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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Types of Diet >>  Paleolithic Diet

Paleolithic Diet

Paleolithic diet is also known as a hunter gatherer diet, a Stone Age diet or a caveman diet. This is a diet which is based on what was eaten during the ancient times by human beings. Maybe this diet existed around 2.5 million years ago before man started agriculture and cultivation for food and only hunted or gathered what was available. These were wild animals and wild plants which were consumed during the Paleolithic period. This diet was mainly fish, meat, nuts, roots, fruit and vegetables but no grains, processed oils, refined sugar, salt and dairy products or legumes.
All the animals which they ate fed on natural vegetation. The original Paleolithic diet came to an end when man started cultivating the food which he needed and this started around ten thousand years ago.

Paleolithic Food List, Recipes

The present day Paleolithic diet food list and Paleolithic nutrition consists of lean meat, lean poultry, eggs, lamb, goat, rabbit, organ meat, game meat, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds. Certain foods are to be had in moderation like oils, beverages and dry fruits. Foods which are to be avoided completely are dairy foods, cereal grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, foods which contain salt, fatty meats and sweets.

In the Paleolithic diet different nutritional factors were met from different foods, like protein was derived from mainly fish and lean meats. The newer protein foods like legumes, dairy products, grains and meats with high fat content were not in the diet earlier. Carbohydrates were derived from vegetables and fruits and were of a low glycemic index and consisted of a lot of fiber and micro nutrients. In later times when the more modern foods with carbohydrates were introduced these has a lot less fiber content and were of a high glycemic level. Fats in the Paleolithic diet were mainly polyunsaturated and monosaturated ones which were healthier than the fats in the modern day diet.

Though it seems an almost impossible task to create Paleolithic diet recipes and substitute the ingredients to suit today’s cooking, there are several such diet books available. Most of these recipes help in weight loss and in treating chronic diseases like diabetes. By substituting ingredients for the non Paleolithic with Paleolithic ingredients the diet recipes are quite authentic.  Some of the foods which can be substituted are coconut milk or nut milk for dairy milk; coconut oil, olive oil or bacon grease for butter; coconut milk for yogurt; coconut milk which is chilled with lime juice for sour cream; coconut milk which is chilled and flavored with orange zest or honey for sour cream; lime juice or tomato juice for vinegar; apple juice for cider vinegar; honey for white sugar; maple syrup for brown sugar; and if alcohol is required in any recipe orange, grape of apple juice could be used instead.

Paleolithic Diet Breakfast, Meal Plan and Menu

A Paleolithic diet breakfast should contain foods which are permitted in the paleo diet only. If one is innovative and loves trying out new recipes this is not a difficult process. List all the healthy breakfast ingredients which are permitted in the Paleo diet and see which ones fit into the breakfast category. Eggs, poultry and vegetables do, so you just have to play around with the combinations and make yourself a stuffed omelet with herbs or a pancake made of natural foods topped with honey or maple syrup. This high value breakfast definitely adds to your energy for the day and will not see you hungry until lunchtime. You can add fresh fruits to the breakfast and also save up some for a mid day snack.

Paleolithic diet meal plan for the day is as simple as planning the breakfast. View the list of food substitutes which are permitted in the Paleolithic diet and plan your menu. There is a large variety of meats, vegetables, fruits and herbs to choose from and you can have a healthy meal which has all the nutrients which you require for the day in their natural forms. Low fat meats and fresh fish can be a staple diet along with green salads and fruits for dessert. Though many use this as a weight loss diet it can also be used to treat diabetes and various other illnesses quite successfully. Other health problems which can be treated with this diet are mood disorders, binge eating, carbohydrate cravings, food addictions, joint pains, arthritis, inflammation, asthma, menopause, acne, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and lupus. The diet consists of foods which were used by our ancestors when agriculture was not known and no food was actually grown but found naturally growing.

The Paleolithic diet menu is rich in protein and fiber but low in sugars and Paleolithic diet breakfast ideas will have to have these essential principals to it. This diet is ideal for weight loss and stabilization of weight. Animal foods like eggs, poultry, and seafood are in the list along with vegetables and fruits. So while planning a meal there is no shortage of ingredients except that there are very few cereals and carbohydrates permitted. Root vegetables are minimized in this diet just like rice and legumes. Fiber is a major part of the diet which encourages good health and weight loss. Cooking in oil is not recommended and sugar is limited to the bare minimum. A lot of fluids are part of the diet and apart from water, fruit juice, wine, and green tea is highly recommended. Though this diet is beneficial for those who have cardio vascular problems and diabetes many find the diet rather restricted. Most of the food is boiled or steamed and salad and fruits are eaten in their natural form which is raw. The Paleolithic diet is highly recommended as a weight loss and fitness one and many people have had good results with it and have benefited in their striving to loose weight and remain healthy.
Submitted on January 16, 2014