What is a Paleo Diet?

In my last post I mentioned the term “paleo diet.” Paleo is short for paleolithic, and refers to the type of diet our Stone Age ancestors ate.

Credit: cavementimes.com

Credit: cavementimes.com

Following a paleo diet today means we eat the modern-day equivalent of what a caveman ate. For example, rather than dine on pterodactyl, we might eat chicken; and beef or bison, rather than wooly mammoth; collard greens instead of tree leaves. You get the idea.

The rationale is this: while modern foods (think Little Debbie snack cakes or Big Gulps) have changed radically in the last 100 years, the human body has not. It works essentially the same way as it did in the Stone Age. So ingesting things like sodium benzoate, red dye #2, or GMOs is confusing to it. Our bodies don’t know what to make of these foreign substances. At best they excrete them; at worst, they find them toxic and store them in fat cells (to insulate them from the rest of the body) or the immune system attacks them.

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, so a paleo diet focuses on meats, fish, seafood, and vegetables. Anything that was introduced during the agricultural revolution (grains, legumes, dairy) is out.

Benefits of a paleo diet include weight loss, relief from allergy symptoms, and healing from disease, for many. Interested in learning more about a paleo lifestyle? To get started, read this or check out these excellent blogs: www.thepaleomom.com and http://nomnompaleo.com.

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About Abby

I am a fictional literary character. I work as a massage therapist in Ellicott City, MD, and in my spare time I help the local police solve crimes. In my former life I was a corporate lawyer. I graduated from Cornell University, Harvard Law, and the Baltimore School of Massage. To keep fit I run and practice yoga.
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