What is the Paleo Diet?
- The Paleo diet is based upon the idea of eating the foods our bodies were designed for through thousands of years of evolution. These foods were available to early people through hunting and gathering [meat and fish, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables]. During modern times, advances in technology have made other forms of food available for consumption [grains, dairy, and processed foods], which are not as easy for our bodies to digest. The foods recommended in the Paleo diet generally provide our bodies with more efficient, long-lasting energy that also aid in burning fat. The Paleo Diet is considered to be optimal for digestion, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, and sleep.
What is the difference between Paleo and Primal?
- ‘Primal’ generally refers to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint way of eating which is very similar to Paleo, but allows some leeway with certain types of dairy and has fewer restrictions on saturated fat intake. Throughout this book, we use “Paleo” and “Primal” as interchangeable terms. Generally speaking, the Paleo Diet is a high protein, moderate fat diet, and the Primal Blueprint is considered to be a high fat, moderate protein diet. Many people who follow this way of eating consider the terms to be one and the same. How ever you personally decide to “title” the ancestral diet that you abide by, both stem from the core principle of eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat: plants and animals.
What types of food are included in the Paleo diet?
- We eat a wide variety of meats, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Colorful Fruits and Vegetables, Healthy fats from coconut, avocado, pastured fatty cuts of meat, grass fed butter, olive oil, and some nuts and seeds. The options are endless, and our plates are always filled with something new and interesting to challenge our palates!
Which foods do you avoid?
- All Grains, Pasteurized dairy, Soy, Legumes, Refined Sugar, and Alcohol
Why do you avoid healthy, whole grains?
- Contrary to popular belief, whole grains are not so healthy to human beings. We simply have not adapted to be able to digest grains. Grains contain toxic anti-nutrients, lectins, gluten, and phytates, and we as human beings are not wired to be able to properly digest these anti-nutrients.To quote Mark Sisson:
“Lectins are bad. They bind to insulin receptors, attack the stomach lining of insects, bind to human intestinal lining, and they seemingly cause leptin resistance. And leptin resistance predicts a “worsening of the features of the metabolic syndrome independently of obesity”. Fun stuff, huh?
Gluten might be even worse. Gluten, found in wheat, rye, and barley, is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. Around 1% of the population are celiacs, people who are completely and utterly intolerant of any gluten. In celiacs, any gluten in the diet can be disastrous. We’re talking compromised calcium and vitamin D3 levels, hyperparathyroidism, bone defects. Really terrible stuff. And it gets worse: just because you’re not celiac doesn’t mean you aren’t susceptible to the ravages of gluten. As Stephan highlights, one study showed that 29% of asymptomatic (read: not celiac) people nonetheless tested positive for anti-gliadin IgA in their stool. Anti-gliadin IgA is an antibody produced by the gut, and it remains there until it’s dispatched to ward off gliadin – a primary component of gluten. Basically, the only reason anti-gliadin IgA ends up in your stool is because your body sensed an impending threat – gluten. If gluten poses no threat, the anti-gliadin IgA stays in your gut. And to think, most Americans eat this stuff on a daily basis.Phytates are a problem, too, because they make minerals bio-unavailable (so much for all those healthy vitamins and minerals we need from whole grains!), thus rendering null and void the last, remaining argument for cereal grain consumption.” Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-grains-are-unhealthy/#ixzz1nc1L5iGT
Aren’t you worried about cholesterol?
The idea that eating foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol will cause heart disease is a myth. You’re body cannot function properly without adequate levels of cholesterol (this does not mean low cholesterol), not to mention your brain needs fat. Your brain is mostly fat and needs fat to really thrive. People at risk for heart disease often are on a low fat, high carb diet, and statins not only do not save lives, but come packaged with many harmful side effects. Just more reason to ditch the grains, and up the fat!For more information on cholesterol in a Paleo Diet context, check out these links:Weston A. Price Foundation:Chris Kresser:
What’s the deal with dairy?
Often people see recipes of ours that include dairy, and their comments are, “I thought dairy wasn’t Paleo?” All dairy is not created equal. Paseurized dairy is a processed, dead food, and raw dairy is a whole, live food. When animals are fed a diet of grains and soy, they are inflamed, fat, toxic, and sick. Animals thrive on a diet of grasses. They are meant to roam freely and graze. Milk from grain fed animals is also toxic, so it then must be heated to kill bad bacteria. Unfortunately when you kill the bad bacteria, you also kill the good bacteria that helps assist in digestion. This is why people often have problems digesting pasteurized dairy. Raw dairy from a healthy animal raised on pasture, is a living food. Raw dairy is a great source of vitamin’s A, D, and K, and can be incorporated into a Paleo diet in moderation. We often include butter and cream in our day to day eating, but it is rare that you will see us eating cheese. When choosing dairy items, we suggest opting for high fat dairy, ie, butter, or cream. Of course, as with any food, it is always best to see how you feel. Just because one person can tolerate dairy, doesn’t mean you will. Listen to your body, and choose wisely.Resources:Weston A. Price:
Where do you get your calcium from?
We get all adequate calcium from dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli. We also get calcium from mineral rich bone broth.Resources on calcium with The Paleo Diet: Cave Girl Eats: http://stevesoriginal.com/
Where can I find palm oil / coconut aminos / other obscure ingredients?
- We often can find most of our pantry items at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or our local Food Coop. If we cannot find an item we are looking for in a specialty health food store near us, then we often will order it online from Amazon.
How does the Recipe Filter work?
- We created the recipe filter on this website to allow people with food allergies and special dietary restrictions to quickly and easily identify those recipes which are not suitable for them. By turning on the filter in the sidebar, you are highlighting the recipes which do not work for the given condition. For example – if you check the “nut-free” box, all of the recipes which contain nuts will be highlighted. Within those recipes, you will be able to see which ingredients do not follow the special allergy or dietary restriction.
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