein. For more information, please refer to an article written by Sue McGarrigle (click on the link below).

Why A2 Milk in the UK

W H Y   C H O O S E   P A L E O ?

Healthy Cells
Every cell in your body is made from both saturated and unsaturated fat and your cells depend on a healthy balance of the two in order to properly send messages in and out. The paleo diet naturally provides the perfect balance of fats, because it suggests both in healthy amounts, while other diets limit one OR the other.

Healthy Brain
One of the best sources of protein and fat suggested by the paleo diet comes from cold water fish; ideally wild-caught salmon. Salmon fat is packed full of Omega 3 fatty acids which is lacking in the average diet. This is a problem because within Omega 3 fatty acids contains DHA which is known to be good for the eyes, heart, and most importantly for brain development and function. Other sources of omega 3 fatty acids are found in pasture-raised meats and eggs.

More Muscle, Less Fat
The paleo diet relies heavily on animal flesh and with it comes healthy protein. This protein is very anabolic, stimulating protein synthesis, muscle growth, and insulin. The more muscle you have the better your metabolism will work. This is because muscles require energy to move and in order to move bigger muscles you must store more energy in them. This allows your body to send energy to muscle cells instead of fat cells.

By increasing muscle cells and shrinking fat cells (through a healthy paleo diet) any extra energy will be transported to glycogen in your muscles versus triglycerides in your fat cells.

Better Gut Health
Sugar, man-made fats and other processed foods all cause inflammation within your intestinal tract. Unfortunately when you match too much processed foods with a lot of stress you can get what’s called “leaky gut syndrome” which is when your intestinal walls are breached and things that don’t normally leave the tunnel, end up leaking out. Obviously you want to keep your food in your digestive tract until it’s ready to be transported to your cells. There is not supposed to be a shortcut for this!

Better Digestion and Absorption
The paleo diet suggests eating foods that you’ve adapted the ability to digest over thousands of years. There are no questions whether or not you can tolerate starch or grass-fed beef. You’re ancestors both survived and thrived off these foods.

If you are having digestion problems, try a strict paleo diet for 30 days and see what a difference it can make!

Less Allergies
The paleo diet suggests that you minimise foods that are known to be allergens to certain societies. Some people incapable of digesting seeds (grain) and dairy which is why the paleo diet recommends that you remove these foods at least for a month (unless the milk is raw).

People often bash the paleo diet because it doesn’t include “whole grains”, but the truth is that grains aren’t the best tool for the job, so it’s best to avoid them most of the time, but not always. If you’re an athlete, you probably should be eating a cup of oats every now and then.

Reduce Inflammation
Research suggests that inflammation may be the leading factor behind cardiovascular disease. The great thing about the paleo diet is that a lot of the foods are anti-inflammatory so you will therefore minimise risk. The large focus on Omega 3 fatty acids is one of the reasons the diet is so anti-inflammatory. Pasture-raised animals have a much better ratio of Omega 3 to 6 ratios and the other vegetables and herbs encouraged with the paleo diet will help as well.

More Energy
Every wonder why energy drinks have become so popular in the last decade? It’s because diets are so poor! A typical UK breakfast consists of a cup of tea with sugar-loaded processed bread or cereal. Not only will this eventually lead to type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, it won’t even keep hunger pangs at bay. With the paleo diet you strategically choose the right foods for any occasion.

Weight Loss
The paleo diet is a low carb diet by design. Simply removing processed foods will drastically reduce your carb intake to fuel weight loss. By limiting carbs to around workout times you will avoid unwanted fat gain which is often caused by these excess carbs.

Increased Insulin Sensitivity
If you had ice cream with every meal, every day for six months, you will eventually start hating ice cream. Well the same is true for your body. When you constantly feed your body cheap, sugary foods (like the typical UK diet) your body desensitises itself to them because it doesn’t want or need them.

Your body only needs so much energy, and when you reach that threshold your cells reject the fuel and store it as fat. If this happens for too long you will develop insulin sensitivity which means your body will be incapable of recognising when your cells are full or not.

Reduce Risk of Disease
The paleo diet isn’t perfect, but the main focus is to avoid foods that can potentially harm your health. The paleo diet makes it easy to avoid bad foods by giving you a simple blueprint; only eat what a caveman would be able to eat. While this isn’t perfect, it will ensure you eat whole foods, and limit your risk for disease by avoiding the foods known to cause them.

Shrinks Fat Cells
Most people don’t realise that fat cells shrink and expand based on your diet. A lean person doesn’t have less fat cells, they simply have smaller cells. In order to keep your fat cells tiny you must choose healthy fats and limit your carb intake; all things the paleo diet suggests. Healthy fats are packed tightly together within your cells and are readily available for energy when you are insulin sensitive.

It’s basic synergy at work here; the paleo diet naturally provides the foods that will add muscle and keep you insulin sensitive which will ensure your fat cells stay compact. The avoidance of carbs will ensure your cells stay healthy and able to burn that fat.

In addition to all of the above benefits, the paleo diet will improve your skin and help clear acne too!

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