Have you heard of the Paleo diet, but aren't sure exactly what it
is or if it is right for you? According to proponents of this way
of eating, you can lose weight without exercise or counting
calories and lessen the risks of major health problems. The
premise behind it is that you return to eating the types of foods
that were consumed in the times of the hunter gatherer or
prehistoric times. That doesn't mean we'd be eating dino-burgers,
but it does mean eating the very freshest foods you can get from
animal sources, the freshest vegetables you can get, fruits that
are in season, healthy fats and some nuts and seeds. Here are
some guidelines from what we've learned about the Paleo diet if
you are considering making the switch.
Paleo Do's and Don'ts
If you decide to begin following the Paleo diet, you will be
spending extra time in preparing food as everything is made from
scratch and processed foods are not allowed. Since this diet
follows the hunter gatherer type menu, wheat as well as other
grains, dairy with the exception of butter, legumes, refined
sugars, salt, fruit juices and refined vegetable oils like Canola
are not included in the menu. What you will be eating is a lot of
fresh meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. The meats
and fiber from fruits and veggies will keep you feeling full so
overeating is not recognized as a problem in this eating plan.
If you are committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet, the Paleo
diet is not for you. According to Loren Cordain, PhD, author of
the book The Paleo Diet, meat, seafood, and eggs are stressed as
being protein sources for this diet and vegetarian proteins like
beans and legumes are not included in the foods to eat list.
Besides the defining of foods that can and cannot be eaten on the
Paleo diet, there are lifestyle changes to make. These include
only eating when you feel hungry instead of by the clock, getting
the maximum amount of sleep possible, getting rid of stress, and
limiting exercise to short periods a few times during the week.
Some sources also encourage taking supplements to get vitamin D,
iodine, and probiotics.
The Paleo Diet is a high protein diet. The recommended protein
type is from animal sources. This includes meat, fish and eggs.
Some sources that support the Paleo Diet encourage eating fatty
cuts of red meat and organs like liver instead of concentrating
on only lean meats like poultry, pork and fish. The explanation
behind this is that lean meats provide more protein than the body
can metabolize. Protein is seen as a source for growth and repair
in the body and not as a fuel for energy. Energy production in
this diet is dependent on carbs and fats.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are another staple of the Paleo diet.
If you can't get fresh then frozen is allowed. These will provide
the carbohydrates needed for energy production. Vegetables can be
cooked or raw and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes are
encouraged. Carbs such as cereals, grains, beans, legumes, and
rice are not on the list of acceptable foods.
Monounsaturated fats and saturated fats are also important
components of the Paleo diet. They are used for energy production
and other body functions. Coconut oil and butter would be the
fats of choice for cooking and olive oil and avocado oil are good
choices for eating on foods rather than for cooking. Nuts are
another good source of fats that are encouraged, especially those
with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and not much omega-6 fatty
acids. Hydrogenated oils of any kind or degree are not allowed
which would include margarine, corn oil, vegetable shortening,
canola oil, peanut oil and sunflower oil just to name a few.
AFA Bluegreen Algae and The Paleo Diet
Based on what we have learned, both forms of AFA bluegreen algae:
whole algae and heart of the algae with the cell wall removed, we
think are a good fit for the Paleo diet. They provide lean
proteins and high quality fats plus glycogen from the cell wall
of the whole algae. Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our
livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of
energy. In a cave man, the liver would use glycogen any time the
"fight or flight" response was triggered. In today's times our
bodies need glycogen when we are under stress or need a quick
energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are meats including
liver and properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake.
The cell wall of the whole algae is made up of glycogen that your
body can use right away. AFA blue-green algae also contains
easily assimilated nutrients including: essential fatty acids,
active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, trace minerals,
proteins, complex sugars, and phytonutrients that provide your
body with nutrients it can use for increased daily energy. The
form of algae with the cell wall removed is small enough to slip
through the blood brain barrier to feed hungry brain cells and
help with mental clarity and stamina. And while I'm pretty sure
our cave dwelling ancestors didn't have access to algae
supplements, consider that algae is the fundamental basis of the
entire food chain - the foundational nutrient source for creating
and renewing all life on earth. That definitely sounds like it
fits in with a prehistoric menu.
After reading through these guidelines for the Paleo diet, you
now get to decide whether this is for you or not. Hopefully we
have given you some beginning insight into what this diet is all
about. If you find you are drawn to it, then we encourage you to
do some more in depth research and consult your healthcare
provider to make sure it will meet your individual needs and be
safe for you. The main thing is to find a diet, a program, a
lifestyle or whatever works for you to help you stay as healthy
as you can possibly be.