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Go Primal: More Than Just a Fad Diet

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April 3, 2013

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a diet out there that was designed by Mother Nature herself? We would know exactly what to eat and when to eat it. It may not be as simple as Mother Nature laying it all out there for us, but there are some diets out there that are trying to do exactly that.

You have probably heard of primal or Paleo dieting a lot in the media. It seems that the Paleo Diet hit the mainstream and many nutritionists and dieters jump on board. I am not one to typically jump on the fad diet bandwagon, but these diets really intrigued me. The concept is pretty easy to understand. In a Paleo or primal diet you only eat what our primal caveman ancestors of the past could eat. Cavemen were hunter-gatherers.

This means your diet will consist of what you could scavenge, grow, or kill. The diets are heavy on fruits, vegetables, and meat. Obviously, processed foods are completely out on the diet.

Paleo vs Primal Dieting

The main difference in the primal vs. Paleo diet is the inclusion of dairy and eggs. In a primal diet, raw milk and eggs are allowed if your stomach can tolerate them.  In a Paleo diet, eggs and dairy are discouraged. Aside from dairy, the diets are pretty much the same. You will remove all processed foods, oils (aside from lard or olive oil), breads, and many grains from your diet and focus on vegetables, fruits, and meat.

The Primal Diet Breakdown

The primal diet blueprint is pretty straightforward. It breaks down exactly what our ancestors of the past did to live abundant lives and utilize their given gene structure to it’s fullest.

  1. Eat a lot of insects, animals, and plants.
  2. Move around at a slow pace.
  3. Lift heavy things.
  4. Run really fast every once in a while.
  5. Get lots of sleep.
  6. Play!
  7. Get sunlight every day.
  8. Avoid traumas.
  9. Avoid poisons.
  10. Use your mind.

The Paleo Diet Breakdown

With readily available modern foods, the Paleo Diet mimics the types of foods every single person on the planet ate prior to the Agricultural Revolution (a mere 333 generations ago). These foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood) are high in the beneficial nutrients (soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low-glycemic carbohydrates) that promote good health and are low in the foods and nutrients (refined sugars and grains, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods) that frequently may cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems. The Paleo Diet encourages dieters to replace dairy and grain products with fresh fruits and vegetables – foods that are more nutritious than whole grains or dairy products.

Many people have had great success with these diets because of the versatility. You can eat a lot of variety and you actually get full. Our ancestors would have been heavy meat eaters or could have lived in groups that relied on harvesting produce more heavily, making it easy to modify the diet to meet your dietary needs. This diet encompasses everything I have ever felt about food. Processed foods are bad and eating foods in their whole state is best.

Have your tried a primal or Paleo diet? Did it work for you?

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