Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Beginner’s Guide to Eating Paleo

Paleo, short for Paleolithic, means older or ancient. The Paleo diet is commonly known as the caveman diet. It stems from the idea that our modern-day diet, which is full of refined foods and sugar, are the root cause of many of our health problems. By going back to our roots and eating only what would have been available in the past, we are priming our bodies to be healthy. This guide to eating Paleo will give you all the basics to a new way of eating!  

1. Diet composition

Image via Giphy

The majority of people today eat a diet high in carbohydrates. Paleo eaters often follow a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low to moderate in carbohydrates. This will vary based on each individual as everyone’s body reacts differently. Your body will take the stored fat and burn it for energy. This state is called ketosis and only happens in the absence of carbohydrates.

2. You can only eat what a caveman would be able to find!

Image via Giphy

You should stick to whole, nutritious foods. Stick to fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, pasture-raised or grass-fed meats, or any other foods you may find in the past. Incorporate the rainbow into your diet by eating whole foods that resemble colors of the rainbow.

3. Stay away from grains

Image via Giphy

Grains have become a large part of the average person’s diet because it is so readily available in today’s society. Grains were harder to come by in the past and are high in carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in grains will convert into sugar in the body. When you are not burning off enough sugars as energy through daily activity, the carbohydrates will be stored in the body as fat.

4. No sugar or processed foods

Image via Giphy

Processed foods, packaged foods, and refined sugars were not accessible in the past. These foods contribute to a large part of the average person’s diet today. Overconsumption of these products may contribute to weight gain or a variety of health problems. You will change your body composition simply by getting rid of processed foods and added sugar from your diet.

5. Avoid dairy

Image via Giphy

Milk is meant to be consumed solely during infancy. The average person consumes dairy throughout their life despite the fact that no other animal consumes milk past infancy. A majority of the population are intolerant to dairy and have not formed an adaptation towards the increasing consumption of dairy levels. Although some Paleo eaters will avoid dairy, others will incorporate minimal amounts of dairy, such as butter (try bulletproof coffee!)

Following the Paleo diet is a personal lifestyle choice. Everyone’s body reacts differently to various ways of eating. If you are interested in Paleo, try it for at least 30 days and see how your body responds! You may choose to permanently eat this way. 

Shannie Kuo is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has a degree in English. Her passions include health, fitness, photography, and food and she always strives to look for balance within her life. She enjoys going to the farmers market, discovering new coffee shops, and meeting new people. She hopes to find a career that will reflect her passions and allow her to connect with people nationwide.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️