What is the Paleo Diet

pleased to announce the winner of the $200 voucher was 

Melanie Lindsay from Helensvale Qld

                                    What is the Paleo diet?

Of all the paleo topics out there, the paleo diet is probably the most sought after, as well as the most confusing.  You may have also heard it called the Caveman diet, the Primal Diet, the Hunter-Gatherer diet. The first thing to get straight is this: it’s not a diet, at least not in the traditional sense. A better way to think about it is Paleo Nutrition, or maybe even “Eat Like a Caveman”.  If you want to see the studies, the evidence, and all other forms of data that validate the diet, I can certainly point you in the right direction. 
Let’s start with the stuff you are free to eat in abundance:
  • lots of leafy greens, including romaine, spinach, arugula, kale, chard, mixed baby greens/spring mix (my favorite) and even iceberg lettuce
  • different colored fruits and veggies-variety is good- don’t be afraid to try funky veggies like beets, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and rudabaga to name a few
  • lean meats-high quality beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, goat, wild game, etc. The more natural the better, i.e. grass fed/ free range/ wild caught. 
  • Seafood- prawns, oysters, scallops, eel, octopus, and of course, fish. Coldwater fish such as salmon and mackerel are usually the best. Warm water is fine too though. 
  • Lots of eggs! Eating lots of eggs can actually lower your LDL (bad Cholesterol) levels.
  • plant/monounsaturated fats and oils- nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, toasted sesame seed oil, nut oils, and even real butter to name a few. Avoid the following oils: Canola, Cottonseed, Margarine, Safflower/sunflower, soybean oil, corn oil, partially hydrogenated oils, trans fat, and vegetable shortening. 
  • Berries-this can be grouped with fruits, but berries in particular are fantastic for you. Think blueberries, goji berries, acai berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries, etc.

Enjoy in Moderation:

  • Dark Chocolate. At a minimum, find chocolate that is at least 70% Cocoa. I prefer 85-90%.  Cocoa beans are almost solid plant fat and contain lots of antioxidants
  • Alcohol-No more than 1-2 glasses of beer or wine a day, preferably red wine for its resveratrolcontent
  • Caffeine-A lot of the die hard Paleo Diet freaks will tell you to stay away from caffeine. If it’s in the form of a soda or over the top energy drink, yes you should. If we’re just talking about tea or coffee,  If you’re like me and really just enjoy coffee, go ahead and have a cup or two each day!
  • Dairy-You will note below that milk is prohibited. From a purists point of view, anything with milk is prohibited. Most Paleo supporters feel that dairy products like cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, and heavy cream fall into a gray area that make them ok to use occasionally. My personal take is that such products are tasty and nutritious. Some kind of process has removed the sugars (lactose) and left behind the protein and fat (the tasty stuff!) 

Enjoy Sparingly:

  • Natural Sweeteners. Honey existed during Caveman times, and I’m sure they didn’t hesitate to enjoy it if the opportunity presented itself, but I doubt with their technology this was very often. That said, using local raw honey can help with allergies and boost your immune system.  Some other sweeteners such as agave nectar have health benefits and a relatively low glycemic index, but are expensive. Real Maple Syrup is delicious. It also has a very high GI index. Hopefully since you aren’t eating pancakes anymore you won’t have a need for syrup.
  • Some natural grain/starchy carbs- This mostly includes sweet potatoes since these are so high in nutrients, but I can also think of teff, quinoa, and lentils

Now, for the food you should AVOID:

Processed Carbs:
Sugar, anything with high fructose corn syrup, bread, tortillas, pasta, muffins, pastries, pancakes. anything with wheat or flour. Just about any food that comes packaged in a box.

Natural carbs:

  • Potatoes (except for yams or sweet potatoes, see above)
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Peanuts (technically a legume, not a nut!)
  • Corn (technically a grain, not a vegetable).
  • Milk and non-European yogurts (yogurts that have added sweetening or other stuff, like “Fruit on the Bottom”)

this is only a guide if you would like to know more have a look at