Eat Like a Caveman on the Paleolithic Nutrition Diet
If I asked you to think about cavemen, their attributes and their lifestyle, it is very easy to fall into the stereotype of long, messy hair, animal skins to hide their modesty and of course that caveman essential item made famous by Captain Caveman himself, the club!
And what about the physique of these early humans? Do you ever think of them as being fat, portly, chubby, overweight, obese or even morbidly obese? I would think not! Paleolithic nutrition or, the caveman diet consisted mainly of pure, natural and healthy foods.
The lifestyle of the caveman before the agricultural age was one of a hunter and gatherer. In the search for fruits and vegetables, nuts, berries, seafood and large game animals these hunter gatherers had to cover long distances resulting in them becoming fit, active and athletic people. It was not a matter of food coming to them, (certainly no home delivery!) and if there was no food available close by, they relocated in search of better and more fertile hunting grounds.
Taken from the Stone Age, Paleolithic nutrition, often known as the Paleo diet eating plan, would have to be one of the oldest lifestyle diets around! Although the Paleolithic era ended around 20,000 years ago, the farming of wheat and other plants as well as animal husbandry only originated approximately 10,000 years ago.
It might surprise you to learn that for a species to fully adapt their metabolism and physiology to new and totally different lifestyles; it can take hundreds of thousands of years. As we have only had 10,000 years to get used to the advances gained from agriculture, it should not be that hard to understand that foods of today, especially grains, dairy products and legumes are a significant cause of many of the digestive problems we face today. Gluten and dairy intolerance is at record levels worldwide and one reason is that we are still not fully adapted as a species to consume these types of foods. These foods just were not available or around in the Paleolithic Era so the link to good health through Paleolithic nutrition becomes very tangible.
A big part of Paleolithic nutrition and the Paleo diet eating plan lifestyle is…
The elimination or at least heavy reduction of all processed and packaged foods. An easy description of these foods is pretty much anything that comes in a box or has been commercially manufactured, altered, created or compromised from its natural state. This is one of the biggest lifestyle changes relating to the Paleo diet and no-no foods include cookies and biscuits, donuts, bread, bagels, crackers and all wheat and cereal grains. The list also discourages all by-products of these foods as well.
Paleolithic nutrition when it comes to the paleo diet eating plan means that if the food was not available to the caveman, it is not available to you while following this diet. Next on the list of no-no foods are Dairy products. Since the caveman did not eat dairy products, the Paleolithic food pyramid eliminates foods like milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.
Do not despair however! While at first, the Paleo diet and Paleolithic nutrition may seem like you are mostly out of food options, nothing could be further from the truth and in fact, there is a massive variety of food and Paleolithic Nutrition recipes which can be thoroughly enjoyed as well as leading you to amazing health benefits. Our earliest ancestors ate quite a lot of animal protein which was perfectly supplemented with plenty of great tasting, nutritionally rich, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Although we eat a great deal of meat in today’s diet, the differences to that of the cavemen and Paleolithic nutrition is in the lean cuts as opposed to fatty cuts and creations as well as the fact that the animals being eaten were free range and natural – and not fed a diet of hormones and corn or corn by-products.
Therefore in combination with the lean cuts of meat, the Paleo diet eating plan states that it is vitally important to consume meats off animals that had been pasture or grass fed. When perusing the aisles of your local supermarket or butcher, lean cuts of meat to look out for include top sirloin steak, lean pork chops and pork loin, butterfly pork, chuck steak, London broil and flank steak. Love minced or ground beef? Well you can even choose that option as well as even extra lean hamburgers so long as all visible fat is removed and that the fat content remains below 7%.
A popular favorite among palates of today is poultry and that is definitely on the right side of Paleolithic nutrition again so long as you take the lean cuts. Breast is best and any poultry such as chicken, turkey and game-hen is good. But what about those organ meat lovers amongst you? Although not a personal favorite of mine, organ meats such as livers and even tongues can also be enjoyed on the Paleo diet.
The caveman also had access to and therefore ate eggs so as long as you limit yourself to only 6 eggs a week, eggs are definitely up for grabs on the Paleo diet eating plan.
Eating like a caveman and observing the rules of the Paleo diet gives your body the best chance when it comes to absorbing nutrients more effectively. Also, your body’s digestive system and processes will slow thanks to a steady diet of fresh plants and lean meats. Two major advantages of this means a much more stable blood sugar level without the peaks and troughs associated with today’s food choices and because your appetite is regulated, you feel fuller for longer. Just that final point alone decreases the amount of food you eat severely limiting the chance of you over eating – the primary cause of weight gain.
When you first start out with your best intentions of a Paleolithic Nutrition plan, eating like a caveman can seem extremely limited and hard. However, the more you explore the many options available to you, try more and more of the Paleolithic diet recipes, and start to see the health benefits associated with this type of lifestyle, you will appreciate that the rewards gained through Paleolithic nutrition far outweigh the perceived sacrifices.