The ultimate paleo guide

Paleo. Cavemen. Stone age. Hunter-gatherer diet. What the heck is it all about? You’d be living under a rock if you hadn’t heard of the popular paleo diet. Rather than focusing on calories like other diets, the paleo diet represents a new – but very old – way of eating. Without an official paleo guideline, it can be confusing knowing what to eat and what to avoid.

The term ‘hunter-gatherer’ gives a pretty clear image of how our caveman and cavewoman ancestors obtained their food. The men would typically ‘hunt’ for meat, fish and poultry while women and children ‘gathered’ vegetables, berries and nuts. This is the basis of the paleo diet, being what humans ate during the Paleolithic (‘paleo’) era. It’s the belief that these foods are what our bodies are designed to eat that makes the paleo diet so popular. The types of modern foods to be avoided are extensive, being everything produced since the birth of agriculture 12,000 years ago. It’s thought these foods have contributed to the many preventative health conditions existing in the modern era. While hunting and gathering may not be practical today, here is an example of the major paleo foods to eat and those to avoid:

Paleo food
  • Grass-fed meat
  • Wild caught fish/seafood
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Healthy oils (olive, coconut, avocado…)
Stay away from
  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Processed foods
  • Legumes
  • Processed meats
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol

With so many people willing to give up their beloved bread, coffee and other favourite foods, what are the pros of going paleo?  Focusing on fresh foods and removing foods containing processed chemicals, oils, salt and sugars, may have positive health benefits. The benefits of choosing organic, grass-fed and wild-caught meat or seafood include less hormones and antibiotics entering our food chain, and works towards sourcing foods close to their natural state. Essential omega-3 healthy fats are sourced from fresh nuts and fish, rather than processed fats from junk food that may be harmful to us. Those who suffer gluten intolerance or sensitivity may feel better reducing gluten-containing grains in their diet.

Fortunately, you’ll find huge range of products in Flannerys’ stores lovingly created using paleo-inspired principles, for example The Monday Food Co’s new Paleo Flour Mix range. These paleo baking mixes are organic, free of gluten, grains and refined sugar. Who said baked goods had to be unhealthy? There are 5 delicious varieties to choose from: Maqui berry, choc & beetroot cupcakes, spiced pumpkin & pepita loaf, spiced banana & pecan cupcakes, banana, tapioca, coconut & LSA blend, and lavender & chocolate cupcakes. The kids will love these as a healthy treat over the school holidays!

The paleo diet may not be for everyone and for optimal health it’s essential to have a balanced diet. Our in-store Naturopaths and Nutritionists are always happy to offer guidance on the best foods and supplements to meet your dietary needs. It’s important to speak with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.

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