What the heck is the Paleo Diet, and is it for you?
I have had a ton of questions about what "particular diet plan" do I most recommend.
Well, the truth is...., NON OF THEM! Let me explain, There is no ONE PERFECT diet plan out there for everyone. You have to try different things and see how they work for you and pick the one that is easiest for you to maintain, the one that you will love and will work for you and your body type. It's really as simple as that. Please don't believe anyone that tells you that their plan is the BEST!! It is BS!! It may be best for them but a total fail for you.
Here is my take on the Paleo diet. I will discuss others with you all in future blogs.
The "paleo" diet has been pretty popular in the past few years. And while its name is rooted in ancient hunter-gatherer traditions, recent studies have come to support some of its health benefits.
In a nutshell, it's a whole-food, nutrient-dense way of eating that removes processed foods. And that's pretty good, right?
Well, let me give you some of the goods on the paleo diet so you can decide for yourself. Hang on to the end so you can try the awesome muffin recipe I have included; they're great for breakfast, snack, or even dessert.
You may have heard of the "paleo" diet. It was the world's most popular diet in 2013.
But what is it? Is it a fad? Is it right for you?
Scientist and "Paleo Mom" Sarah Ballentyne, Ph.D. defines it as:
“The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.”
The name “paleo” is from the “paleolithic” time when earlier humans (thousands of years ago) were hunters and gatherers. It is thought to represent the era of nutrition before agriculture.
What you can (and can’t) eat on the paleo diet?
Of course, being a "diet," paleo has food guidelines. The paleo diet was created to increase the amount of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods; while reducing the number of gut-disrupting, hormone-disrupting, and inflammatory foods.
But this doesn't mean there are only a couple of foods to choose from! There is a pretty wide variety of food to choose from in the paleo diet.
You can include fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat (including organ meats), seafood, healthy fats, fermented foods, herbs, and spices.
The paleo diet excludes processed and refined foods (e.g. sugar, vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, etc.), grains (e.g. wheat, oats, rice, etc.), dairy, and most legumes (e.g. beans, lentils, peanuts, etc.).
The paleo diet can be thought of as more of a "template," rather than a strict set of rules.
It’s a diet that seems to be easy to maintain, and with little to no negative side effects. There is no measuring or counting of calories or carbs. And there are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods to choose from.
Many proponents of the paleo diet even encourage experimentation by adding in a few of the (healthy whole) foods on their list of exclusions. High-quality dairy, white rice, or potatoes may be added to less restrictive forms of the paleo diet. My kinda plan!
How does the Paleo diet affect health?
Several clinical studies have been done to find out whether there are health benefits of eating this way.
Some of the research has shown that the paleo diet can help with weight loss and belly fat. That alone may be reason enough to give it a try.
Not to mention its effect on several modern-day chronic diseases. For example, it can improve risk factors for heart disease. It has also been shown to reduce inflammation, improve glucose tolerance, and even reduce symptoms of some autoimmune diseases.
It’s also thought to be “gut-friendly” because it includes a lot of high-fiber foods (i.e. fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds), fermented foods (which contain gut-friendly probiotics), as well as being full of nutritious natural foods.
Who should consider a paleo diet?
Some people recommend the paleo diet for those with food intolerance's or autoimmune diseases. Those at high risk for heart disease or diabetes may also be good candidates to give the paleo diet a try.
If you react to gluten or lactose, this diet removes them both by eliminating all grains and dairy.
Even if you don't choose to go paleo, the elimination of added sugars, processed and refined foods can (should?) be a goal to move toward.
The paleo diet is based on what hunters and gatherers ate thousands of years ago. It is a whole-food-based, nutrient-dense diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, meat, seafood, and fermented foods.
Science has shown that it can help some people to lose weight, reduce risks of heart disease, improve glucose tolerance, and reduce inflammation.
At the very least, eliminating added sugars, processed, and refined foods are a great goal, even if you decide not to “go paleo.”
I try to follow a pretty clean way of eating for myself and my family but we still include some grains like oats and rice and we love beans and peanut butter. So ya see, you can take different aspects of several diets and make it your own. This is YOUR BODY and YOUR HEALTH. You know yourself better than anyone.
Disclaimer: ALWAYS check with your Doctor or an RD before randomly removing entire food groups from your diet.
So, now that you know more informed, you are empowered to make your own choices. Of course, you know that I am always here to answer any questions you may have and I would love to help you on your wellness journey. I hope you choose what works best for you and I also hope that this amazing recipe makes it into your recipe box! Let me know what you think.
Recipe (Paleo): Banana Muffins
3 large eggs
5 mashed bananas
½ cup almond butter
¼ cup of coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup coconut flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with liners. In a food processor or stand mixer, blend eggs, bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla.
In a large bowl mix coconut flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add blended wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. Spoon batter into muffin tins, ¾ full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: You can top muffins with walnuts before baking.
Here are some additional references for your reading pleasure!