What's the deal with the Paleo diet? In short, the Paleo Diet focuses on eating like the cavemen did. By today's standards, Cavemen were really fit human beings. It makes sense when you think about it - they had to hunt for the food they ate, and if they couldn't outrun a predator, they'd get eaten! Things are dramatically different in the 21st century. Sedentary lifestyles have allowed processed foods and white sugars to wreak havoc on our population. Although we believe that it's the combination of an inactive lifestyle AND processed foods and refined sugars that are causing these issues, the Paleo Diet is a great way to restrict your diet and avoid specific ingredients. So, where does that leave if you're an active person…an ATHLETE? We know a fair number of athletes who thrive on the Paleo Diet, so what rules do you need to follow to try out Paleo? This is our list:
- The Paleo Diet is completely gluten free, no more grains. With the introduction of agriculture, it became really easy for us to eat all the grains we want. Unfortunately our bodies aren't necessarily happy eating those grains. Grains also contain a natural toxin called Lectins. Lectins are especially bad for our GI tract, so Paleo Diets avoid them entirely.
- No more sugar. If you're going to be Paleo, you'll have to avoid sugar entirely. The trouble with sugar is that it's "cheap" energy. When you ingest it, your body scrambles to absorb it as quickly as possible. You'll feel amazing for 20 minutes, then get the sugar crash we all dread. Excess sugar that your body does not use is immediately converted into fat for storage. If you eliminate sugar from your diet, this won't happen.
- The Paleo Diet is NOT a zero carb diet. A common misconception with Paleo is that you can't eat carbs. This is wrong. You can eat carbs from vegetables and fruits. Sweet Potatoes are also an option on the Paleo Diet. All of these foods are also very nutrient dense and low calorie…making it easy to "overeat" without gaining tons of weight.
- Paleo is Lactose free, do dairy products are NOT an option. You can use Almond or Coconut milk, which can be very tasty substitutes from dairy.