12 Tenants of a Paleo Lifestyle:
#1 Avoid Grains:
Prior to the advent of agriculture, cultivated grains were not a large part of the human diet. Humans are NOT designed to adequately digest grains such as wheat, corn, rice, oats, rye, barley, etc.
#2 Largely Avoid Legumes:
Legumes such as beans, lentils and peanuts are very high in phytates and lectins. As another cultivated crop, they were not a large part of the human diet prior to the agricultural revolution.
#3 Avoid Sugars and Artificial Sweeteners:
A major contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic, sugar lacks nutritional value. Artificial sweeteners are chemically processed from natural ingredients but are NOT natural at all.
#4 Largely Avoid Dairy:
As humans mature, most of us lose the ability to adequately digest lactose, milk sugar, however fermentation makes dairy more digestible. Just keep it to a minimum.
#5 Avoid Processed Foods and Chemically Altered Seed Oils:
Processed foods are NEVER healthy options. The general rule is: the more convenient the food, the less health benefits it likely provides. Consuming seed oils like Canola, Soybean, Sunflower and Safflower increases the Omega 6/3 ratio from healthy to less healthy
#6 Eat Non-Starchy Vegetables and Some Fruit:
Eat a GREAT VARIETY of produce every day, with lots of vegetables and some fruit (in season). This should be the basis of every meal
#7 Consume Healthy Fats:
Healthy fats are underrated and important for human health and optimal bodily functions. It’s probably the MOST important of the macronutrients
#8 Consume Healthy Protein:
Regardless of where your ancestors came from on this planet, we all hail from omnivorous hunter-gatherers. Only choose protein from healthy animals that were fed a natural diet
#9 Careful with Alcohol Consumption:
Humans and some other animals have been consuming alcohol from fermented fruit for thousands of years. Red wine is best, just not too much
#10 Move More:
Keep your body healthy with some long, slow distance for endurance, adding short sprints to increase heart rate and some strength training to improve muscle mass
#11 Avoid Chronic Disease of Civilization:
It should NOT be considered normal for the human body to degrade in our older years, with a slow decline in health
#12 Sleep Well and Develop a Sense of Peace:
The average human needs 7-9 hours of sleep nightly, cycling in and out of REM and NREM sleep for optimal health. Also, all humans need to understand our place within nature. Create a life of inner peace through relationships and know your mind/body connection
Portions are usually not provided with a Paleo diet. This is because when eating such a nutrient dense diet, over-consumption of food is difficult. The satiety is high when eating healthy fats, lots of vegetables and healthy animal sources of protein. Eventually overall food consumption drops to what the body needs to maintain a healthy weight.
Created by Chrystyne Olivieri, DNP, FNP-BC, CDE,