Finally, a diet that makes sense for your health and the environment, by taking tips from our earliest ancestors.
As long as health and body image remains an issue in society, we will be bombarded with countless varieties of diets – not including those enforced due to medical reasons. The more common are the various ranges of vegeterianism – those who are relatively strict commit to being vegans (no milk and it’s derivatives) or fruitarians (only raw fruits) while more liberal vegetarians might be open to including a specific type of meat occasionally. With varying degrees of popularity are diets that are in accordance to one’s blood type, or diets with low carbohydrates and/or protein, gluten-free, organic, low fat, low sodium, high fiber, low refined sugar, negative calories… I could go on, but I don’t want to bite of more than I can chew.
While I understand the benefits of most of these diets, I can’t seem to find anything that I am willing to try – much less comply with for an extended length of time. I love meats too much to willingly accept vegetarian substitutes as a way of life. Also, I am too much of a sweet-tooth to drop that dessert fork midway through gooey chocolate cake. I enjoy my greens and try to eat as healthily as I can, but I am a firm believer of indulgences every once in a while (or maybe more than once in a rather short while).
Introducing: The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet has the potential to be more than just a fad. Dubbed the caveman diet, the Paleo diet follows a simple rule – if a caveman can’t hunt or pick it, you shouldn’t be consuming it. The wide range of food that is acceptable in this diet includes a variety of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, honey, nuts and seeds. Excluded are foods which requires modern methods of processing such as sugar, processed foods. Surprisingly, processed foods also includes grains – the basic ingredients for breads, cereal and pasta – ultimately eliminating our common source of carbohydrates.
While banning pastas and cereal from my diet might require some effort (hello, cheat days!) the diet is essentially introducing a way for us to be more in touch with nature, by eating what our ancestors ate. We are already familiar with the harmful effects of refined sugars and processed foods, so getting on board with the Paleo diet is not quite a stretch.
Be Green While Eating Greens
By eliminating processed foods, you are also saving the environment – less resources (energy, additional transportation from foods to its natural form to reach a factory for processing, another factory to create a new food product, to the distributors around the world, to grocery stores, and finally to your pantry) is needed to process your food. A study finds that eating less meat and junk food could cut fossil fuel use almost in half.
If you need a further push to seriously take the Paleo diet into consideration, I suggest a healthy dosage Super Size Me, ideally once a month.
If you are up for a heaping plate of the Paleo diet, check out the Infographic below: