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National Nutrition Week 2018: Everything you need to know about the Paleolithic diet

The Paleo Diet will take you back to prehistoric days and expects you to eat only those foods which our ancestors used to hunt for.

A Paleolithic or Paleo diet is a dietary plan that requires you to eat foods that might have been eaten during the Paleolithic Age — an era that dates approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The diet includes meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – essentially, all ingredients that could be obtained by hunting and gathering during the Paleolithic Age.

Popularised by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book, The Paleo Diet, this weight-loss method limits your diet to foods that were produced by farming. For example, dairy products, processed oils, sugar, legumes, grains, alcohol, and even salt aren’t allowed. The chief thought behind this diet is that the human body is genetically unsuited to digest modern food products.

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The shift from the nutrition and activity patterns followed by our Paleolithic ancestors is also known as discordance hypothesis. Ever since farming began, the way people eat has changed drastically and that has led to a rapid change in diet, which the human body is unable to adapt to. This mismatch is believed to have contributed to a lot of health problems in today’s world, including weight gain, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

What to eat and what not to eat?

Food items like meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices are included as part of this diet. While processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, dairy products, processed oil, legumes and artificial sweeteners should be avoided.

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This diet does not expect you to keep a check on your calories, although it is advisable to cut down high-fat products like nuts and fatty fish. You can opt for dark chocolate with a 70 per cent or higher cocoa content. For beverages, green tea is the most beneficial as it is high in antioxidants.

Although last we checked, you couldn’t hunt for dark chocolate. But why quibble when you’re being allowed a bite of chocolate?

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