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The Paleolithic Diet has been gaining in popularity as more and more people are coming to realize the health benefits of eating like our ancient ancestors. The idea behind this diet is to consume a diet much like humans ate 10,000 years ago as that is what our bodies are designed to do. We function better and have less disease than when eating a modern diet. Here is a look at some of the basics of The Paleo Diet. Protein The Paleolithic Diet is higher in animal protein than what most of us normally consume in a modern day diet. Animals provided early humans with both protein and fat. An important distinction is that their animals were free range and grass fed whereas today the majority of our meat is grain fed and has a different nutritional profile. Therefore to derive the most health benefits from animal protein you should buy those that are labeled as free range or grass fed. Beverages Water is the only beverage that is considered to be Paleolithic. There are many health benefits to drinking water. The old adage advises to drink eight glasses of water every day. Soft drinks are not healthy and obviously weren't available to ancient man. Even though some may say that fruit juice is healthy, it does not exist in nature. Paleo humans would have consumed the whole fruit instead. Carbohydrates Because grains, beans, and even potatoes were not introduced into our diets until humans learned to cook them, they are not advised on the Paleolithic Diet. Early man gathered raw foods and those mentioned are toxic when raw so they were not eaten. Compare that with our modern diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and grains. Grains even compose the foundation of the food pyramid. If you plan to follow the Paleo Diet closely you will have to give up bread and pasta. What to Avoid In addition to avoiding products made from grains and potatoes, on the Paleolithic Diet you will be avoiding or strictly limiting your intake of dairy products, salt, and sugar. Raw honey is the only natural sweetener you can use and it should be used sparingly. Salt should not be used at all. Beans are also avoided on this diet as they did not become part of the human diet until much later in history after cooking became routine. Food that comes in a box or has been refined and processed should be avoided as it has lost nutritional value and actually has anti-nutrients in it like sugar, trans fats, and chemical additives.

What to Eat The Paleo Diet is around 30% protein from sources like free range chickens, eggs, grass fed beef, organ meats, and fish. Carbohydrates form another 30% of the diet. Most of these come from fruits and root vegetables. Fats make up about 40% of this diet and are rich in Omega-3s that are obtained from free-range animal meat and nuts. You can also eat nuts of all kinds except cashews and peanuts. Foods should be whole, for example eating an apple is preferred over drinking apple juice. A large portion of the diet should be raw vegetables and fruit. Organic food as close to its natural state is preferred. Following the Paleolithic Diet may be difficult at first but this basic way of eating may help you lose weight and improve your health.

Graeme Thompson writes for the Caveman Diet resource website, with free recipes available to download.

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