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Video:What Is the Paleo Diet?

with Maria Saracen

The basic premise behind the Paleo Diet is to avoid any food that our Paleolithic ancestors would not have eaten. In this video for About.com learn the ins and outs of the Paleo Diet.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is the Paleo Diet?

Hi, I’m Maria Saracen from ArtfullyNourished.com and this video for About.com is all about the Paleolithic Diet - also known as the Paleo, Primal or caveman diet.

The Theory Behind the Paleo Diet

No matter which name you use, the basic premise behind this diet is that if it wasn’t eaten by our paleolithic ancestors then you shouldn’t eat it either.  Why? Well, because advocates of the diet contend that our digestive systems haven’t significantly changed or adapted in the past ten thousand years or so. Therefore, the diet that nourished our Paleolithic Ancestors, is still the ideal diet for us today.

Now 10,000 years may seem like a really long time ago, but keep in mind that the Paleolithic era lasted approximately two and a half million years.  During that time, our cavemen ancestors were hunter gatherers rather than farmers.  As such, they ate food like meat, fish, vegetables and limited amounts of fruit.  They did not eat any grains or legumes.  And of course, they certainly didn’t have access to any processed food!

Nutritional Benefits of the Paleo Diet

Following the paleolithic diet can be a very healthy option for many people because it’s centered around eating whole, unprocessed food.  It advocates eating grass-fed or wild meat, poultry and fish because they’re believed to be more lean and rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The Paleo diet also tends to be much lower in sodium than most modern diets and no refined carbohydrates or sugars are allowed.  Another benefit is that the diet’s emphasis on vegetables makes it high in fiber.

On the flip side, if you love bread, pasta, rice and other grain products, you might find the Paleo diet difficult to follow.  Legumes are also on the do-not-eat list, which makes the diet very challenging, if not impossible, for vegetarians and vegans to follow.

The good news about this diet is that you don’t have to go 100% Paleo all at once.  You can ease into it at a pace that works for you and then gradually  . 

Thanks so much for watching, if you’d like to learn more about the Paleolithic Diet including a detailed list of what to eat and what to avoid, please visit About.com 

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