Pay-lee-oh? Pah-ley-oh? You may have seen the word down one of the aisles in Wholefoods or as a hashtag on Instagram. But what does it actually mean and where did it come from? It may seem to some as though this is a new craze that has just burst onto the foodie scene. But it is actually a diet/lifestyle choice that has been around for years.
What is a paleo diet?
The paleo (pronounced pay-lee-oh) diet originated back to the palaeolithic era and is governed by one simple question – what would a caveman eat? This means the diet allows only for foods that could have been either hunted or gathered – meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and nuts. Among the no-go foods are dairy, grains, processed food, legumes and starches. The Paleo diet brings things right back to basics.
Transformation of our diet over time
Around 2.5 million years ago, cavemen ate the paleo way. Fast-forward to approximately 10,000 years ago, we began farming grains and legumes. It has been suggested that this timeframe was not long enough for evolution to keep up. Implying our bodies should, in theory, be best suited to eating as our prehistoric ancestors did. The prevalence of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as the overwhelming increase in obesity rates, has been closely linked to the increased availability and consequential overconsumption of many of the foods avoided on the paleo diet – low nutrient, processed foods.
Benefits of a paleo diet?
So why would you choose to go paleo? There are many suggestedbenefits, including increased satiety and fewer hunger pangs, improved and more stable energy levels, superior sleep quality and improved mood and attitude. However, although there is some emerging evidence to support some of the potential benefits of the paleo diet, science-based long-term effects remain unknown.
Although the list of foods to avoid appears longer than those you can eat and may all seem a little overwhelming, the paleo diet worked for our pre-historic ancestors and has some emerging scientific evidence supporting its potential benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned pro of the paleo diet/ lifestyle or would like to give it a go, we at FFF have you covered with our paleo package.