Should we eat like cavemen? – The lowdown on the Paleo Diet
‘The Paleo Diet’, or the Paleolithic Diet, was based on the paleolithics. To you or me, this means eating what a caveman would eat. This diet is widely recognised by its primary focus of meat, vegetables and fats as opposed to carbohydrates. However, this idea is much confused with the better known ‘Atkins Diet.’ In this article I will attempt to explain the differences between the two.
/ Molly Miles
The Atkins Diet is focussed on restricting carbohydrates in order for the body to go into a state of ketosis, this state occurs when the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for the body’s cells to use for energy and therefore burns fat instead. This diet’s main aim is weight loss, not such much to provide internal health. For example, as long as it doesn’t have high carbs, the dieter is allowed to eat fast food. The idea is that the dieter remains in a state of ketosis and slowly, over a long period of time, introduces small amount of whole grains back into the diet in a way that weight loss is not inhibited.
On the other hand, the Paleo Diet was made for health as opposed to weight loss. This diet focussed more on the quality of food rather than counting carbs or calories. Staying as natural as possible involves: avoiding white carbohydrates, refined sugars and processed foods, repeating meals (avoiding the emotional attachment with foods) and not drinking calories (instead of juices and fizzy drinking, dieters opt for water, tea and black coffee.)
Although this sounds like it would do wonders for our bodies, I am sure I am not the only one who’s sweet tooth is holding them back from embracing the caveman diet.
However, I have gathered some very useful information for those treat-lovers like myself.
- Although chocolate is not Paleo in the sense that our cavemen ancestors could not eat it, dark chocolate is accepted (in moderation) in the diet. Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits that have been correlated with the cacao component of chocolate
- Coconut based dairy free ice cream, as well as being extremely yummy, has many benefits including being rich in saturated fats and lauric acid. Lauric acid is amazing for the immune system, it transforms into an antibacterial/viral substance called “monolaurin” which destroys viruses and diseases. This ice-cream is also much lower in sugar than traditional icecreams. One brand is http://coconutbliss.com/ but other brands can be found on supermarket shelves.
- Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup is a nutrient rich sweetener, a healthy paleo approved alternative to refined sugar, honey or maple syrup. Ideal in hot drinks and smoothies, or amazing smothered on pancakes, waffles, cereal, yoghurt or porridge. Without preservatives or artificial sweeteners, it is 100% Natural, 100% Coconut palm syrup. It is preservative free, gluten free, GMO Free, Fat Free. It is full Natural Antioxidant and more Nutritious than white and synthetic sugars. Find out or order some of this at www.BaliNutra.com
This article was first published in June 2016 on thestagsurrey.co.uk, the official website for the magazine of the students of the University of Surrey.