By Sheela Seharawat,
Founder & Chief Mentor, Diet Clinic Health Care Pvt Ltd
Hundreds of years ago our ancestors to live either hunted, fished or gathered what they got from the surrounding as food. They ate what they could get which was readily available within their reach. They never planned their meals nor did they ate as per scheduled time. As there were no cultivation as that time they ate raw, salt less, uncooked meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.
In the recent times, the world chose to eat what our ancestors, the then cave dwellers did, in an all new form called the “Paleo Diet”. It is proven that following the same way as our ancestors did can make us stay away from many modern lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart ailments, infertility, depression and even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and along with it is a great diet for losing weight.
The main idea of this diet is to eat fresh and seasonal that are wholesome and full of nutrients and avoid having processed foods, salt, and grains, dairy and packaged. This means we absolutely avoid all those toxic foods and free radicals that affects our immune and digestive system. Free radicals are cells that have no purpose and moves around inside our body eating up the energy and slowing down our metabolism, and along with the body’s natural ability to recover and heal. The paleo diet provides our body with the food that have antioxidants, that takes these free radicals to a position that they are removed from the body.
Paleo is all about eating healthy, nutritious and delicious foods, but in order to have a better impact out of this diet plan there are certain do’s and don’ts that should be observed along with.
- Eat as much vegetables and as much varieties: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, kale, beets, turnips, bell peppers, brussel sprouts, watercress are just a few to name. Eat them raw, boiled, steamed, roast, and baked or fry them in healthy oils in curries or whatever way you like them to have – it doesn’t matter. These should be always on your shopping list, without fail.
- Eat meat: lamb, poultry, organic meats, fish and seafood are valuable sources or protein and healthy fats and works as the basics to fat loss. Don’t forget to make choices on the quality of meat fat. Although meat fat is very healthy in itself but also contains concentrated toxins at the fatty areas. If you have access to grass fed organic meats, you don’t have to bother about the fats, but if you get to eat industrial grown conventional meats, chose the lean leanest cut possible.
- Eat plenty of eggs and moderate amounts of fruits: especially the yolk. Eggs are an essential for people who take to paleo diet for the purpose of fat loss and muscle gain and do not worry about the saturated fat in eggs.
While choosing fruits, eat berries (blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry). Berries are considered superfood and should always be in your shopping list.
- Avoid grains and legumes: causes systematic inflammation and other problems connected with carbohydrate over consumption. Barley, wheat, corn, oats, rice, and anything that you name is to be eliminated. Wheat contains gluten and all grains have a very high glycemic index meaning these foods carry sugar too rapidly into our bloodstream.
Although legumes are less harsh than grains, conditional consumptions like green beans and snap peas is ok. Legumes contain lectins, saponins or protease inhibitors that are bad for our hormonal and immune system.
- Avoid sugar completely: not on refined table sugar, but also sugar in any form – syrups, sugar free and sugary fruits and fruit juices as they have high fructose contents. If paleo is for losing weight, than you can limit fruits to one or two servings a day.
- Avoid most starches: No corn, no potatoes (except sweet potatoes), no rice, and no breads.
- No dairy and no vegetable and seed oils: dairy is an immune system stressor and everyone is allergic to cow dairy to certain extents. Avoid all dairy including milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter etc.
Include palm, avocado, sesame, grape seed, and olive oil in your regular cooking and avoid corn, cottonseed, peanut, soybean, rice bran, and wheat germ oils.