As the name suggests, the principle of this diet is to eat like our paleolithic ancestors would have done, but this doesn’t mean eating nothing but raw meat, bones and pterodactyl eggs. The idea is to eat a diet comprising modern foods that has the same values of the diet consumed by pre-agricultural man, such as a high intake of protein, fibre and fat and a low intake of sodium, carbohydrate and glucose. This means taking a pass on processed foods – no fizzy drinks, sweets and anything that smacks of the post-agricultural menu (e.g. grains). You will also kiss dairy goodbye.

Paleo fans often discuss what “percentage” paleo they are, with a common ratio being 80:20. This means that 80% of the time the dieter follows a strict paleo diet and relaxes their approach 20% of the time.

Typical Daily Menu

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash with beef mince

Lunch: Onion and spinach with liver pate

Dinner: Bone marrow salad.

Positives

  • Involves foods that are digested slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Claims to promote a balanced pH value in dietary acid, an excess of which has been claimed to have a link with high blood pressure, kidney stones, bone and muscle loss and asthma.
  • Increased awareness of the diet has in turn raised awareness of the high fibre levels of fruits and foods other than whole grains, which are traditionally sold to us as the best sources of roughage. So goes the conspiracy theory, grains are sold to us as healthy foods for the simple reason they are cheap to farm, despite the fact that mammals are not well adapted to the resulting high carb consumption, which can be a contributing factor in the development of Type 2 Diabetes.

Negatives

  • Eschews a lot of popular foods, some of which you may find it difficult to live without; particularly all forms of dairy.
  • The diet does not specify daily allowances of any food groups, which may lead to overeating, particularly among those prone to it.
  • A lack of carbs can inhibit you when it comes to exercise. Sweet potatoes are generally seen as the only paleo-friendly carb but if this is the only carb you’re consuming it might get boring quickly. And you might turn orange.

Further Information