The Sanatio Blog

The Paleo Diet – The new and the old

Paleo – The new, old diet

Paleo diet

The basis of the Paleo diet

The paleo diet (also nicknamed the caveman diet, primal diet, Stone Age diet, and hunter-gatherer diet) is hugely popular these days, and goes by one simple question: What would a caveman eat? Here, we explain what the paleo diet involves, its pros and cons, and, ultimately, what a modern person needs to know to decide whether or not to take the paleo diet plunge.

Paleo foods

The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts. “By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being,” says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. He says the diet lessens the body’s glycemic load, has a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increases vitamin and nutrient consumption, and contains an optimal balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Experts don’t agree on its benefits

In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. “Our ancestors ate this way and didn’t have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn’t mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food,” says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it’s hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.

What’s on the menu?

Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh meat—the paleo diet is all about eating foods straight from the Earth just as our ancestors did. Those ancestors didn’t have livestock or crops to call their own, so Cordain advises to go with grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals that didn’t exist back then. Research from Emory University suggests that Paleolithic people obtained about 35% of their calories from fats, 35% from carbohydrates, and 30% from protein.

Going paleo means giving up modern foods

Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn’t consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes (including peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybeans), according to Robb Wolf, a former research biochemist, paleo expert, and author of The Paleo Solution. While potatoes are generally outlawed on the diet, Wolff says they are okay to eat sparingly as long as you earn them through exercise (more on that next). Alcohol and honey are also generally considered paleo no-nos, but red wine tends to be the closest option there is to a paleo drink, and honey is far preferred to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Paleo is a lifestyle

“The paleo diet is by no means a temporary diet,” says Cordain. It’s meant to be a lifestyle, just as it was thousands of years ago. You don’t just stop it if and when you start feeling better or reach your goal weight—you stick it out for the long haul.

Paleo isn’t just about food

Exercise is a vital part of the live-by-your-genetic-code equation. Surviving in the Stone Age meant a constant on-the-go lifestyle that probably required 4,000-plus calories a day, according to David L. Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. Even most people who hit the gym regularly won’t need to eat that many calories, but the principle of using food as fuel to exercise still stands.

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  • I’m preempting the end of winter and thinking how else you can stay healthy, stay cool and stay loaded with vegetables 🥒🥝🥦🍐
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If you’re working on adding greens to your diet I’ve found that smoothies and smoothie popsicles like this one are GREAT for starting out. Many wouldn’t touch a plateful of spinach but will happily enjoy it when it’s used to color a lime popsicle. Everyone expects a lime popsicle to be green, right? ⠀⠀
Ingredients:
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1 1/2 cups pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1/2 banana
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2-1 cup spinach
Zest and juice of 1 lime
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Directions:
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Puree all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour into your favorite popsicle mold and freeze 3-4 hours, or until completely solid. Makes 5-6 popsicles. .
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Permission to relax. Permission to rest when tired. To eat what my body and soul asks. 
I left feeling so good! Aware of the unnecessary pressure I put on myself, how at times I create my own stress. 
I’ve had a big horrible 12 months and it’s ok and very needed, to take time out to heal. 
What do you need to let go of?
Maybe tomorrow you wake up exhausted, can the gym wait? 
It’s a big week, do you need back to back meetings or crazy deadlines?
Do you not have the energy for a full face of make up and a night out, would laying in the sun with your bestie be enough?
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It’s not about making excuses and being lazy. It’s listening to your body, slowing down when you need and resting when tired. .
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  • Do you juice or blend? I’m a more a blend kinda gal. ⠀⠀
I rather this, as it keeps the fibrous parts/fiber in. 
With naturally occurring fruits it’s good to balance out the blood sugar with fiber. I find this keeps my body happier than a juice. I also add cinnamon and hemp oil as well. ⠀⠀
What are you sneaky smoothie additions? Macca powder? Açaí? Spirilina? Almond meal? Matcha?
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