Followers of the Paleo diet follow what people ate in the Stone Age. They suspect that it best meets the needs of the body. Which foods are allowed and which are forbidden on the Paleo diet? Everything is worth knowing at a glance.
What is the Paleo diet?
The term Paleo derives from the term Paleolithic, which means the Old Stone Age. In this phase, according to current knowledge, people used the first stone tools but practiced neither agriculture nor animal husbandry. They fed on hunting, i.e. fish and meat, as well as food that their environment gave them. This is what the Paleo diet is based on.
Its followers argue that humans have not changed significantly genetically since then, which is why this form of nutrition is particularly healthy for the organism. Most often this diet is associated with losing excess weight and therefore constitutes a special form of diet.
What is allowed on the stone age diet?
Almost all foods that were freely accessible in the Stone Age are allowed in Paleo. These include above all:
- Meat and poultry
- Nuts and seeds
- Honey or maple syrup
When it comes to fruit, the focus is on berries, which were easy to collect back then. However, there is no uniformly defined paleo concept. For example, while some advocates do eat citrus fruits, others frown on them.
What foods are forbidden on the Paleo diet?
Followers of the Paleo diet generally avoid all industrially processed foods. This applies to ready meals, pizza, and soft drinks as well as steak sauces, cane sugar, and all other industrially produced foods. This means that much of what is on offer in a typical supermarket is off-limits to Paleo eaters. Also waived:
- Sweeteners and sugar substitutes
- Industrially processed oils and fats
- Processed meat products, such as sausages
In addition, Paleo supporters avoid milk and milk products because of cattle breeding and the associated – also manual – processing of milk into cheese and co. did not exist in the Stone Age. For a similar reason, grains and grain products are prohibited. Because there was no agriculture at that time.
Legumes are an exception. Although they were probably an important food during the Stone Age, they are not included in a strict Paleo diet. Its ingredients are viewed critically by many Paleo fans, as they could have a detrimental effect on digestion.
Is Stone Age Diet Healthy?
The renunciation of additives and finished products is considered very healthy. Various studies on the paleo diet have also shown that it can have positive effects on type 2 diabetes mellitus and increased blood lipid levels. Weight reduction was also achieved in a majority of participants in further studies with this type of diet. And the Stone Age diet can be varied: there are many delicious Paleo recipes.
Nutrition experts remain skeptical, however, because there are no long-term results on the Paleo diet. Most studies ran for a maximum of a few months. It is therefore unclear whether there could be a nutrient deficiency in the long term – in a study after two years of Paleo, for example, scientists found iodine deficiency because the test subjects had avoided dairy products and table salt. Regular monitoring of the nutrient supply by a doctor is therefore recommended. Another difficult point is the question of how long it is possible to stick to the Paleo diet in everyday life.