Paleo Diet For Beginners | Benefits, Side-Effects & Meal Plan
Paleo Diet is somewhat similar to the diet you would have followed if you were living in the Paleolithic era, also known as the Old Stone Age. Following this diet, full of fresh and natural food items, would, without a doubt, help you achieve that dream of a healthy lifestyle.
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Paleo diet is often referred to as a caveman diet due to the absence of processed food in its meal plan. Thus, this diet is somewhat similar to the diet you would have followed if you were living in the Paleolithic era, also known as the Old Stone Age. Food items such as legumes, grains, dairy products, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, had not emerged as some of the commonly cultivated crops about 10,000 years ago, and hence the Paleo Diet does not include these items even though they some sort of historic significance in our civilization.
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Why Is Paleo Diet Popular?
The reasons for the emergence of the Paleo Diet as a healthy option are many. For one, it makes sure that you stay away from processed food, which we know can have multiple side-effects for the body. A diet free of processed-foods would largely have no chemical intake, especially the chemicals that are used for the processing and preservation of food. Some other benefits of the paleo diet are listed below:
1. Aids In Weight Loss
As one of its main factors is the removal of all processed food from your diet, the Paleo Diet ends up being a low source of carbohydrates, or you can say that it provides your body with just the adequate amount for it to function properly. A low carb diet such as this one can aid in the burning of body fat and can significantly lead to weight loss.
2. Reduced Craving
A paleo diet is full of protein and fiber, thus you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry evening after you cut down on various food items. The fibers are quite important when it comes to overeating, as fibers are harder to digest and the body takes a long time in digesting them. So, eating a significant amount of fiber can help in keeping you feeling full for a longer time and reduce cravings.
3. Promotes Healthy Eating
The absence of processed foods must have some advantages of their own. A paleo diet is mainly centered on fruits and vegetables, so it is quite clear that such a diet would give your body a certain vitamin boost if nothing else. The antioxidant quality of vitamins especially that of vitamin E, which you can find in leafy green vegetables (a major part of the paleo diet) can help in lowering the free-radical concentration in your system, thus reducing the risk of free-radical damage. Moreover, antioxidants have a positive effect on your immunity, skin quality, and health.
4. Improves Mental Health
Paleo diet, being loaded with vitamins, proteins, and minerals, can play a beneficial role in improving one’s mental health as well. The vitamins are responsible for protecting nerve tissues from the attack of free radicals and prevent free-radical induced inflammation. Furthermore, a paleo diet is also rich in healthy polyunsaturated fats.
5. Healthy Muscle Gain
As it includes the list of foods that can provide your body with an adequate amount of protein, following a paleo diet can ensure proper muscle gain along while also aiding in weight loss. Overall, it promotes the healthy development of one’s body due to the development of muscle tissues.
Side-Effects Of Paleo Diet
Though the knowledge of the paleo diet’s benefits might just be enough for you to consider it as a healthy alternative, you must also take note of some of its side-effects before completely adopting it, for an informed decision is better than the one taken in haste. Here are a few adverse effects associated with the paleo diet:
1. Low Energy
A low carb diet such as this one might help lower your body fat, however, a diet that with an insufficient amount of carbohydrates can also result in low energy and might make you lethargic at the same time.
2. Inconsistent Bowel Movement
A sudden shift in your diet is an extremely ill-advised thing to do. Your gut requires a specific amount of time to adapt to a diet change, and hence you must give it some time before seeing an improvement in your bowel system.
3. Paleo Diet Leads To Bad Breadth
A factor that affects the breath is ketones, which are usually present in a paleo diet in high quantity. These substances are exhaled along with the breadth and can sometimes make it unpleasant.
Yes, the side-effects of the paleo diet can make you think twice, but you need to know that these side-effects are just temporary. So if you feel low on energy or if you have an inconsistent bowel movement after opting for the paleo diet, just know that it is that these are a few side-effects that are part of the process, and be gradually eliminated.
Meal Plan For Paleo Diet
As discussed before, the principle behind the paleo diet is the complete absence of processed foods and adaptation of an all-natural diet which was followed during the ‘Palaeolithic era,’ hence the name paleo. Let’s take a look at the things that you can eat and the things that you need to avoid to successfully follow this millennial old diet.
Items That You Can Include In Your Diet
Any food item that was consumed before the beginning of the cultivation era can be included in your diet. Fruits, vegetables, and even meat items, all can be a part of your diet, which means that you don’t need to cut down on any essential nutrient. Here are a few names that you could consider.
These omega-3 rich items would help in providing you with the essential proteins and energy for your day-to-day activities.
Also Read: Egg Diet Plan
2. Leafy Greens
Loaded with vitamin E, green vegetables such as broccoli and kale can be consumed for various health benefits including their antioxidant nature that lowers the risk of free-radical damage.
3. Nuts And Seeds
Food items such as almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, can be quite useful in providing you with the desired amount of fiber. Thus, it can be quite effective in lowering your craving and preventing you from overeating. These also serve as healthy snacking options when you are on the Paleo Diet.
Fruits are the major sources of vitamins and minerals that’ll prove to be quite beneficial especially for a paleo diet follower. Some of the fruits that you must include in your diet are bananas, apples, oranges, avocados, etc.
Also Read: Benefits of Fruits
Food Items That You Should Avoid
The only restriction that you have while following the paleo diet is the avoidance of processed foods. Here is a list of some of the food items that you should try to avoid:
- Refined sugar
- Dairy products
- Potatoes and other starchy vegetables
- Legumes such as beans and lentils
- Grains of any kind
A Perfect Paleo Diet Meal Plan
To get efficient results of a diet, you need to follow it as per a plan, or in an organized way. A plan is a weekly routine that you’ll have to follow and it may also sometimes differ as per your requirement. Here is what you one-day menu should look like:
Breakfast: Boiled eggs alongside other fruits.
Lunch: A big bowl of salad containing all the essential green vegetables topped with seeds and nuts.
Dinner: The last meal of your day must be the lightest. However, you can also opt for a filling meal of meat and veggies, as that’ll ensure an adequate amount of nutrient consumption by the system.
The bottom line is that the paleo diet is just one among many other healthy diets. And choosing it out of a list is a task of an informed mind that is fully aware of its benefits of side-effects. We hope that this article has given you that information, and by now you must know that if the paleo diet is ‘the one’ for you.