The purpose of this article is to give a beginner or someone interested in trying the Paleo diet a straightforward introduction to its benefits, the premise that supports it, and a rough guideline of how to try it for yourself. I am not here to convince you that it's the best diet. You can ask the 1-3 million raving fans who have healed themselves of degenerative and autoimmune disease, lost massive amounts of weight, squelched inflammation, gained energy and vitality, balanced hormones, healed digestive issues, gotten off prescription medication, and banished a host of other minor and major health conditions.
In some cases, like my own, this happened with such alarming speed that we had no choice but to pay attention. So while there's a growing body of research-based studies being done across the country, the most compelling “evidence” for the efficacy of eating Paleo comes from the people who have experienced the miracle for themselves. In this case, the proof is in the coconut chia seed pudding.
Homo sapiens have been eating meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds for 99.5 percent of our time on the planet. For the remaining .5 percent (since the agricultural revolution), we’ve been eating grains and legumes. Our bodies are not well-adapted to eat such foods, let alone the processed and refined versions that lines the shelves of our supermarkets today.
This radical change in diet is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility. With a very simple shift back to eating in a way more closely aligned to our ancestors, we not only remove the foods that are at odds with our health, but we also increase our intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
How to customize your Paleo diet:
Depending on current health challenges, imbalances, food allergies and intolerances, your fitness level and goals, and your unique genetic makeup, you will need to tweak the kinds of Paleo-friendly foods you eat as well as the macronutrient ratios (fat, protein, carbs). For example, many people with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions do best to avoid vegetables in the nightshade family (eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes).
If you have an underactive thyroid, its best to limit your intake of cruciferous veggies (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.), especially when eaten raw. If you are an avid athlete or have adrenal fatigue, you may need more carbohydrates than someone trying to lose weight.
Always listen to your body for what is working for you and be willing to make changes accordingly. If you are dealing with health imbalances, working with a naturopathic doctor or nutritionist would provide tremendous benefit.
Follow these general guidelines for what to eat.