Friday, April 11, 2014

Here And Now! Unlocking 10 Mysteries Of Paleo Diet

The Paleolithic diet, based on the diet that our caveman predecessors must have eaten, is quickly becoming popular both for its ease of adherence and its good nutritional sense.
While the diet itself is thousands of years old, however, the Paleo diet as we know it today is only a few decades old at most. Despite its growing popularity, there are still myths and mysteries surrounding this caveman lifestyle.
Let’s debunk ten of the most common of the Paleo myths.

1. The Paleolithic Diet is for Zealots

As with any diet, Paleo dieters choose their own level of participation. You can choose to follow the diet as stringently as is recommended, or you can still enjoy many of the benefits of this low-carb, high-protein diet while maintaining a less-than-strict adherence.
Many dieters follow the 85/15 rule, which allows 15% of your meals to be non-Paleo. Humans are diverse, so every specific diet plan should be different from another.

2. All You can Eat are Meats and Vegetables 

While free-range and grass-fed meats, seafood and fresh vegetables rich in proteins and other nutrients are staples of the Paleolithic diet, a wide variety of roots, fruits, seeds and nuts are encouraged for Paleo dieting.
Avoid processed meats like store-bought lunch meats and hot dogs. Dairy is not considered ideal in the Paleo diet, but eggs are encouraged and you can easily substitute almond or coconut milk for cow’s milk.
Eating lots of nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables will ensure that you get the calcium that you need.

3. The Paleo Diet is High in Fat

People of the caveman era consumed large quantities of meat, including seafood, birds and some red meat.
These meats do contain a lot of fat, but most of the fat found in these foods are healthful unsaturated fats rather than the saturated and trans fats that are often found in sugars and dairy products.
Also, because of the high vegetable intake associated with the Paleo diet, dieters are better able to convert fat into energy than people who eat few fruits and vegetables.

4. Many Vegetables are Not Allowed 

Because the Paleolithic diet was designed to be hunter-gatherer friendly, most vegetables are Paleo-friendly.
A few exceptions include potatoes and corn, which did not exist in the Paleolithic Era as we know them today, and are high in starch and sugar, respectively; and refined grains, as early hunter-gatherers did not have a way to process grains.
Beets, squash and squash-like veggies are also high in starch, so should be eaten sparingly.
No vegetable is today exactly as it was 6,000 years ago, but most are still very similar and still full of vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

5. You Cannot Consume Oils

Many oils contain necessary unsaturated fats that help our bodies absorb nutrients from vegetables. These include healthy oils such as olive, almond, coconut, flaxseed and walnut oils.
You can simply replace oils made from processed grains or potatoes, such as vegetable, canola or sunflower oil, with one of these flavorful substitutions.
They can be used to make low-fat salad dressings, or you can sauté anything from eggplant to broccoli to asparagus with these healthful oils.
You can even use a little bit of butter on your vegetables as long as it is from a grass-fed and hormone-free cow.

6. Sugar is Not Allowed 

Sugars that are found in fruits are staples of the Paleo diet, although high-sugar fruits such as bananas, oranges and watermelon should be eaten only in moderation.
Sugar is a carbohydrate, the substance largely responsible for weight gain, so cutting a large portion of sugar out of your diet is the fastest and healthiest way to lose weight.
Refined sugar, only very recently added to the average human’s diet, should be avoided as often as possible; try sweetening dishes with raw stevia extract, inulin or chicory root, or just a touch of raw organic honey instead.

7. You Cannot Eat Nuts

Nuts and berries made up a large portion of the Paleolithic hunter-gatherer diet, and so are widely encouraged in Paleolithic diet plans toady.
The misconception that nuts are not allowed in the Paleo diet possibly comes from the ban on peanuts, which are legumes and not nuts.
Legumes, which were cultivated by man and therefore not available to early humans, also include peas, beans, soy, and lentils.
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and walnuts are just some of the nuts that you can eat, but try to limit the amount of nuts you eat if you are trying to lose weight, as they are rather high in fat.

8. The Paleolithic Diet is Hard to Follow

While it is true that we do not today have access to many of the plants and animals that were common sources of food in the Paleolithic Era, buying natural and organic foods is easier now than ever with the recent profusion of farmers’ markets and health food groceries that are found in almost every city or town.
With the possible exception of bread and some dairy, many of the foods you already eat are considered Paleo, so it should only require a little bit of planning to adjust your current diet to Paleo standards.

9. You Don’t Lose Weight on the Paleolithic Diet

The Paleolithic diet does not promise rapid weight loss. However, this balanced and nutritious diet can promote effective, gradual weight loss along with a moderate amount of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
It can also help improve your mood, clear your skin and give you more energy. Cutting grains from your diet is one of the best ways to lose weight, because grains are full of carbohydrates which, if not used in exercise, often become stored as fat.
Vegetables are rich in healthier carbs that provide energy without causing you to pack on the pounds.

10. Paleo Dieters Don’t Drink Alcohol 

Alcohol, strictly speaking, is not generally considered to be a healthy and Paleo beverage option, but if your diet requires a little more flexibility there are some forms of alcohol that may be both healthier than others and derived from hunter-gatherer sources.
Organic red wines, hard ciders and agave tequila are all safe choices, but as all alcohol sources are high in calories and sugars, you should try to drink them in moderation and only for special occasions.
Keep away from beer, whiskey and any other alcohol that is made from grains.

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