Paleo diet meal plan: Paleo diet meaning and Paleo diet rules
What’s a paleo diet meal plan?
The Paleo diet meal plan is also known as the “caveman” diet.
Moreover, this plan resembles the diet from the Paleolithic era. In the paleolithic era, there was just raw and unprocessed food. This diet includes kinds of food that were hunted and gathered and avoids processed foods. Also, a paleo diet involves a lot of water to improve your health.
In this modern era, we are environed by processed food that is not healthy for us and even leads to diseases like obesity, cardiac problems, and diabetes. The earlier diet was so helpful and efficient. There were no signs of such a severe illness. Besides, people back then had a sound immune system.
However, this diet considerably varies with the geographical area we live in. Since the foods vary with climate, temperature, and environment. Nature provides us what is required for us to survive in a particular ecosystem.
There has never been any ideal diet plan to follow. Instead, we merely include food like vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, fish, and a small number of animal products. This diet plan covers low-carb foods, contains an average amount of fats, and rich in fiber and protein.
The paleo diet averts canned or packed foods as those are unhealthy. Consequently, it prefers fresh and nutritious food in its lists like coconut oil, eggs, olives, avocado, and some root veggies.
Paleo diet meal plan benefits
The paleo diet, one of the most popular diets, mainly originated from how the hunters and gatherers ate in the past. It promotes whole and unprocessed foods.
People, back then, only ate raw and healthy whole food. Also, the physical exercise and activities they had, helped an abundant and healthy life.
Several studies confirm its health benefits, which incorporate weight loss, strengthening one’s immunity power, benefits skin health, and many more.
There could be several different theses on what our ancestors ate. Thinking of what was available to them and where they lived must have some impact on their diet. Therefore, it is no particular diet plan included in a paleo diet.
People from the Paleolithic period were mostly hunters and gatherers and were indulged in intense physical work. Thus, they depended on every healthy food which was not processed and did not include any artificial substances. Instead, they relied on all-natural food sources. Therefore, it was healthy and nutritious for them.
Their diet must have different properties, from a high carb diet full of animal products to a low carb diet, mainly included plant products.
Foods for the paleo diet
This paleo diet meal plan would provide crux about foods for a healthy diet. So you would know foods to eat and foods to stay away from during paleo diet meals.
The idea behind eating paleo is that modern eating styles produce a risk of developing diseases like obesity, heart diseases, and cancer.
Paleo diet defenders show that following this meal plan could improve health and could result in an adequate weight loss:
1. It reduces inflammation
2. Improves strength
3. Stabilize blood sugar
4. Increases energy
5. Prevents chronic illness
6. Helps weight loss
The paleo diet focuses on the intake of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats. Foremost, it excludes processed foods, sugar, and salt.
Well, this sounds justified, right! No junk foods, salty and sugary stuff that could keep diseases at bay. However, there exist some controversies regarding the diet. As it supports the idea of excluding grains, legumes, and almost all dairy products.
The products being healthy, full of vitamins, minerals, and fibers are removed from the diet plan. This contradiction challenges its health claims.
The Paleo diet allows fewer processed foods. But can you make it without grains, legumes, dairy products? Let’s see what else to include and avoid in paleo diet meal plans.
1) Grass-fed meat
3) Nuts and seeds
4) Fish and seafood
5) Fresh fruits and veggies
6) Healthy oils – Olives, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia.
1. Fish & seafood
Fish is an excellent source of lean protein. It’s found to be beneficial for our cells and tissues. Also, it satiates hunger. Importantly, prevent restored and pre-marinated meats as they might contain added sugar:
Grass-fed is healthier than grain-fed meat. Because it is leaner and contains more omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, it reduces inflammation and is found helpful for the heart.
Similarly, wild seafood is preferred over farm caught as they are less processed and has more omega-3 contents.
However, vegetarian food is healthfuller and also suggestive. Besides, several scientific research claims that vegetarian food is not merely healthfuller, it even keeps diseases away.
Maybe, the caveman ate what they thought is edible. But as we are improving, discovering facts than merely believing myths. We are becoming more sensible about our health and healthy habits, which guides us to a healthy lifestyle.
2. Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are concerned full with minerals, vitamins, fibers, and remedial elements like antioxidants. Therefore, it’s hard to eliminate them from any healthy diet.
The only advice is that some vegetables are starchy like potatoes. And some fruits constitute much sugar, like banana, berries. So they can be included but in moderation.
If you are looking forward to losing weight and maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Then avoiding those fruits and vegetables would be beneficial.
There is still a query amongst many paleo dieters, are banana paleo fruit? Well, they are considered paleo. Banana is rich in potassium and is a whole food.
Since the paleo diet includes a bunch of unprocessed and whole foods. So, fruits and veggies are going to be the bulk of it. Consequently, you can have fruits and veggies without any added artificial substances, like sauce.
- Berries ( all kinds)
- Citrus fruits
- Butternut squash
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
Eggs are happily paleo-food. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. It would be more advantageous when preferred organic and raised by cage-free chicken. Because, that way, they are found to be rich in omega-3 content.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds make a healthy choice in a paleo diet. They include healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Remember, peanuts are not supposed paleo because they are technically legumes:
- Sunflower seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Chia seeds
Related: would you like to know about dry fruits and their health benefits. Go check out – Healthy Dry Fruits.
5. Healthy Paleo oils
A healthy paleo diet includes every oil that we obtain from plants like olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, and macadamia. However, besides these plant oil, there exist some other oil sources, like fishes, nuts:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Avocado oil
- Walnut oil
- Macadamia oil
- Mustard oil (must be used in moderation)
Although salts are not included in paleo, sea salts are beneficial for health and are introduced in paleo diet variations. Some spices like turmeric, rosemary, garlic are also counted as paleo.
Foods to avoid in paleo
As for the paleo diet, artificial sugar and sweeteners are prohibited as they are not paleo. Plus, they do not contain any healthy compounds. Instead, some of them are even harmful to our gut bacteria.
Additionally, starchy vegetables and fruits with high sugar content, though allowed, fall under this category. They are allowed in a balanced diet plan.
Grains are mainly excluded from the paleo diet, not merely because they were not included in the diet during the paleolithic era. But because they are high in carbohydrates and spikes blood sugar. So, grains not to continue in paleo are cereals, rice, pasta, bread, and beer.
It involves all beans, lentils, tofu, peas, peanuts, and other soy foods because they contain high lectins and phytic acid. Like grains, they generate controversies amongst researchers as they are excluded despite being low in fats and high in iron, fiber, and protein.
Although strict versions of paleo diet plans do not include dairy products as cavemen did not milk cows. But due to their healthy ingredients, some are allowed in balance like butter and cheese.
Or it is ok if you have grass-fed milk or milk products as they are healthier. However, there are substitutes available as coconut milk, almond milk, and cashew milk.
Some vegetable oils: Sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, soyabean oil, etc.
It mostly contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Also found in margarine and processed foods.
Now, what else could be included as processed foods apart from junk or fast foods. Several food items labeled diet or low-fat or like that contain additives and could be unhealthy. So, we should better avoid them as much as we can.
Some extra Indulgences
Apart from super healthy foods, there are some good to eat food when kept to a limited amount.
- Dark chocolate: These are nutritious and healthy and could be included in small quantities.
- Wine: A quality red wine is considered rich in antioxidants and nutrients.
- Tea and Coffee: They are not complete paleo beverages. Though due to their healthy compounds and antioxidants present in them. Both are allowed in paleo diet plans.
The Paleo diet is fascinating, but if you don’t want to be strict, you don’t have to be. You may count some of its eating patterns. Or could switch the ones which you think are not desirable for you. Also, if you feel uncomfortable or are going to give it a chance, consult your doctor.