Is It Healthier To Eat Like A Caveman?

by | Mar 7, 2012

Photo by Lord Jim

“What do you think of the Paleo diet which advocates zero grain consumption?”

The Paleolithic diet is one of the most rapidly growing diet trends of the past several years. Followers of the Paleo diet argue that humans have not evolved to eat agriculture-based foods and can only achieve optimal health by consuming a hunter-gatherer style diet. Thus the Paleo diet is completely devoid of grains and legumes, and also shuns dairy, salt, refined sugar and processed oils. The diet is composed primarily of meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, roots, nuts and seeds.

(The Wikipedia article on the Paleo diet is actually pretty good if you’d like to read up on the details. I particularly like the Opposing views section.)

Like most diets the Paleo diet has a little bit of good science behind it, but also a lot of logical leaps and baseless assumptions. The evolutionary argument that humans are somehow maladapted to agriculture-based diets is particularly unconvincing (resting on many unproven assumptions), yet is the fundamental premise on which the Paleo diet bases its recommendations.

The reasoning behind the Paleo diet is less interesting to me, however, than the impact of the diet itself. Will “eating like a caveman” really help you be healthier?

Possibly, but not necessarily.

The most obvious advantage of the Paleo diet is the lack of processed foods. There is ample evidence that societies on traditional diets boast far better health than those on modern, Western diets–and the hallmark of modern diets is food processing. Paleo diets therefore are low in sugar, refined carbohydrates, trans fats, excess salt and pretty much everything else that leads to “diseases of civilization.”

Paleo diets are also abundant in healthy, nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and meats. I have no doubt that anyone willing to stick to a Paleo eating plan will have a healthy weight and remain virtually free of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and may even have lower rates of cancer.

But the question still remains, is it necessary to eat Paleo to be healthy?

This is where I take issue with the Paleo philosophy. While a diet completely free of processed foods is undeniably healthy, the Paleo diet goes beyond this and demands considerable sacrifice.

Paleo diets do not allow for any grains or legumes. This pretty much eliminates every traditional cuisine on earth including Japanese, Italian, Indian and Greek. Not only is this a culinary tragedy, it ignores the fact that these cuisines feed some of the world’s healthiest and longest-lived individuals.

Traditional, global diets that exclude highly processed foods but also include grains and legumes have been some of the most successful for health. Diseases of civilization are only problematic in Western cultures where processed foods make up a large proportion of the calories and few whole food are consumed.

Proponents of the Paleo diet argue that it is necessary to eliminate grains and legumes because they contain “antinutrients,” substances that can interfere with the body’s absorption of other important vitamins, minerals and proteins. However, well-nourished individuals who eat a varied diet of unprocessed foods (including grains and legumes) are not nutrient deficient and are generally healthy.

Given that it is possible to thrive on a diet that includes some grains, legumes and even small amounts of processed foods, one must question if giving up the culinary joys of travel and global cuisine are really worth the sacrifice.

In my experience, food substitutions and modified recipes designed to mimic traditional meals can sometimes be tasty but can never replace true authenticity.

Another contention I have with the Paleo diet is the assumption that the same eating patterns will work for everyone. People’s lives differ in countless ways. We each have different levels of daily activity, demands on our time and food preferences. We also have different genetic backgrounds, which can result in significant differences in metabolism and hormone levels. These individual variations make dietary needs different for each of us.

Because of our individual differences, there is undoubtedly a percentage of the population that thrives on the Paleo diet and finds it easy to stick to and achieve results. Hooray! However there may also be a segment of the population (myself included) that finds living without grains and legumes to be chronically unsatisfying and unsustainable.

Try telling a foodie they can never eat cheese or drink wine again and see how far you get pitching a Paleo diet.

If you currently eat a typical Western diet with little variety and many processed foods, tend to have better success following rigid diet plans, and have no qualms about giving up or modifying traditional meals to meet your dietary demands, then you might have luck following the Paleo diet. However there is no reason to believe it is the only path to good health.

The best diet is the one that works for you. Finding a healthstyle you can embrace and enjoy is essential if you want to build a lifetime of healthy habits.

Do you follow a Paleo diet? What do you think?

Originally published February 22, 2010.

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147 Responses to “Is It Healthier To Eat Like A Caveman?”

  1. Morghan says:

    My approach to diets is to eat what I want and balance that out with activity levels.

    I grew up on a ranch, and what we ate every day would lead someone with a sedentary lifestyle down the road to a heart attack within the year, but we were all really healthy.

    Of course this was before GM food and we didn’t have the money for all those fancy pesticides. Our animals were fed with what we grew in the fields and had plenty of room to roam. We had our eggs and milk fresh daily, made our own butter, even peanut butter was made at home.

    Basically, from just being poor ranchers who ate our own animals and fresh or home canned produce from our garden, we were living on local and organic foods.

    That’s how I think we should all eat. And while I know not everyone lives on a ranch, I don’t any longer, we can all eat like that through community supported agriculture, farmer’s markets, or shopping at the local food co-op.

    My diet at present is actually pretty close to Paleo, but I use lentils and quinoa in a lot, so I’m not totally in compliance.

  2. Craig says:

    I’ve been playing with the Paleo diet for about four months. For 2 of those months, I’ve gone 100% Paleo to clean my body out and rid it of all the inflammatory “gack” that comes with grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, etc. I must say, I have never felt deprived, rather I learned about myself as an eater: what I can live w/out and what are “musts” for me. I learned new healthier habits and I broke old ones. While I’m glad you brought out both pro’s and potential cons of the Paleo diet I wish you would have pointed out that this is indeed sustainable because it’s not about the forever elimination of these things rather it’s more about allowing yourself to periodically creep certain things back into your diet to see how you respond to them. Living Paleo 85-90% of the time is indeed sustainable. A cheat meal once per week is often recommended and needed in order to live Paleo the majority of the time. Having said all that, I feel great. I’ve slowly lost weight. I don’t have bloating and the stomach issues I once had. Hard to argue with.

  3. p.s. Love your website by the way. One more thing… mention, “there is no reason to believe it’s the only path to good health.” I don’t think Paleo is the only way to good health, but I think you will find Paleo folks state that it can and often does lead to good health. It has lead to my good health.

  4. Roger says:

    I’ve been following a Paleo diet for about a year now. Granted, my goals are different than most, but I’ve been able to increase my weight while lowering my body fat. That simply isn’t possible on a grain/legume rich diet. I know. I’ve tried them all.

  5. Richelle says:

    Hi I have been doing the Paleo Diet for about a month now, but some of it for a few years. I have Celiac Disease and I am lactose intolerant also, so really I have not been eating Gluten and dairy(except for cheese) for quite some time and I lost about 30lbs doing that plus I felt so much better. However I reached a plateau in my weight loss and health. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get past it. Then I started the Paleo Diet and I feel even better and I just today, got past my plateau and soon will be very fit. I agree very much with what Craig said that it is one of those diets that is rigid about the rules at first for you to rid your body of all the ick, but after that it is about fitting it into your way of life and really making you think what you are putting into your body and if it is going to help or hinder. Thanks I love this site.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Awesome for you, congrats. You know it’s weird, I’ve tried to cut out grains entirely before and I always end up gaining weight. I have many friends with the same experience. But I’m already very fit and healthy. Whatever works 🙂

      • Richelle says:

        Yep totally agree. Whatever works for that person is best. The key is finding out whichever one works best for that person. 🙂

      • Esmerelda says:

        I tried going paleo (actually primal blueprint-style) about a month ago and gained five pounds. I also felt nauseous after meals, and consoled myself, “At least I’m too queasy to think about pasta!” I think it was because despite what some people say, at a certain point, calories do count. I was at a healthy weight and fairly active and all of a sudden I was thinking, “Woo-hoo, I can eat all the fat I want!” So I gorged on (locally raised organic, at least) bacon and sausage…oh, and duck fat, too…and gained weight. I have since added back rice and decreased the meat (and fat) and feel much better. I don’t disagree with the rationale, but I definitely had to tweak it to work for me. And I was just miserable without my rice.

  6. James Pott says:

    I am a neo-paleo. Sort of like an Eades version of Atkins, but not exactly. We have pretty much gotten out of the grain game except for one. We discovered that spelt, although closely related to wheat, is a completely different grain and excellent for making your own bread. The gluten are also of a different variety. They are much shorter and more readily digested. Wheat is a fairly toxic substance if you know the whole story:
    So if you want to enjoy your bread make it spelt. And you don’t need the bran because spelt flour is a complete nutrient not like wheat where you need the wheat germ and the bran (with all the problems). Get you fiber from your veggies. Much healthier, and if raw, loaded with enzymes.

  7. Lukas says:

    I think a good way to approach Paleo is to adopt it strictly 80-90% of the time, with the remaining 10-20% of the time spent eating quality foodie treats. This has been working well for me. I never feel Paleo is restrictive this way and have no guilt enjoying a well crafted tart on occasion because it is a small part of my overall diet.

  8. Like you, I tried going without grains and it made me miserable. I do much better on a higher-carb diet with whole grains.

    Totally with you on this: “Try telling a foodie they can never eat cheese or drink wine again and see how far you get pitching a Paleo diet.”

    I’ve met a couple extremely healthy people who grew up on vegetarian diets in India. They never had a cavity, never got sick, had perfect bone structure, and never had their wisdom teeth out.

    They did eat plenty of eggs and dairy, and everything was cooked in grass-fed ghee. I think, based on this and lots of other examples, the argument that grains are inherently bad for you is hogwash.

  9. Sheila says:

    Nice summary!

    I don’t agree with this statement though:
    I have no doubt that anyone willing to stick to a Paleo eating plan will have a healthy weight and remain virtually free of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and may even have lower rates of cancer.

    There is plenty of good evidence linking increased meat consumption (processed or unprocessed) with increased cancer risk, and more recently diabetes risk.

  10. There are pros and cons to any kind of diet. With this kind of diet you are obviously missing out an a myriad of healthy foods that are good for your body and your brain. The best diet is one that just keeps everything in moderation, along with regular exercise.

  11. Jessica "Chai Haiku" says:

    I think there’s much merit to the Paleo diet! But to follow it religiously seems unwise.
    I consider myself a part-Paleo, part-French-lifestyle follower. I avoid processed foods and predominantly eat lots of veggies, fruits, nuts and meat and fish. As a health enthusiast and college student seeking to remain fit, the Paleo lifestyle has really helped. I will not deny it. It has not harmed me, but has been very supportive to my workout regimens.
    But what about the good bacteria and calcium in yogurt? I agree that dairy should not be consumed in excess, but in the French lifestyle, small servings of low-fat yogurt are encouraged, and I enjoy nonfat Greek yogurts and berries a few times a week myself!
    Also once in a while I enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal for all the healthy fiber. And I adore a meal of quinoa, beans and chicken after a hardy day of swim training.
    (Also, I’m Italian, and Nonna’s lasagna at Thanksgiving just can’t be sacrificed.)
    So in terms of grains and dairy and legumes, I agree with the Paleo diet in the sense that no, we don’t need those things all day, every day. But in the sense of the French lifestyle (France has SUCH a healthy food culture and trim citizens!), I see benefits to consuming low-fat dairy, beans and whole-grains mindfully to round out certain meals during the week.

    Paleo has good and bad sides to it. Like anything else in life, if you take it too seriously, it can come back to bite you!

  12. Jenilyn says:

    I could not agree with you more around people needing different diets. I’m not on the Paleo Diet.

    I’ve tried so many different diets; vegan, vegetarian, raw and macrobiotic. They all helped in different ways and I’ve learned so much from them. But at least for now, eating meat, grains, veggies, and fruits work for me. I also think that we need different diets at different times in our lives.

    I’ve read a little about the Paleo Diet recently and this helped me understand more about it. Thanks for writing about this newest diet. Jenilyn

  13. pam says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that diet is not a one-size-fit-all issue. I have lived in Thailand for 35 years. When I first arrived there were very few western foods available, except for the basic… rice, vegetables, meat, and fruit. In the 80’s fresh dairy products became available. Thais began to get larger, and taller. Then came the western fast food chains and the processed foods. I am glad I was forced to eat a basic diet years ago, because I saw right away that I felt so much better when eating this diet. When visiting the States, I would gain weight and feel bad. The only change I have made through the years is to bring my consumption of rice down to bare bones.. sometimes eliminating it completely for days. Its pretty hard to to visit Thai friends and not eat ANY rice. But I gain weight quickly if I eat it three times a day. I like meat in small quantities, but a big helping of red meat makes me sick to my stomach.
    I only use coconut oil and olive oil, and have taken soy out of my diet. I never say never, except for gluten because I feel so bad afterward if I eat any. Legumes and lentils make me feel bad so I usually don’t eat them, but last week, I made a pot of beans for my husband and had a small bowl. Paid the price with aches and pains the next day.
    Its so clear after reading all of these comments how different we all are and what our bodies thrive on is not the same. We CAN all agree though, that staying away from processed foods, and reading the needs of your own body is essential to good health.

  14. tree says:

    The paleo diet is n=1, not one size fits all. Like all endeavors, the movement has its control-freaks. But the majority of it’s proponents promote n=1. One of the most significant facets of paleo is the promotion of real food and it’s quality. Paleo is promoting organic, local foods, farmer’s markets, getting outside, and moving the body. It is promoting cooking! And sleeping, as well as The Weston A. Price Foundation.
    I transitioned from WAP to Paleo last year. Eight years of chronic pain disappeared, along with daily blood-sugar crashes, skin issues, Gerd, etc. I still eat dark chocolate, drink wine, and a few other modern indulgences. It is all about N=1 !

  15. jon says:

    “Proponents of the Paleo diet argue that it is necessary to eliminate grains and legumes because they contain “antinutrients,” substances that can interfere with the body’s absorption of other important vitamins, minerals and proteins.”

    “Antinutrients” is a vague term that refers to any natural element in food that inhibits digestion. Grains are certainly not the only things that contain “antinutrients”, so to vilify them as such is simply dishonest, and probably due to ignorance…

    • Nicole says:

      Jon, there are other arguments for eliminating grains. One being the fact that grains have a high carb count which raises insulin levels. You should do some reading on the biochemistry behind paleo and primal, as anti-nutrients are not the only reason behind the philosophy. Additionally people in the community acknowledge that there are plenty of other foods out there they embrace with anti-nutrients and that there negative sides to basically all of the food we eat on some level. It’s a matter of consuming what best suits you. I would also like to point out though, historically, fermentation and sprouting have been long used processes to make ingesting grains and legumes healthier & easier on the human digestive system:

      Say what you will about the paleo and primal community, but the last thing we are ignorant about is our food. I really do encourage to read more:
      I don’t believe in a one size fits all diet but I know how I feel when I eat this way and it’s a hell of a lot better than I felt before.

  16. sam says:

    The Paleo diet in my opinion is just an excuse to carry on eating meat. It is quite hilarious, they eliminate grains not for health, but because they are blander than most foods but ARE health promoting.

    The fail to realise that the animals they eat are not from the paleolithic era, even grass fed. If the really wanted to simulate the diet, they could eat insects…but will they do that? NO! because they’re only following the diet for taste, and couldn’t give a damn about history or the ‘original diet’.

    They even say that grains cause osteoporosis due to their acidic, but meat is 8 times more acidic than grains lol..

    On the subject of anti nutrients… most vegetables are high in toxins too and considering many are consumed raw, they may be more ‘harmful’ than grains.

    Also they eat their ‘healthy fats’ in the form on nuts and seeds, which when raw boast more ‘anti nutrients’ in their raw form than grains.

    So in conclusion… EAT GRAINS… if you have celiac, then gluten free… just avoid processed forms of grains and food in general… even meat is processed to be more harmful, e.g. hot dogs, bacon. It isn’t the grain in its whole form that is problematic, it’s what man does to them after harvesting, not to mention what we add to them 🙂

    • Annie says:

      But even these ‘pure’ grains have been genetically modified over the years. Today’s wheat, isn’t Grandma’s wheat.

      The Paleo concept works for me. I feel better than ever since subscribing to this lifestyle change. My arthritic knee is now a non-issue. My blood work is pristine, much to my doctor’s amazement. She’s agreed to look at the research now.

      Do I stick to it 100%? Nope. I do eat lentils and quinoa a couple times a month. I’ll have a piece of cheese and a glass of wine on occasion. But overall, I adhere to consuming my clean meat/fish and huge assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits. And my God I feel FABulous!

  17. sam says:

    One more thing Darya, I know you mean well, but…

    Look at Loren Cordain and William Davis… they look bloated and even have ‘Wheat Bellies’ without even eating the stuff, so I think people following the Paleo diet will not be free from heart disease, cancer etc… God knows why people follow such a diet written by overweight and unhealthy authors.

    • Annie says:

      Wow. That’s a little harsh, Sammy. I think YOU need to do a little more research and you will find that many, many proponents of the Paleo lifestyle have far more education and credentials in medical science than you.

  18. steve says:

    You all know “opinions are like…”, but back it. Don’t just “read about” Paleo on blogs, read the books, the science, do some research…If you dont care, then admit it in your post

    Actual Paleo is about true Raw/Orgainc foods, including grass-fed meats…

    If Humans were “MEANT” to eat something, i.e. grains, than why does it cause problem is some people? We are the same genectically…

    If something is good for us, i.e. grains, then why does it have to be processed to be consumed?

    I’m not going to argue, I just want people to KNOW before they judge…

    Humans have been geting fatter since the S.A.D. (government recommended standard American Diet) was introduced, because of its focus on grains and low fat…

    I prefer Primal…80/20…

  19. Scott Miller says:

    The reason grains are bad cannot be circumvented by eating whole grains, which still contain the two category of inflammatory proteins: lectins and glutens. (Beans are full of lectins, which is why they are not paleo.)

  20. sam says:

    @ Steve, you don’t seriously believe the majority of people follow the governmental guidelines do you? like robots lol…. If you go to look in a overweight/obese persons food trolley in the store, I doubt you’ll see bags of brown rice, plain potatoes and fruit lol… but you will find plenty of meat topped frozen pizza, FRIED chips, processed meats, eggs, plenty of dairy produce etc.

    We know that cultures have thrived on unprocessed/minimal processed diets of mostly grains and starchy vegetables..

    People have only started getting fat since the availability of animal products, dairy products and FATS added to grain/starch products.

    It would take 2.5kg of Potatoes and even more food weight if oatmeal ( grain ) to meet a woman caloric requirements… How many people do you know that would have the ability to even move after that!

    But with butter all we need is 350g or with meat 0.5kg-1kg to meat… can you see where we are going.

    It’s the fat and meat fuelling the obesity problem not grains or carbs, it isn’t just about diet and health anyway, we need to stop being so self centred also.

    Feeding livestock animals is extremely wasteful, the food given to them to produce meat could go to humans suffering with poverty… If you bring up the grass-fed argument, let me just say.

    – You try feeding 7 billion people a diet rich in eggs and meat.
    – Try feeding 7 billion people a diet rich in wholegrains, fruit and veg.

    We need to look to the future, no so supposed past from a sub-specie of Hominid that went extinct.

  21. Giovanni says:

    It’s really hard to tell anyone to follow a certain diet and assure that it will work for them. Our bodies are so different and unique form one another, following general guidelines sounds like a sure fire way to failure or arousal of other problems. Looking at different cultures and trying to compare is even worse. Being Italian, I know that we have a very high level of grains in our diet…BUT our lifestyle requires it. We are constantly on the move. The average day for us is walking around from 8-2 resting till 4 and walking again from 4-11 on average. Just to get to my house I had to walk up a massive 4th floor with no elevator, multiple times a day. So as u can see we are burning thru the grains and converting this into fuel. Without a nice plate of pasta i think I would have passed out 🙂 Now take your average western day. Wake up get in your car sit down, go to work most likely sit down for 7-8 hrs, try to get some workout in for 1-2 hrs, then go home and sit on coach for rest of the night. So as u can see “average” western requirements with a high grain diet would bring your internal piping system to a complete halt 🙂 So.. really take a look at your lifestyle and adjust from there. I follow somewhat of a paleo diet, but I do not embrace it as a religion which a lot of people seem to be doing. I started by removing grains, diary and legumes completely for 30 days then slowly reintroduced them to see how my body was reacting. I just plainly feel better by limiting grains, consuming raw cheeses, swapped over to Almond milk which is way tastier. My body seems to function better and I have an overall better body composition. Being Italian this seemed extremely difficult to approach. But instead I’ve been doing great. I embrace all the Mediterranean veggie and meat plates of which there are a plethora. I limit the pasta to special occasions with Family or when I’ve really had a tuff workout and I feel my body would use the extra carbs. Overall I feel in the best shape of my life thus far. I really think you need to analyze your lifestyle and make adjustments from there. The requirements for a person that does very little exercise or none compared to a mid level athlete are extremely different. Just don’t think that just because we didn’t eat in 1000’s of years ago we can’t eat it now. We’re smarter then that. Use that grey matter and make sense of it all and how it relates to your body and lifestyle requirements. Remember your inside are a piping system make sure you don’t clog it up. Otherwise your just creating a breading ground for inflammation and other “crap” literally.

  22. Hi there

    I am a Dietitian/Nutritionist and I followed a Paleo Diet amongst other fad diets which I was trialling for my blog. I found to really difficult to follow and would not be able to keep it up long term. (mainly due to my energy levels and reduced ability to exercise)

    However out of the 3 I trialled (Paleo, Dukan and Lemon Detox), I felt the Paleo was the most balanced and nutritionally balanced of the lot.

    Hats off to anyone who can keep it up. It wasn’t for me though

    You can check out my thoughts on my blog here

  23. Nigel says:

    I’m way overweight through eating too much. I must add that I put a part of this down to consuming quite a lot of modern processed foods. I started having a go at paleo type eating and found that I do not really miss bread, pasta, noodles, cakes and etc. I have been easing myself into it as I had bought porridge oats and a sack of potatoes and I am not going to waste food. I have not really increased my exercise much and find that I am losing about a pound per week in weight. THAT will do me. I have now finished the porridge and am eating nuts, seeds and berries with my milk. Instead of sandwiches at lunch, I have meat or cheese and things like celery, radishes, tomatoes, beetroot (with vinegar), cucumber and more if it takes my fancy. My wife cooks our normal evening meal and she has cut down on my potatoes but upped the other veggies a bit to compensate. I also have medicinal chocolate (70% cocoa solid) and wine as they contain anti oxidants and I believe that any diet should contain some treats.

  24. Karen says:

    I’ve followed Paleo (80/20) for 2 years and feel great. I’ve maintained at my goal weight after losing 60+ lbs. The 20% is weekend splurges of cheese in a salad or on a burger, or 2 glasses of wine, etc. I LOVE this giving up the grain, sugar, processed foods and legumes! Never felt better.

  25. Tim says:

    You make the point of a “well-nourished” individual can absorb and digest legumes & grains better. What is the definition a of well-nourished individual? and would you say that the majority of people (not everyone) are under nourished??

  26. Viola says:

    While I agree with the Paleo notion that grains and legumes (and nuts!) contain anti-nutrients – phytic acid, to be specific – it should be noted that most of these foods can be processed to make them more digestible and nutritious. Soaking and sprouting (12-24 hours) can significantly reduce the levels of phytic acid. They also help to release nutrients that are necessary for germination and growth, nutrients that are also good for us (unsoaked seeds contain nutrients that inhibit growth). Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell is a good reference for learning how to properly soak and sprout nuts, seeds, legumes and grains.

  27. Mary says:

    I’m starting a month-long experiment cutting out dairy, grains, and legumes. I then intend to add them back one at a time to see how I tolerate them. I have concerns that one or more of these causes my occasional hand eczema. I’m convinced that autoimmune conditions are cause by food intolerance (I also have Hashimoto’s).

  28. Dee says:

    Well I guess it makes sense if you live in a society that does not grow wheat or beans e.g. Jamaica it makes sense…. Hm

  29. EatLessMoveMoore says:

    CarbSane and others have long since debunked the paleo diet, so you’re in good company…

  30. SanDesigns says:

    My husband and I have been following the Primal diet (very much like the Paleo diet) for at least a month now and I am thrilled with how I feel and how I have lost a lot of belly fat (dropped about 3 sizes for jeans). Cheese IS allowed as well as an occasional glass of red wine, Cream is allowed (which I use for delicious sauces for our fish and meats). We enjoy feta cheese on our organic greens salads (from Costco) along with salmon, red pepper, celery, hard boiled egg slices, avocado, dressed with home made EVOO/vinegar or lemon juice dressing.
    The fish we buy is wild caught and our beef and lamb are grass fed. For snacks we enjoy a big slice of mushroom pate’ from Trader Joe’s (no crackers, of course), a slice of cheese, a handful of macadamias or almonds or walnuts, half an avocado, celery dipped in almond butter. No bread, pasta, rice or beans anymore (all fillers we were addicted to that kept our bellies big and sapped our energy). NOW we no longer live to eat… We eat to live (and find that we aren’t hungry for big meals anymore). We love all the things we eat now…. and the wonderful results! It’s a win, win situation.

  31. Jon O'Shea says:

    I can only comment based on my personal experience, but I have never been able to last more than a few months on the Paleo diet. The lack of carbs/grains really puts a dent in my mood and energy levels. Still, it’s amazing how popular it’s become.

  32. Claudia says:

    I just started the Paleo diet following the principals of the primal blueprint. I must say i absolutely LOVE the way I feel. I do have Hashimotos thyroid disfunction and I am hoping for some releif of most of the symptoms (hair loss, no energy, overweight, high cholesterol etc).
    BTW if you do follow Primal you are allowed 1-2 ounces of full fat organic cheese and full fat creamer in your coffee with a pinch of sugar yum! The best part of this diet is that I have completely learned to follow my own body’s cues to hunger and if you are not hungry you are encouraged not to eat! Like if I am not hungry in the mornings I will take about 1 oz of nuts and seeds and munch on them till around 11:30 or so and then I have a Big Ass Salad (author calls it that) and an apple afterwards then when I get home i nible on some veggies dipped in a little gluten/sugar free ranch dressing, and for dinner last night I had bison burgers grilled on top of a grilled portabella mushroom topped with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and just a tiny sprinkle of natural blue cheese. And I had a small glass or red wine. So far in just 5 days I have lost 3 lbs and I feel amazing!!!!!

  33. Jeff says:

    I really liked this article. Thanks for writing it.

  34. Leslie says:

    I see the paleo diet as another fad. Man has been eating grains in the form of leavened and unleavened bread products for over 20,000 years. I would suggest that the real problem is what we have done to cereal grains and sugar with modern processing methods. For at least a couple centuries we have been eating dead wheat flour with all the nutrients that were good and healthy removed. Wheat, etc. can be very healthy and complementary to a diet. I would argue that it is the industrialized farm that has created the problem with digestion, not our own genetic make up.

  35. Nadina says:

    A very interesting article! I like the fact that you have to eliminate processed foods with the Paleo diet. Processed foods contain too much added salt and sugar that is not needed in our bodies.

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