The Paleo diet is based around foods early humans ate in the Paleolithic era (up until 10,000 years ago).
The typical Paleo diet includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds—foods sourced by hunter-gatherers during Paleolithic times. The diet does not contain foods emerging through more modern agricultural methods, such as dairy products, legumes, and grains. And of course, nothing processed; it’s a focus on whole, healthy foods and food groups.
The Argument for Paleo
The main goal of the Paleo diet: eat like a caveman. Paleo followers believe our bodies do not have the adaptation necessary to process modern foods, leading to increased incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Paleo seeks to eliminate harmful side effects associated with modern agriculture.
Some people question the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and genetic engineering used to mass produce fruits and vegetables. Pesticides used in agriculture are also a cause of concern for some individuals. Although these scientific advances are designed to mass produce quality food, some question their dietary safety.
The Paleo diet has not been scientifically studied in the same detail as keto, but there is some research suggesting potential health benefits. A study performed on the Paleo diet indicated glucose tolerance may improve in people with type 2 diabetes.6 There is also evidence of improved glycemic control and lower blood pressure following the Paleo diet.7,8 Similar to keto, when processed food and refined sugars are removed from a diet, there should be some health benefits.
The foods found on paleo should have existed thousands of years ago, consumed by our great-great-great-great-great grandfathers and grandmothers. The most common paleo foods include:
- Grass-fed meats
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Oils from healthy fat sources (e.g. avocado oil, coconut oil)
As you can see, the food choices on the Paleo diet have some overlap with the keto diet, but there are dietary and philosophical differences as well.
In our next blog we will better investigate some of the similarities and differences of the Keto & Paleo diets as well as how to identify which diet is right for you….