Pronounced: pay-lee-oh. It is actually very simple and straightforward. I think sometimes seems confusing because although there are general guidelines, there is a lot of variation within them.
The word “diet” is misleading because we usually associate it with a short-term weight loss plan. It also implies a strict set of rules that everyone must follow. Paleo is primarily neither of these things.
The grand idea behind the Paleo Diet is that for optimal health, modern humans should focus on eating unprocessed and whole foods, much like our ancestors did. The focus is on foods that promote health and are nourishing, rather than harmful to our bodies. See, simple.
The Paleo Diet is anything but a fad. Over the past 200,000+ years, humans have biologically adapted to eating whole and unprocessed foods- things like fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. Our earliest ancestors hunted and gathered these things themselves, going all the way back to the days of the caveman, hence the name “Paleo” diet, as in, Paleolithic.
Agriculture has only been around for about 10,000 years, which in evolutionary terms is a very small amount of time. There has not been enough time for our bodies to adapt to eating things like grains, refined sugars and chemically processed foods. Even looking back 100 years ago, people were eating very different things than the typical American is eating now.
Is it a coincidence that modern disease has taken off in the last 30 years, along with the spread of industrialized food? This is why the Paleo Diet emphasizes returning to a more ancestral way of eating. Certainly you don’t have to hunt and gather everything yourself (although I think it’s fun!) But you generally do have to seek out a higher quality of food.
Wondering what people eat on the Paleo Diet?