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Paleo Dieting 101: A Beginner's Guide to the Caveman Diet

Curious about the paleo diet? Wondering why there's so much buzz around the "caveman diet"? You've come to the right place! Read all about the paleo diet, what it entails, what you can and can't eat on it, and so much more.

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So, What is the Paleo Diet and How Does it Work?

By now, you’ve certainly heard of the “Stone Age Diet” or found yourself wondering, “what is the caveman diet?” Officially called the paleo diet, this way of eating is based on foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors may have eaten during the Paleolithic era, a time that dates back 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.

The idea behind the paleo diet is to focus on whole foods that were – and still are! – easily obtained in nature, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and lean meats, along with nuts and seeds. The theory is that these foods are more easily digested by our bodies and more nutrient dense. There are some significant Paleo health benefits, like an overall improvement in cardiovascular health, weight loss, and diabetes prevention. When you commit to a paleo lifestyle, you’ll have to say goodbye not only to processed foods like chips, baked goods, and candy, but also bid farewell to most dairy products.

Want to know more? Read on to find out why the paleo diet works and where to start.

Paleo 101

Paleo History 101: Why the Caveman Diet Works

The basic principle behind the paleo diet is this: return to a way of eating that’s similar to what our early ancestors ate (and that’s why it is often called the “caveman diet”). Why? The theory is that modern farming drastically – and quickly – changed what humans ate. We went from fresh fruit and vegetables to a diet full of bread, legumes, and dairy. The human body is not meant to process these foods, especially in such large amounts, and this is why modern humans struggle with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

By focusing on whole foods like our caveman ancestors, we can easily and effectively lose weight and improve our overall health.

Paleo Diet Foods

Paleo Diet Food Lists: What Can You Eat on Paleo?

Unlike other diets, the paleo diet is not strictly “low carb” or “low fat.” Yes, there are certain foods to avoid, but just like our ancient ancestors, we can (and should!) enjoy seasonal foods and there is no counting calories or macros. That means meat lovers as well as vegans can reap the benefits of the paleo lifestyle.

Bearing that in mind, take a look at Paleo diet foods that are approved on the plan:

  • Eggs
  • All kinds of meat (the leaner the better)
  • Fish
  • All fruits and vegetables
  • All nuts and seeds
  • Any and all herbs and spices
  • Healthy fats and oils from fruits and nuts (olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil etc.)

Paleo Diet Foods

Now that you know what to eat on the paleo diet, it's time to focus on what not to eat while following a paleo lifestyle:

  • Processed foods (chips, crackers, etc.)
  • Grains (this includes flour!)
  • Refined sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners, or anything artificial for that matter
  • Soft drinks
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Most dairy products
  • Vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, etc.)
  • Margarine

Paleo Meal Plan

Let's Take a Look at an Example 1-Day Paleo Menu

As you can see, there are plenty of options! A paleo meal plan is easy to put together as long as you stay focused on fresh, seasonal options. Let's take a look:

  • Breakfast: 3-egg omelet with green peppers and mushrooms
  • Lunch: Broiled chicken atop a mix of romaine lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes, dressed with walnut oil and lemon juice
  • Dinner: Baked salmon with steamed broccoli and a simple side salad
  • Dessert: Fresh strawberries
  • Snacks: Carrot sticks and a handful of almonds

Green Chef

Start your paleo meal plan today

Whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or simply want to start eating healthier, the paleo diet is an excellent choice. Let Green Chef help you on your way with delicious paleo meals delivered straight to your door. We are committed to your health and satisfaction. Start today!

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