What is the Paleo diet?
Put incredibly simply, the paleo diet encourages you to eat ‘how our ancestors ate’.
Food these days looks very different to the way food looked even just 100 years ago. The creation of processed food has fundamentally changed the way we eat. And it’s not just the shiny packets in the middle of the supermarket, commodities such as wheat have been altered over the years through genetic modification, exposure to pesticides and changes in processing. In fact, ‘modern wheat’ wasn’t even created until around 1960. This means in some cases, even plants that go by the same name are very different to the ones our ancestors ate.
Many scientific studies have linked this relatively recent change in our nutrition with global increases in obesity and prevalence of certain diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even dementia. Whilst the nutritional value and diversity of the foods we eat is decreasing, our risk of developing these diseases in increasing.
The fundamental principle of the paleo diet is that it removes all of these processed foods. Our ancestors wouldn’t have had access to these or the multitude of ‘ingredients’ created in a lab. In addition to this, the paleo diet eliminates all grains, legumes, vegetable oils, refined sugar and dairy (other than butter/ghee).
However, the focus should be on what you can eat. The paleo diet is rich in; vegetables, meat (ideally grass-fed), eggs, fish, non-hydrogenated oils & fats (think coconut / avocado oil and grass- fed butter), nuts & seeds and some fruits. Within this list, there is a multitude of ingredients to keep your diet interesting and diverse.
With the foods available within the paleo diet and the emphasis itself, there is obviously a focus on cooking from scratch. This is not always possible in our time poor, modern day lifestyles. Meals are so often eaten on-the-go and the last thing we want to do when we get home from work is cook dinner and tomorrow’s lunch box from scratch. Well there are now a growing number of companies producing convenient foods within paleo ingredients guidelines, completely naturally and with minimal processing. These products are providing people with a modern adaptation of paleo, allowing you to stick to a paleo diet with the demands of modern-day life.
Visit us this March to discover new Paleo products in store and keep an eye on our blog and social media for recipes to get you eating more like a caveman!