Paleo Diet: Food List, Meal Plan And More – Forbes Health – Forbes

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Fans of the paleo diet believe our bodies are better suited to eat foods consumed by early humans who lived in the Paleolithic age. These foods include lean meat and plants rather than the heavily processed and high-carbohydrate foods many people eat today.

Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., first put forth the paleo way of eating in his 1975 book The Stone Age Diet as a means to better health.It later became popular in the 2002 book The Paleo Diet by researcher and exercise physiologist Loren Cordain.

Paleo diet-friendlyfoods include lean unprocessed meat, seafood, leafy vegetables, fresh fruit, eggs, nuts and healthy oils. Meanwhile, the diet doesn’t allow grains, milk, cheese, potatoes, legumes, processed foods, added sugar or salt and refined vegetable oils.

The paleo diet has been shown to result in health benefits such as reduced waist circumference, lower triglyceride levels (blood fats that are associated with heart disease, diabetes and liver disease), as well as a decrease in blood pressure, according to a 2015 review of trials in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. However, missing out on important nutrients is a risk—and many of the health benefits paleo touts may be due to weight loss incurred from the diet, as opposed to the diet itself.

How Does the Paleo Diet Work?

The paleo diet emphasizes eating foods that can be hunted, fished and gathered and includes foods like lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Foods in the paleo diet are typically high in protein and fiber, moderate in fat and carbohydrates and low in sodium and refined sugars.

This diet aims to promote eating foods that are low on the glycemic index, or low-carbohydrate foods that don’t cause blood sugar spikes. This means that foods like whole grains, cereals, dairy products and other processed foods are generally not recommended. Additionally, the paleo diet emphasizes consuming fats that come from whole food sources like fish, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Individuals who follow a paleo diet plan are generally not advised to count calories or measure portion sizes, and some plans may allow non-paleo cheat meals when first starting the diet to increase the likelihood that you’ll stick with the meal plan.

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