Imagine following a diet of our ‘hunter-gatherer’ ancestors. Imagine eating whole and ‘unprocessed’ foods that were identical to what they looked like in nature.
Does that mean you and I need to change our eating habits?
Well, our ancestors were better off, you see. They never followed a zero figure plan (made popular by actress Kareena Kapoor). Instead, they were proud of their paleo diet plan – whole and unprocessed foods eaten thousands of years ago during the Paleolithic Age. That is why, they were free of lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease and obesity which most of the people suffer from these days.
All this is true.
So, what is the beauty of paleo diet – which can be traced back to gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin – the man who brought up the idea of eating like our ancestors in 1975 in his book “The Stone Age Diet.”?
The Paleo diet can lead to significant weight loss and bring about major improvements in health. Let’s see what it has for us.
The Benefits Of Paleo Diet:
Six of them – important and beneficial:
- Promotes weight loss
- Reduces Inflammation
- Is High in Protein
- Regulates Blood Sugar
- Corrects Nutritional Deficiencies
- Boosts Fullness (appétite-wise)
All the above happily answer your query why you should try a paleo diet.
The Basics Of Paleo Diet:
Whether it is paleo diet meal plan or paleo diet meal plan Indian, paleolithic humans lived on a variety of diets, depending on what was available at that time.
Some of our paleo ancestors ate a diet high in animal foods, whereas others ate a high carb diet comprising of lots of plants.
All in all, take this as a general guideline, not something written in stone. You just need to adapt it to your personal preferences and needs.
Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, meat, eggs, fish, spices, healthy fats and oils.
Avoid: All Processed foods, Pepsi, Coke and other soft drinks, sugar and artificial sweeteners, dairy products, legumes, refined grains, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats.
One thing is a strict NO-NO in paleo diet meal plan.
Processed foods! It is an enemy to our health, in every sense of the word. So it should be kept off the table. What should occupy the place is fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds and meats.
Checklist Of Foods To Eat In Paleo Diet:
These are the real, unprocessed paleo foods on which you can base your paleo diet:
- Meat Items: Lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, pork and others.
- Fish and Seafood: Salmon, shrimp, trout, haddock, shellfish, etc. Go for wild-caught seafood, preferably.
- Eggs: Pick between pastured, free-range, or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables: Onions, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, peppers, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, strawberries, blueberries, avocados, and more.
- Tubers: Indulge in potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
- Nuts and Seeds: Go ‘nutty’ by eating almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds.
- Healthy Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil.
- Salt and Spices: Sea salt, Himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
Considering paleo diet plan for weight loss?
It is always advisable then to go in for grass-fed, pasture raised and organic items (though they can be high on the price front). If they are beyond your pocket, then go for the least processed food (s).
Checklist Of Foods To Avoid In Paleo Diet:
By all means, say a big NO to these food items and ingredients:
- Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and all such items which are high on sugar and syrup.
- Grains: Not just wheat, spelt, rye, barley, but also breads and pastas.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and others belonging to the legume family.
- Dairy: Avoid dairy stuff, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo also include full-fat dairy items like butter and cheese).
- Vegetable Oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil.
- Trans Fats: Usually found in margarine and other processed foods. Trans Fats are also called “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Artificial Sweeteners: Saccharin, Sucralose, etc. Opt for natural sweeteners instead.
- Highly Processed Foods: Chances are food items labelled as “diet” or “low-fat” have weird ingredients. It is advisable to go in for artificial meal replacements.
Wanna avoid these ingredients? Then make it a point to read the list of ingredients even mentioned on foods that are labelled as “health foods.”
Rem’ber you are on a paleo diet plan, not a junkie fast food one – the latter is a precursor to all health problems.
Foods You May Eat In Paleo Diet:
The paleo community has evolved over the years. And so, there are different versions of the paleo diet meal plan.
Many of the paleo diets allow some modern foods to be healthy – such as grass-fed butter, quality bacon from pasture raised pigs, even some non-gluten grains like rice.
In fact, many people now think of paleo meals as a ‘template’ to base one’s diet on and not just a strict set of rules to follow.
Indulgences Allowed In Paleo Diet
For cosmopolitan people, this section is hearty news.
Two food items are allowed as a part of paleo diet plan, but when taken in small amounts:
- Wine: Red wine is rich in antioxidants and is high in beneficial nutrients.
- Dark Chocolate: The one that has 70 per cent or higher cocoa content is good to take. In fact, quality dark chocolate is not just nutritious, but extremely healthy.
As you can see, wine and dark chocolate are sensible indulgences.
What To Drink In Paleo Diet:
Water is the go-to beverage when it comes to paleo diet meal plan.
Even though these two items are not strictly paleo, most people drink them anyways:
- Tea: Considered healthy and loaded with antioxidants and beneficial compounds.
- Coffee: Very high in antioxidants as well.
Simple Paleo Snacks:
Eating 3 meals a day is sufficient. However, if hunger strikes you, then here are simple paleo snacks you can eat:
- Baby carrots
- Hard boiled eggs
- A piece of fruit
- Handful of nuts
- Leftovers from the night before
- Sliced Apple with some almond butter
- A bowl of berries with some coconut cream
- Homemade beef jerky
Paleo Shopping List:
This list will give you an idea of how to get started.
- Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, etc.
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey, etc.
- Fish: Salmon, trout, mackerel, etc.
- Fresh vegetables: Greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, etc.
- Frozen vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, various mixes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, pears, oranges, avocado.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries.
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts.
- Almond butter
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, parsley, etc.
So what’s your take on the paleo diet meal plan? Do you think it doubles up as paleo diet plan for weight loss? Write in and tell us whether you would like to follow a paleo meal plan or not and why?