Look to the Past for a Healthier Future
Apr 16, 2012, 6 a.m.
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, there are many diets and exercise regimens to choose from and it’s often difficult to decipher which option is right for you. But eating right doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. In fact, some say we can take a note from our ancestors to determine which foods our bodies are genetically designed to consume.
Following a diet that mimics the eating habits of the hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic era is the concept behind the Paleo Diet, which encourages dieters to eat lean meats, fruits, and vegetables and to avoid foods such as dairy products and carbohydrates.
Good-for-you foods include:
-Lean animal protein and eggs
-Good carbs and fiber from non-starchy fruits and vegetables
-Good fats such as those in olive oil, fish and flax seed
-Foods with a high potassium and low sodium content, with a net alkaline load
-Foods rich in plant phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, like leafy greens and fresh produce
Foods to avoid include:
-Potatoes and other starchy foods
-Grains and carbohydrates
Paleo Diet Resources
Loren Cordain, Ph.D., is the author of The Paleo Answer, (Wiley, 2012), an in-depth book that includes a seven-day plan to eat healthier, shed weight and maintain energy and vitality. In addition, it includes recommended exercise routines, as well as how much sunlight exposure your body needs to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D — and if you need supplementation.
Published following Cordain’s The Paleo Diet Revised Edition and The Paleo Diet Cookbook (Wiley, 2011), this latest book contains information for treating and preventing disease via diet and exercise, along with testimonials of dieters who have found success as well as those who have seen a decrease in the symptoms of certain medical conditions.
In fact, Cordain shares compelling evidence that conditions such as asthma, autoimmune disorders, Grave’s disease, migraines, Type 1 diabetes, and even schizophrenia may be directly aggravated by a person’s non-Paleo diet.
Meal Ideas — While it may seem intimidating to cut carbohydrates, dairy, sweets and starches from meals, dieters still have a lot of options. To help get you started, consider the following list of meal ideas:
Eggs pack a lot of vitamins, such as vitamins A, B and D, and offer many other nutrients as well.
Bananas, strawberries, blueberries and other nutrient-dense fresh produce.
Look to dairy alternatives, such as unsweetened almond or coconut milk to whip up a delicious fruit smoothie for breakfast.
Use turkey, chicken breast, or fish as a base for your meal.
Spinach or mixed green salads with fresh produce, nuts, and chicken or shrimp are a great mid- or end-of-day meal option.
Infuse olive oil with garlic, peppers, and other produce to use on salads or when baking proteins and vegetables for more flavor.
Almonds, walnuts, lean meat, carrot sticks, celery and red bell peppers make for excellent between-meal options.
Look to lean protein, healthy fats found in olive oil and flax seed, and fresh produce such as green beans, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts.
Cook roast beef with red wine and garlic and mix with oven roasted asparagus and tomatoes.
Fresh herbs and spices can be used to expand upon the main ingredients of your meals.
Find more information, such as health tools for deciphering nutrient composition, body mass index, and more at ThePaleoDiet.com and learn more about The Paleo Answer at www.wiley.com.