New to the paleo diet, huh? You’ve found the perfect place to start.
Whether paleo seems like an impossible challenge to you or not, you should know that it’s completely accessible. More than that though, despite its funny name, for 95% of people, going paleo will make a drastic improvement to the way they eat.
What Is Paleo?
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Paleo is a simple way of eating that aims to get us mimicking the way we ate before the arrival of modern civilization and agriculture. Eating paleo means eliminating processed and sugary foods along with grains, dairy, and legumes (beans, peas, and other pod fruits).
There are a variety of issues with the foods that the paleo diet eliminates. Mostly, paleo people tend to avoid these foods because of the hormonal and digestive issues they can cause.
Problems with Non-Paleo Foods
- Simple carbohydrates and sugars – These spike blood sugar and insulin levels, pausing the fat burning process.
- Dairy – Dairy is tough on your digestive system and highly processed dairy tends to spike insulin levels.
- Legumes – Anti-nutrients in beans make it difficult to absorb good nutrients. They also inhibit proper digestion.
- Grains – Anti-nutrients in grains can severely damage gut health and strength.
How I Got Started With Paleo
I was introduced to paleo a few years back. I honestly didn’t know very much about the diet at the time, but it seemed to make sense. Eat real food that hasn’t been processed a thousand times over and avoid stuff like sugar and preservatives. Of course!
The thing that got me was the bit about avoiding grains. How could you not eat grains? Also there was this funny word: legume (more on that here).
The Biology of Paleo
As I dug down deeper into paleo, I learned that, while the caveman analogy may not have been the best one to base an entire eating philosophy around, it was a pretty good start.
Simply cutting out grains and most simple carbohydrates keeps your blood sugar levels low. This helps keep your insulin levels low. When your insulin levels are low, you can burn fat more effectively. In fact, high insulin levels force your body to use carbohydrates. When your body doesn’t have access to any carbohydrates, your blood sugar and insulin levels drop, and your ability to burn fat skyrockets.
I was amazed at what I was finding. I started experimenting by combining paleo with intermittent fasting. I started to see some awesome results. The result was a semi-custom diet that I profile in Impossible Abs.
I was talking about paleo so much that I ended up answering emails with 2,000 word answers. I decided that instead of just answering emails and keeping that information in my sent folder, I’d put it all together on one site as a big FAQ for people to read whenever they wanted. That site ended up turning into Ultimate Paleo Guide, which is now one of the largest paleo resources anywhere on the internet.
Paleo Diet Food List
So what on earth is allowed in the world of paleo? Well, Ultimate Paleo Guide has the most comprehensive paleo food list out there, but here’s a simple list of the foods that are paleo:
- Quality meats
You can find an uber-simple paleo reference site here
Paleo (io) Food Reference App
Paleo can get a little more complicated when it comes to working out which individual foods are and aren’t paleo. This is where Paleo.io comes in. Paleo.io is the most comprehensive paleo food list app for mobile devices. With Paleo.io, you can search to find out whether the food you’re curious about is paleo or not. With over 3,000 foods listed in the app, you’re sure to find your answer. Get it here.
You can find other useful paleo apps here as well.
Paleo Diet Recipes
If you’re curious about how to take the foods on the paleo diet food list and turn them into something delicious, check out the hundreds of paleo recipes on Ultimate Paleo Guide. You can also get some Paleo Breakfast Recipes right here.
Paleo Meal Planner by Ultimate Meal Plans
One of the hardest things about transitioning to a new way of eating is working out what to eat. To make following a paleo diet as straightforward as possible, we started a paleo diet meal plan service. If you’re looking to start eating paleo but don’t have the time or headspace to spend loads of time planing meals and making trips to the grocery store, you try the Ultimate Paleo Guide meal planning service. You can get try it free for two weeks here as well.
More Paleo Resources
If you’re looking for more paleo guides and resources, check out the links below:
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