How to go on a Paleo Diet and Why You Should Consider It

What is the Paleo Diet?

Paleo has become a buzzword in recent years with many people aware of, or following the diet. However, paleo is nothing new and its principles are rooted in the wisdom of our ancestors from the Paleolithic era. In essence it’s not really a “diet” at all, but more of a lifestyle based around the principles that enabled our hunter-gatherer ancestors to thrive, and could help us to live a more healthy wholesome life. The Paleolithic diet was developed by Loren Cordain, PhD, a researcher from Colorado State University, who started doing studies in the 1970s. He suggested that the paleo diet is the way humans were genetically designed to eat. Before the agricultural revolution just 10,000 or so years ago, humans had lived as hunter-gatherers. For around 2 million years, humans had been living off the land and anything we could hunt or gather. Early humans would forage for fresh fruits, dig up tubers, chase mammals, and subsequently learned to fish. Proponents of the paleo diet including Loren Cordain suggest that as we were hunter-gatherers for a considerable amount of time before the somewhat recent agricultural revolution, that our bodies haven’t had enough time to adjust to eating these modern foods like grains, refined vegetable oils, and refined sugar. They argue that our diet shifted, but as yet our genetics haven’t had time to, and these modern foods like grains and dairy products are not processed well by the majority of people which can lead to a range of symptoms and health issues. The Paleolithic diet is based around the idea of eating how we are biologically designed to eat, consuming unprocessed foods which tap into our genetic potential, and optimising our health and wellbeing. What is Paleolithic diet? The Paleolithic diet is based around the idea of eating how we are biologically designed to eat, consuming unprocessed foods which tap into our genetic potential, and optimising our health and wellbeing.

The Benefits of Going Paleo for Your Health & Lifestyle

The paleo diet places an emphasis on more fresh whole foods, and unprocessed foods, and should contain a lot more vegetables, fibre, and more anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids than standard diets. It’s easy to see how health can improve once we remove the packaged and heavily processed foods that tend to be staples in our modern diets. Most Paleolithic humans likely consumed about 3 times more produce than the standard western diet. A number of randomised clinical trials have compared the paleo diet to other eating plans, such as the Mediterranean diet. Overall, these trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some health benefits including weight loss, improved blood sugar levels, decreased blood pressure and triglycerides which are all risk factors for heart disease. A review analysed four randomized controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease. 1 Paleo-style eating has made us more aware of how processed a lot of our 21st century food is. It is also a popular diet within the CrossFit community and many athletes utilise it to support athletic performance. What Should Be Included in Your Paleo Shopping List?​ There is an incredible variety of foods you can eat on the paleo diet. To get started stock up on some of the following: Beef, lamb, chicken, salmon, eggs, fresh and frozen vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, almond butter, coconut oil, olives, herbs, and spices.

3 Things Everyone Wants to Know about Going Paleo, Answered by Experts. ​


1. Foods for Paleo Diet You Can Eat

In short, if our ancestors could hunt or gather it, it is allowed on the paleo diet. Choose from the following suitable foods for paleo diet: Grass-fed meat, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables including starchy vegetables, eggs, nuts and seeds, oils including olive, avocado, and coconut.

2. Foods for Paleo Diet You Can't Eat

Off the menu are legumes/pulses, grains, refined sugar, dairy products, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, and artificial sweeteners.

3. Is it Harder to Follow the Diet Than Other Diets?

Following a paleo diet is not about re-enacting the Paleolithic era- we aren’t exactly going to go out hunting with spears-but it about realising our genetic predisposition and combining this with our modern day knowledge of how food and activities affect each of us and how we function. Here at Planet Paleo we aren’t fans of restriction or dogma and the end goal should be about building a balanced relationship with food rather than some sort of temporary diet plan you jump on and off. Each of us are on our own journeys and its down to us individually to figure out what does and doesn’t work for us at particular points in our life. A hunter-gatherer diet can be difficult to maintain, especially long term, it can also be expensive — foods that are organically grown, and grass-fed beef and other meats typically cost more. For someone who hasn’t put a lot of thought into what it means to be paleo, it can be quite stressful. The idea of eliminating foods that you have consumed your whole life on a frequent basis and not fully understanding what you will replace them with can be overwhelming. As already mentioned, following a Paleolithic Diet means more time dedicated to food and food preparation. This lifestyle is not for those addicted to grab-and-go foods and takeaways, meal prep is essential.

The Challenges of Going On a Paleo Diet Tip #1 - Embrace Plant-Based Foods (But Don't Ditch Meat!)

When you adopt the paleo diet, stop holding a place for grains. A balanced plate consists of a palm-sized portion of protein, a serving of fat, and plenty of plant foods, but don’t forget the meat. Many people have restricted meat from their diet because they believe it is harmful to their health, but good quality grass-fed meat and lean meats should be on your list, in favour of processed meats. For fish opt for wild-caught, and sustainable options.

Cooking Tips for Beginners on a Paleo Diet

Buy more vegetables: Veggies are key to making paleo work, and not eating enough of them is the main reason people don’t see results. There’s a fair share of meat eaten on paleo, but it’s important to consume enough plant foods too including starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes. Try organ meats: They may not sound too appealing at first, but they are loaded with vitamins and minerals and are very in line with ancestral eating. Go grass-fed: Grass-fed beef is better for you than grain-fed beef. Cattle eating their natural diets produce meat with a much better nutritional profile. Clean out your kitchen: Say bye to everything that's not paleo friendly from refined sugar to dairy products. It will be much easier without temptation lurking in your kitchen cupboard or fridge. Read labels: More often than not, there's an ingredient listed that isn't paleo-friendly, so scan labels with care. Prep your meals: Stock up on key ingredients like fresh fruits, veggies, and protein. Having everything available and easily accessible will make dinnertime prep easy. Make extra portions: Always make more food than you think you need. Having easy to grab leftovers for weekday lunches takes the stress out of meal planning. Keep it simple: Keeping things simple on the Paleo diet is essential if you want to succeed. Don’t forget herbs and spices: If you’re ever feeling like the Paleo diet is bland and boring, spice things up a bit with your favourite herbs and seasoning. Convert some of your favourite recipes: Figure out ways to make your favourite dishes paleo friendly. We believe that trying to incorporate a few small changes in your modern life can support what your body needs, and we don’t believe that you need to go 100% paleo to get benefits from the diet. Don’t forget to move more, and to prioritize sleep and stress reduction, and get your daily dose of primal foods to make the most of the paleo lifestyle and core principles.

You can support your diet with our range of primal products!

SHOP NOW ON SALE NOW References: 1. Paleo Diet Research
Back to blog