The Caveman Diet:

Overview of the Caveman Diet

Paleolithic Nutrition: How hunter-gatherers ate a million years ago

by Josh Day

Have you ever heard of The Caveman Diet, or the Stone Age Diet, or the Paleolithic Diet?

Here's Wikipedia for a little introduction:

The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. In common usage, such terms as the "Paleolithic diet" also refer to the actual ancestral human diet. (wikipedia)

So no more microwaves, fast food drive-thrus, or boxed macaroni and cheese. In fact, no more pasta or any grain, and no more cheese or any dairy at all.

You eat only what your Paleolithic ancestors could eat.

Fortunately, this culinary and nutritional approach encompasses the entire spectrum of human Paleolithic hunter-gatherers; just because your ancestors may have come from a landlocked plain and chowed down almost exclusively on roots, berries, grubs, and mammal meats, it doesn't mean you have to.

All foods, anywhere on the planet, available to Paleolithic people are fair game for the caveman diet. This includes seafood, all manner of fowl, exotic meats, and fruits and vegetables available through nature.

Here's what the caveman diet excludes:

  • All grains
  • Legumes (that's beans, folks!)
  • Dairy
  • Salt
  • Sugar (aside from fructose naturally occurring in fruits and some root veggies)
  • Non-animal fat oils (vegetable oil, canola oil, all processed oils)

The caveman diet also excludes maize -- you know, corn.

Believe it or not, but corn is not a naturally occurring vegetable. Corn was created by humans through hybridization of grasses. No wonder it doesn't break down like other foods in the digestive tract! Also, no wonder it's so highly used in heavily processed, toxic formulations like high-fructose corn sweetener.

Okay, let's break down what the caveman diet has to offer, nutrient-wise:

Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood, which are staples of the hunter-gatherer diet, are more nutrient-dense than refined sugars, grains, vegetable oils, and dairy products. Consequently, the vitamin and mineral content of the diet is very high compared with a standard diet, in many cases a multiple of the RDA [recommended dietary allowance]. Fish and seafood represent a particularly rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and other micronutrients, such as iodine, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium, that are crucial for proper brain function and development. (wikipedia)

Despite what some critical, skeptic studies have claimed, the caveman diet can be very high in calcium, especially if sardines are regularly ingested.

Unlike extremist, strict vegan diets, the palelolithic diet provides plenty of Vitamin B-12 as well as nutrients from the entire B complex. There is absolutely no chance of a protein deficiency on the caveman diet; on the contrary, protein is a staple.

If you think this is starting to sound like a bodybuilder's diet, you're absolutely right. The caveman diet has many similarities to high protein, low grain diets specifically used to build muscle mass.

It's also very healthy as you've entirely eliminated all processed foods, which include cereals that are often products of globalized industries with heavy processing. Dairy, which is difficult for many non-Caucasian ethnic groups to digest, is also discarded.

While sodium is off the menu, there's no reason you can't use herbs to thoroughly season your dishes.

The caveman diet is a fun nutritional program that surprisingly offers you a wide range of culinary options -- seafood soups, crab and potato boils, rich salads, even (depending on how you prepare the meat) a New England boiled dinner consisting of slow-cooked roast, onions, cabbage, turnips, carrots, and potato.





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