What is it?
The word “paleo” derives from Paleolithic, which describes the caveman epoch some 2.6 million years ago, before mankind began to farm and cultivate crops. During this era, humans had to hunt for their food, as such the paleo diet follows similar rules: essentially that you should not consume anything that was not readily available to Paleolithic humans (avoiding dairy products, pasta, cereal and other products which are the result of modern day farming). Increasingly carbohydrates are being blamed for a whole range of issues. From gluten allergies to sugar addiction. The paleo diet is part of a similar trend which sees processed food as a menace to healthy living.
So what can you eat?
Most foods that can be traditionally ‘hunted’ or obtained in the wild. Fresh cuts of meat (beef, lamb, chicken and turkey amongst others) and seafood (salmon, shrimp and shellfish). Free-ranged and organic meats and fish are valued more highly in the paleo diet – as they are viewed as more natural and healthy. The same goes for eggs – free-ranged or organic are viewed best. Leafy greens (broccoli and kale) along with plenty of fruits and some root vegetables. Other natural foods such as nuts, seeds and natural oils and salts and spices cane be included too.
What can’t you eat?
Those on a paleo diet pay close attention to the label on every food they eat, and avoid all artificial ingredients and anything processed. For example, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, trans fats and vegetable oils. Processed carbohydrates should also be avoided, such as grains (including all breads and pasta), lentils, beans and any type of product that has been altered to make it ‘low fat’ or a ‘diet’ food.
Paleo recipes to try
- Baked Salmon with fennel and tomatoes
- Baked eggs with spinach and tomato
- Salmon, avocado and cucumber salad