Walt Whitman, the iconic American poet, and author, lived to the old age of 72, which was unheard of in the late 1800’s, and recently his writings on healthy living were discovered. Part of this writing includes a healthy diet, one very similar to the Paleo Diet. Read on to find out the reasons why he advised: “let the main part of the diet be meat, to the exclusion of all else.”
The Main Principles of the Paleo Diet
Based on the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors, the modern Paleo diet is based on a rejection of meat from animals fed on grain because it has a much higher fat content than organic, grass-fed animals. The latter is not only leaner, it also has relatively low amounts of saturated fats and higher amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acid. Such lean proteins promote healthy bones, strong muscles, and optimal immune functions. A diet high in protein also reduces hunger between meals.
The Paleo diet incorporates organic fruit and vegetables which are rich in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants. These nutrients are known to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, as well as diabetes, and dementia.
Also banished from the Paleo diet are vegetable oils, also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Although these have been touted as the best oils for cooking for the last couple of decades, more recent studies have shown that they can actually contribute to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and heart disease. In the Paleo diet, PUFAs are replaced with olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil.
Processed foods and refined sugars are also eliminated from the Paleo diet. There are numerous benefits from ditching processed foods:
– You will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
– You will have a clearer complexion.
– Your energy level will be increased.
– Your hair will be in better condition.
– Your mood will be better.
– You will sleep more soundly.
– You have fewer food cravings.
– Your hormones will be more balanced.
What to Eat on The Paleo Diet
Once you get used to knowing what to eat on the Paleo diet you’ll find it easier and easier to plan delicious meals. Here’s a rundown on ingredient do’s and don’ts.
Do eat: grass fed meat, organ meats, organic poultry, fish and seafood, nuts and seeds, healthy oils, free range eggs, fresh fruit, and vegetables.
Do not eat: cereal grains, salt, legumes, dairy, processed food, potatoes, refined vegetable oils, refines sugar.
A sample daily meal plan could be:
Breakfast: Scrambled free range eggs, a half grapefruit and a cup of green tea.
Snack: Fresh fruit, sliced lean beef.
Lunch: Chicken salad and a cup of herbal tea.
Snack: Sliced apple with walnuts.
Dinner: Grilled turkey breast with steamed broccoli, carrots, and artichoke. Fresh raspberries with almonds and a glass of mineral water.
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Following a Paleo diet can help you stay healthy in a number of ways such as:
– You will eat more organic meat and vegetables and not genetically modified foods.
– Because of you increased protein intake, you will feel less hungry between meals.
– The diet has many anti-inflammatory benefits.
– Because of the high red meat content, you will have more iron in your diet.
– You will no longer eat processed foods.
– There will be no empty calories in your diet.
– Primitive food choices will help you lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.
– Because the diet is low in saturated fats, your cholesterol level will be improved.
Becoming Paleolithic is more than just following a diet, it is about changing your lifestyle. As well as eliminating foods that are harmful to your health, you should also make an effort to exercise regularly. These days we live a much more sedentary lifestyle than our ancestors did, and we need to move around more, even if it is taking a walk for thirty minutes each day. Walt Whitman would have agreed with that too.
Now you have realized the important role food and exercise play in your overall health, you can begin to change your lifestyle and feel healthier and happier.
Maria Donaldson is a health enthusiast who decided to give the paleo diet a try several years back – She hasn’t looked back and now shares her knowledge with others looking to take the leap into paleo.