What does paleo mean?
The Paleo Nutrition (also: Stone Age Nutrition, Stone Age Diet or Paleo Diet) is a nutrition concept that is oriented to a Stone Age diet. It is not a sophisticated concept, but only a natural food, as our ancestors, the hunters and collectors, ate. The diet in the Stone Age, beginning about 20,000 to 10,000 years ago, consisted mainly of unprocessed food.
In relation to today's food, regional and seasonal fruit and vegetables, meat from farm animal welfare and housing as well as wild fish or nuts and seeds are therefore important components of paleo-nutrition. Milk and dairy products, cereal products and industrially processed foods such as sugar, alcohol or ready meals should be avoided.
Why does Paleo make sense?
The Paleo diet represents a comprehensive, conscious, sustainable and healthy way of eating that is designed to improve your health medium to long term.
Numerous research findings show that modern foods are responsible for many degenerative diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and infertility.
Human digestion is genetically not fully adapted to some modern foods from our daily diet. These include, for example, cereal products such as flour, bread, pulses, dairy products, refined sugar and refined oils. The intake of these foods can lead to inflammation, allergies and autoimmune diseases. Within the framework of the Paleo diet, these foods are not consumed and the negative effects can thus be avoided.
A positive side effect of the Paleo Nutrition is the natural weight reduction. This is achieved by not using sugar or cereal products. The body converts its metabolism to the procurement of energy from existing energy resources.
Components of Paleo Nutrition
Meat and fish from species-appropriate husbandry supply the body with essential proteins for strong muscles, taut connective tissue, strong bones and a well-functioning immune system. In addition, protein-rich meals are usually very filling and satisfying.
Fruit and vegetables
Apples, berries, beetroot etc. form the nutritional basis of a paleo diet in combination with proteins. In addition to vitamins and minerals, fruit and vegetables also contain important secondary plant substances. These provide vitality and supply your head and organs with energy. Many types of fruit and vegetables are considered true nutrient bombs, which keep you healthy and protect you from diseases. Valuable fibre supports digestion and increases the feeling of satiety.
Fats are obtained either from animal products or from plants. But not all fats are the same. Some fats, including particularly hardened fats and omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. contained in many ready meals), have an adverse effect on our health and can lead to obesity. Simple, unsaturated fatty acids, including olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids, have a positive impact on our health. A paleo diet mainly includes healthy fats while the consumption of unhealthy fats is greatly reduced.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are rich in valuable ingredients: essential fatty acids, fibre, vitamins, minerals and trace elements, secondary plant substances and high-quality proteins. But: Not all nuts are the same. Especially the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids determines the health value. Kernels and seeds provide valuable ingredients as well.
In concrete terms, what is permitted? What is not?
Cereals, pulses, milk, dairy products, potatoes, packaged and processed foods, salt, refined vegetable oils, fast food, sweets, candies.
- Dairy products: cheese, cottage cheese, whole milk, cream cheese, yoghurt, pudding, low-fat milk, ice cream
- Cereals: bread, toast, sandwiches, cookies, crackers, oatmeal, corn, wheat, pancakes, beer, noodles, lasagna
- Legumes: all beans, peas, chickpeas, sugar peas, peanuts, lentils, soybeans, all soy products, tofu
- Meat from grass-fed animals: poultry, turkey, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, pork chops, steak, veal, bacon, pork, minced meat, beef, chicken legs
- Seafood and fish: bass, salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines, tuna, red snappfish, trout, crabs, crayfish, prawns, clams, lobsters, scallops, oysters
- Fruits: apples, blackberries, papaya, peaches, plums, mango, lychees, blueberries, grapes, lemons, strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, guava, raspberries, mandarins, oranges, banana
- Vegetables: asparagus, avocado, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, spinach, celery, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, paprika, cauliflower, parsley, eggplant, spring onions, red onions
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nut, walnuts (Attention: peanuts belong to the genus of legumes and are therefore not included)
- Healthy oils: coconut oil, Avocado oil, linseed oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, walnut oil
Photo credit: © Mara Zemgaliete / Fotolia