If you do not know it yet, to follow the Paleo Diet you must:
-> To live in a cave
-> Give up all modern comfort
-> and eat only raw meat
You will have the result of being strong and thin indeed, but also to have a life expectancy of 30 years.
Well, if it sounds ridiculous to you, know that there are still many people who think it’s true.
Even if the Paleo regime “landed” in France (and other European countries), around 2011, this subject still remains little “mastered”, while in fact its principle is in a single line.
Having adopted myself since 2012, it is with more than 5 years of practice and hindsight that I rework this article, one of the first of the blog.
Indeed, I went through the “euphoria” of the paleo, (which brings very quickly results, especially on weight loss, see my feedback ), the difficulty of holding on the duration, as well as the cracking, the phases of abandonment …
In parallel, I continued my research on nutrition and health, which allowed me to mature a unique paleo model.
It is in this comprehensive guide of the paleo diet that you will find all there is to know.
What is really the paleo diet?
The Paleo diet takes its name from the Paleolithic era, a time when the human being was hunter-gatherer, that is to say, to provide more or less physical effort to obtain 100% natural food.
The paleo diet can only boil down to that: a quality diet , healthy, natural, or otherwise, unpolluted, unprocessed.
It is very easy to eat paleo when its environment allows it: when you are delivered to yourself in nature, you have no choice.
On the other hand, in a hyper-industrialized environment like the one in which you have to live, the problem is twofold:
on the one hand, there is the temptation to give in to facilitate it, to buy “all-ready”
on the other hand, among the seemingly paleo products, one must be able to discern the “good” and the “bad”.
This is what you will discover later.
Paleo is a lifestyle based on consumer choices.
It is absolutely not a diet more to burn fat (as effective as it is).
Paleo is not a diet…
Why is it better to talk about paleo diet rather than paleo diet?
The word “diet” is too connoted weight loss. In addition, a diet is applied a time and then abandoned when the results are obtained.
The paleo diet, even if it allows to lose a lot of fat (in fact it removes superfluous fat), should not be used as a diet, ie temporarily.
Because just like other diets, once you stop and you resume your bad eating habits, the pounds and other signs of poor health reappear.
Paleo nutrition is therefore to practice daily if you want to achieve lasting results.
However, nothing prevents you from making yourself happy from time to time. On the contrary, it is a recommendation if you want to hold on in the long run .
You do not have to fear the small “calculated” differences, because the results are brought by the habits (the paléo feeding on a daily basis) and not by the exceptions (1 or 2 small weekly spreads).
How has the paleo returned to the taste of the day?
In the USA
In the United States, Dr. Stanley Boyd Eaton is known to be at the origin of the paleo movement that we know now.
Its 1985 scientific publication, “Paleolithic Nutrition – A Consideration of its Nature and Current Implications” has rekindled the interest of scientists for this diet associated with perfect health .
Subsequently, other scientists (Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf) popularized the paleo through their blog, as well as former athletes (Mark Sisson).
In Europe, Sweden’s Dr. Steffan Lindeberg has produced studies of people still living in hunter-gatherer mode today.
The results show that these people do not know our diseases of civilizations (such as diabetes, blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, etc ..
On the French side, Dr. Seignalet has followed hundreds of patients with the so-called prehistoric diet (the paleo diet), which essentially consists of removing cereals and milk.
His results are recorded in the book “Food, the 3rd medicine”, which I do not advise because it is very very technical.
If you are interested in a work for the general public, I advise you to “silence 100 diseases with the Seignalet diet” .
The benefits of the paleo diet
If most people use the paleo to burn a lot of fat ( and not weight, the paleo diet can also significantly improve your health.
As such, the Paleo diet brings the same benefits as the ketogenic diet, or fasting (intermittent or not), the most recognized scientifically being:
increase in energy
improved mental alertness
improvement of diabetes and cariovascular diseases
In addition to this, several other diseases can be “silenced”:
This is the case of Multiple Sclerosis, scientifically proven by Dr. Terry Walhs , herself suffering from sep and now “cured”.
For a complete list of all the diseases that can be overcome with the Paleo diet, I refer you to Dr. Seignalet’s book “Silencing 100 diseases with the Seignalet diet” .
Why paleo works (and is safe)
It nourishes the body
Your body is functioning badly because it is embarrassed by something. By adopting a paleo diet, you remove all potential disrupters to restore your freedom to your body, freeing it of its fat, its fatigue, its diseases.
The majority of problems go through a malfunction of the digestive system.
Whether it is:
poorly digested proteins that damage your hail ,
poor absorption of nutrients,
a disturbance of your intestinal flora (the microbiota),
food plays a crucial role.
Paleo foods respect your digestive system, they allow your body to function normally:
by removing the harmful foods
giving foods that build and regenerate your body
It is always used daily
Among the arguments in favor of this diet, the most advanced is its relevance, that is to say that it is food that has prevailed for 3 million years, until the beginning of the Neolithic, more than 99 % of the existence of the human.
Even if there are objections (we can not have the same food as thousands of years ago, the man adapted genetically, etc …), so what about the people who eat paleo now.
The paleo diet is not new, and it does not return to the front of the stage because it has never disappeared.
Hunter-gatherer peoples live paleo at present. And they enjoy excellent health, much better than those living “Western”.
This has nothing to do with genetics: when some of these tribes leave their families for the city and adopt a modern diet, they also see their health deteriorate.
The paleo diet is simple, healthy and natural, there is nothing dangerous in it (except for the food industry).
What do you eat in paleo mode
The paleo diet consists of healthy products, natural, raw, from hunting and gathering.
If you can not eat the fruit of your hunting and gathering yourself, this is what it should look like.
On the vegetal side
The vegetables are at will . Full of water, vitamins and minerals, raw consumption or steaming are preferred. But this does not mean that we will deprive ourselves of a good homemade ratatouille.
Quality is still something important. As with meat, the selection criteria are the taste and texture of the food. This is very important.
To eat paleo is to return to raw foods without sweeteners. They must taste well to appreciate and give meaning to your action (and yes, a tomato can taste).
Eating paleo, vegetables and fruits
The fruit of paleo picking
Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries …) are preferred.
In fact, all fruits that are not very sweet and very colorful are “paleo”.
You can also eat apples (not limited to the golden, other varieties amaze the taste buds), apricots, oranges, kiwi and generally all moderately sweet fruits .
Fruits with a very sweet taste are to be eaten in moderation (do not binge on a dozen bananas a day).
Preferably eat the whole fruit (the homemade smoothie is one of them) rather than the juice (beware of bottles sold 100% juice with added sugar, again, nothing beats a homemade juice you have selected fruits)
If you want to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet, you need to eat more vegetables and fruits.
But it also requires digesting the large amounts of fiber that go with it.
Take a look at this article to easily get more vitamins and minerals from vegetables.
From the animal side
Animals from the land (red meat, poultry, eggs) and water animals (fish, seafood).
Just like us, these animals must have lived paleo . The quality of their meat is a reflection of their life, how they ate and moved.
Just as we are not adapted to eating cereals, animals are not, and it is better to give preference to those who have had a natural diet (such as grass for cattle).
Imagine the salmon well muscled upstream its torrent, compared to the one who goes round in circles in his pool, which will have the best flesh ?
Imagine the chicken confined in battery, and the one who pecks freely: which will produce a better egg ?
Quality is an indispensable question.
Eat paleo with good meat
Beautiful pale beef ribs
Contrary to what you’ve read, or what the term “hunter’s diet” suggests, paleo diet is not a meat diet.
It is the food of the hunter certainly, but that of the gatherer also.
(Re) read the article on the paleo food pyramid: today , the paleo diet is based on plants, not meat.
However, meat provides essential nutrients that you will not be able to find elsewhere. If you do not like meat (red meat), what about eggs, fish?
This is a track to consider knowing that you do not need to consume every day. Especially that correct intake of vitamin B12 can only be done with products from animals.
If you want to get a better idea of the paleo dishes, you have a good example with these recipe cards .
A precision on fats
In recent popular consciousness (this was not the case in the early 19th century) fats are absolute evil.
Yet they are absolutely necessary for your health.
The only fats that have the favor of the mainstream press are omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. But in the articles about them, important information is still missing.
Because the important thing is to have a fat intake with a good omega3 / omega6 ratio .
To improve this ratio, you need to increase omega 3 (meat, fish, eggs) and lower omega 6 (industrial products, vegetable oils: excluding olive and avocado).
Even though some plants contain a high proportion of omega 3 (chia seed, flaxseed, rapeseed), the type of omega 3 content (ALA) is very little converted by the body into useful omega 3 (DHA , EPA). While meat and fish contain the “good” types of omega 3.
Among the plants: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, avocados, olives, cocoa beans, raw coconuts are all products that provide good fats, to eat in moderate amounts.
For paleo seasonings and desserts , olive and coconut oils, almond butter and hazelnuts are excellent.
For another glimpse into the paleo diet, you can take a look at the paleo food pyramid .
What is not paleo
If the paleo diet consists of natural foods, raw, unprocessed and unpolluted, all the rest is to be avoided: ie industrial products.
What are industrial products?
The prepared products are practical, easy to prepare (microwave oven).
The counterpart is that it is no longer a natural product, which gives your body the nutrients it needs.
To shorten it:
salt is added for preservation, but also to increase the weight of the product (salt retains water)
80% of the salt consumed comes from processed foods
chemical products extend the shelf life of the product (preservatives)
other chemical stuffs give flavor (enhancer)
To go further and really discover the underpinnings of the food industry, then you will find in this article the telling testimony that Christophe Brusset (a former industrialist) reveals in his book “You’re crazy to swallow that! “.
Meat and industrial vegetables
If technically meat (and other fish), and vegetables are paleo, you have to see how these animals were fed and how these vegetables grew.
Livestock meats, in which animals are not free to run, can not breathe clean air, and have not had natural food, are not paleo.
Fruits and vegetables sprayed with chemicals and / or growing near freeways are not paleo.
All these products are industrial.
Milk, cereals and legumes
Milk is a natural product, as are grains and legumes! And yet they are excluded from the paleo diet: why?
Well because they are industrial products!
For more details on milk, see the section below , same for legumes .
Regarding cereals (wheat, rye, oats, etc …), they contain proteins that make holes in your intestines .
And it’s not just gluten, but a class of protein that includes gluten. So, most cereals are concerned .
If you want to know more about wheat (the “queen” of cereals) and its underside, I advise you Dr. Davis’s book Why wheat damages your health .
All other products derived from previous
In addition to the prepared / industrial products, which include many products, we can detail globally:
any sweet product
any product made from wheat: flour, bread, pasta, cakes, brioche, pizza
any highly modified or almost natural product: soda, chips, frying, confectionery …
It may sound like a lot, but in fact, if you analyze the “classic” diet, it’s always the same thing that comes back to the table.
So in the end, there are not so many foods to change. Especially that there is also a lot of choice on the side of the natural.
In addition, to hold on the long term, nothing prevents you to indulge yourself with a non-paleo product from time to time.
In fact everything is a question of quantity. The part of this article will help you sort things out .
The paleo gray area
If meat and natural vegetables are accepted (and their alter ego industrial rejected), what about milk, legumes and natural cereals?
If the 3 elements of this trio are classified as “non paleo”, under certain conditions (of extreme quality and low quantity), they can nevertheless be consumed.
The most accessible milk (easy to find), is actually industrial.
If raw (natural) milk from non-paleo cows is doubtless of dubious quality, it is not yet the one you can easily buy.
This consumer milk was skimmed (half do not mess it up) and suffered high temperatures (UHT) that alter the milk molecules.
So we leave:
of a cow who eats cereals, who does not live in freedom and is treated with hormones and antibiotics
it produces a raw milk (certainly natural) but of dubious quality
this milk is then semi skimmed (which industrial process?)
then brought to UHT
So milk of dubious quality + industrial treatment = no paleo ;-).
On the other hand, raw cow’s milk paleo, so paleo milk, so why not!
This article tells you more about dairy products .
Just as the fruits we can eat have been selected for more taste (sweetness), cereals (especially wheat) have been selected or even modified to produce more with less resources.
Thus, ancient wheats would have a different impact on health.
It’s all about quantity and metabolism. It is clear that nowadays, the amount of (industrial) wheat consumed per person is too much.
Cereals are forbidden because it is easier to remove them than to find the acceptable quantity (it requires a procedure over several weeks, reintroduction tests and a lot of rigor).
Legumes include soy, beans, lentils, peas, peanut / peanut …
In addition to cereals and their problematic proteins, legumes contain proteins (lectins), saponins and protease inhibitors .
To learn more about these barbaric names, you can follow the previous links, but basically, it deteriorates your entire digestive system.
The long cooking allows to deactivate certain substances but it depends on the legume (besides any legume can not be eaten raw, under penalty of intoxication).
Generally, if you bake the most common pulses long enough: green beans, peas, lentils, beans “musicians” (those of cassoulet), you will have no problem with occasional consumption (everything depends again the acceptable amount, see paragraph above).
For other legumes (except peanut / peanut that resists everything), we must look at the side of traditional preparations.
Traditional preparations are the art and the way of preparing food for their healthy consumption.
Soaking, long cooking, germination, fermentation are the main ones.
These practices make it possible to deactivate plant defenses such as legumes.
As for dairy products, fermentation makes it possible to obtain cheeses and yogurts. And that says fermentation says bacteria, and therefore (if they are good) these products take care of your microbiota (your intestinal flora, made up of billions of bacteria).
Regarding wheat, bread made with leaven is much more digestible than “modern” bread, the bacteria have already “digested” much of the product (especially proteins that we do not digest well). If we use old wheat … we can have a product that is perfectly acceptable.
“The disadvantage” is that the leavened bread is longer to produce (the leavening bacteria have to work), the leaven is more “sensitive” (it is easily lost) and the result depends on the quality of the wheat (if you see an economic stake in all this: it’s bad spirit, yes sir !!).
The quality of the products is what sums up the paleo diet.
Quality is the way that what you eat, whether raw or processed, has been produced.
The animals must have lived in freedom, eaten their natural food (no cereals), not undergone chemical or hormonal treatments.
The plants had to grow without pesticides, without pollution.
Your oil (processed product) must be extracted cold. With mechanical processes, without overheating.
Quality is respect for the life of the product (whether vegetable or animal).
But as you already know, we find less and less easily (in the supermarket at least).
To improve your health with the paleo, you can operate in two stages:
first you eat paleo foods “on paper”, without paying attention to quality.
keep meat, fish, vegetables, fruits: as raw as possible
remove wheat and its derivatives, products all ready
then you progressively increase in quality
take eggs of better quality (N ° 0 or 1)
eat less red meat but take it to a safe producer.
The dangers of the paleo diet
The canvas contains many pages warning against the paleo diet. This is quite funny since thousands of people around the world are in remission of their disease after adopting the paleo diet.
Here are the most common paleo hazards that do not happen.
Risk of calcium deficiency
Not consuming dairy products is a danger for the bones. Yet dairy products have only been consumed by the human species for 10 to 12 000 years and not during the millions of years before.
Anthropological research reveals rare cases of osteoporotic fractures in the Paleolithic. On the other hand, their incidence increases considerably after the agricultural transition, in the Neolithic period.
Without dairy products, the real calcium needs are ensured by green vegetables (including cabbages).
Returning to contemporary hunter-gatherers, such as Aborigines, fractures of the femoral neck are very rare.
For more information on milk and osteoporosis, see the article on Thierry Souccar’s book
Risk of cholesterol
The supposed preponderance of meat in the diet suggests an increase in cholesterol.
As you read, the paleo diet is not a meat diet. But to induce that meat consumption = rise in cholesterol is misleading without serious study.
Still based on hunter-gatherer studies of the present, the values of blood pressure and blood cholesterol are extremely favorable, while having a diet whose animal share goes up to 68% of calories.
The lack of vitamin D
Coupled with non-consumption of dairy products, palaeovores are deficient in vitamin D.
Big mistake. Because in the latitudes of the north of Europe (France being part of it), it is almost all the population which is in deficiency.
Because the major source of vitamin D is … ourselves, our body produces the vitamin D necessary to contact the sun’s rays with the skin.
The major problem is in winter, when sun exposure is not sufficient (the diet can not cover the needs of vitamin D).
In this case, it is absolutely necessary to supplement oneself. It’s good because there is a guide already ready on the subject .
The lack of fibers
Essential for the digestion and the health of our intestines, the fibers are absent from the paleo diet because we suppress the cereals.
Looking at the base of the paleo pyramid – vegetables – I wonder if they contain fiber.
I will ask a nutritionist well media.
Paleolithic life expectancy
“Yes, but at the paleo, people would die at 30! “
So what? Is it due to what they ate? Or their living conditions, such as predators, falls (and lack of assistance and surgery)?
The people who really live Paleo nowadays have a life expectancy similar to our “developed” societies, except that their elderly people are in better health.
It’s difficult and monotonous
More an objection than a real danger, if the Paleo regime is monotonous, it’s your fault .
As for its difficulty, you just have to try. Thousands of people are doing well, why not you?
The paleo diet in practice
To begin the paleo, there are 2 schools: go there little by little, all of a sudden.
Get started with moncarnetpaleo.com
If you’re the type to jump right into the big bath, you will find on moncarnetpaleo.com a program of 7 days (21 recipes) paleo, ideal to start you.
The registration and the program are free (you can see a demonstration of the online application on the youtube channel ).
A program in 5 weeks
If instead you are more like to go little by little, I offer an example to gradually change your diet.
Eat more fruits
Eat more vegetables
Eats more good fats
Decide your breakfast
1. Eat more fruits
The first week, without changing anything in your current diet, add a whole fruit a day to your diet, which you consume without meals.
It is easier to add than to delete, and there is nothing more frustrating than to deprive oneself.
This small action, as insignificant as it is, is the first act that makes your resolve to eat better for your health.
It’s the small step that starts your long, healthy journey.
It’s easy, and you have no excuse not to do it (even if you do not like fruit :-p).
2. Eat more vegetables
Continuing the previous practice, the second week, with each meal (midday and evening), you add a portion of vegetables.
If you are used to eating a portion of fries / rice / pasta / …, add the equivalent (in gram) vegetables.
But you must eat your vegetables (you do not have to finish your plate, even if your childhood memories come back to haunt you).
Always without depriving you of anything, you add food for your health. The only “constraint” is that they have priority.
Mechanically, you will come to eat less other things, like bread (hou it’s viceux that).
3. Eats more good fats
For the third week, while continuing what you have done the two previous weeks, you will add more (good) fats to your meals.
If you take a coffee, try to add a source of fat such as coconut oil, coconut milk, butter. You have other examples of paleo coffee here .
It’s up to you according to your tastes, but if you do not, it’s not too bad.
The key is to add good fat to the other two meals:
omega 9: olives, avocado, nuts, hazelnuts, etc …
Omega 3: fish, eggs, meat
If you have health problems, eating more good fats can improve your condition. Moreover, there are at least 12 reasons (scientific studies are at the bottom of the article).
But it is also because fatty acids will quickly bring you to satiety, helping you to regulate your sugar cravings.
4. Decale your breakfast
For the fourth week, you will shift the time of your breakfast by at least 3 hours.
That is to say that if you eat something at 7am, you wait 10am to eat it.
A good paleo practice is fasting. And the antechamber of fasting is the extension of the period of fasting that you are already experiencing: the hours of sleep.
Even if the goal is not to practice a “classic” fast, prolonging the nocturnal fast (to reach about 13h) is scientifically proven to improve health and especially to burn fat.
For more information on the subject, you can read the complete guide on fasting .
You will have guessed, lunch later only makes sense if you do not eat after 21h (approximately).
5. Eat less
Still continuing the challenges of previous weeks, the goal is to eat less.
Normally, having added a lot of vegetables and good fats, you must have noticed that your hunger is “normalized”: you have less (or no more) of compulsive desire to eat, nor the stomach that gurgles 2 hours after your meal (as no food is forbidden to you, you had to observe a difference when you eat a candy).
The challenge is to continue on this standardization of hunger, with this simple trick: chew each bite at least 20 seconds.
Chewing slowly will not only improve your digestion, but you will eat less.
Less eating is scientifically proven to guard against diseases and have a better longevity in good health.
I let you discover 2 other simple tips to eat less (less eating also burns your fat too much).
The paleo diet is a simple and natural diet. It consists of eating products that are naturally found without human modification.
This translates into quality products.
The best evidence of its effectiveness (and its safety) are the people still living Paleo, and who enjoy a healthy health.
Obviously nowadays it is impossible to exactly reproduce a hunter-gatherer life when living in a “developed” country.
But that’s not the goal. The goal is to get excellent health to enjoy life .
Even at first sight, the paleo diet seems to be restrictive, the goal is not to have a stubborn life, but as joyful as possible, in good health and for as long as possible .
This is why you must not forget to please you from time to time (junk food or not), there is no guilt, quite the contrary
Even without following a “perfect” paleo diet, you can dramatically improve your life by adopting a few principles.
If you only delete the industrial products (keeping everything else) that you replace with their healthy equivalents, you will get results, very quickly.
Start with a small step, then go on with another ….
And if you really want to make it easy for you, the Paleo recipe cards are made for that .
FOR MORE INFO ON PALEO DIET , CONTACT SHIVANI SIKRI : BEST DIETICIAN IN INDIA
READ MORE : Intermittent fasting for beginners
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Paleolithic Nutrition – A Consideration of Its Nature and Current Implications S. Boyd Eaton, MD, and Melvin Konner, Ph.D.