You’ve probably heard of the Paleo Diet by now. Like all new and popular diets, it is controversial, but it differs from other low-carb diets in its emphasis on natural foods and exercise.
The Paleo Diet is based on the idea that modern humans should go back to eating whole unprocessed foods to achieve optimal health. It is also sometimes called The Caveman Diet, but don’t let the name deter you. The Caveman is just a mascot, and the Paleo Diet is not about historical reenactment. It’s simply a framework for improving health through food and lifestyle.
The idea is simple:
- Eat more nutrient-rich whole foods, like fresh vegetables, meat, seafood, nuts, and fruit.
- Avoid processed foods with added sugar, chemically processed and refined vegetables oils (corn oil, soybean, sunflower, corn), and anything with ingredients you can’t easily identify.
- Avoid processed and refined carbs. This includes most breads. Carbs are acceptable in lower quantities, but they should not be the bulk of your diet.
- Eat healthy fats, like avocados, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil.
- Dairy is OK in small amounts. Aim for organic, grass-fed, full fat or fermented (yogurt, kefir, cheese). Skim milk is high in sugar!
- Get some exercise every day, preferably outside and at a relaxed and steady pace. Avoid stressful cardio.
If you want to embark on your own Paleo journey, the Cheshire Public Library has over 50 books on the Paleo Diet! Here’s a small sample to get you started:
Practical Paleo: a customized approach to health and a whole-foods lifestyle – Diane Sanfilippo
The Paleo approach: reverse autoimmune disease and heal your body – Sarah Ballantyne
The Paleo slow cooker: healthy, gluten-free meals the easy way – Arsy Vartanian
Paleo comfort foods: homestyle cooking for a gluten-free kitchen – Julie & Charles Mayfield
Paleo desserts: 125 delicious everyday favorites, gluten- and grain-free – Jane Barthelemy
Mediterranean Paleo cooking: over 150 fresh coastal recipes for a relaxed, gluten-free lifestyle – Caitlin Weeks, Nabil Boumrar, and Diane Sanfilippo