An Introduction to the Paleo Diet

An Introduction to the Paleo Diet

We get a lot of diehard Paleo customers in the shop as well many who are curious about the tenants of the diet. The following is a general overview of the plan. Not only is it very meat-friendly but it’s more of a guideline for eating than a traditionally restrictive “diet.” Paleo is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should return to a pre-industrial era by eating real, whole, unprocessed foods that promote healthy metabolic, digestive, and immune systems.

This means avoiding grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, corn, soy and sugar. And instead, filling up on grass-fed meat like cattle, bison, goats, lamb or wild game. The Paleo Diet also includes pasture-raised chicken, eggs and pork, and wild-caught seafood. In addition, one should eat a variety of vitamin- and mineral-packed, organically grown, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.   

The Paleo Diet embraces healthy fats. The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation. Healthy saturated fat comes from grass-fed meat, poultry, seafood, ghee, butter and coconuts. Also encouraged is monounsaturated fat from olive oil, nuts and seeds, as well as a healthy amount of Omega-3.  

The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. Kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great options.

This seems like a lot to remember but it's really not. Below is an excellent and handy cheat sheet from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipino. As you can see, following this "diet" is hardly restrictive!

Because Paleo is viewed as a template to healthy living, there is room to personalize. Many people find that chocolate, some dairy, and some alcohol fit nicely into their personal regime. However, it’s recommended one stick to the Paleo template at its most basic before adding or subtracting. You may discover food intolerances, reactions, or or allergies you didn’t know you had.

Scientists are beginning to see the benefits of this way of eating. Test subjects who adopted the Paleo Diet reported significant improvements in their general heath, body composition and energy levels. Doctors are finding that it reduces the risks of many diseases, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Some reported benefits are:

  • Increased and more stable energy levels
  • Improved sleep
  • Clearer skin and healthier looking hair
  • Mental clarity
  • Improved mood and attitude
  • Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties
  • Less or no bloating, decreased gas
  • Sustained weight loss
  • Muscle growth; increased fitness
  • Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
  • Higher immune function and a general feeling of well being
  • Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
  • Improved lipid profiles
  • Healthier gut flora
  • Better absorption of nutrients from food
  • Reduced allergies
  • Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, most people experience reduction of pain associated with inflammation
  • Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma

The Organic Butcher offers wild, grass-fed game meats, free-range chicken and wild-caught seafood, plus some prepared Paleo foods for your convenience. 

Try our Bison Meatballs or Green Sausage (chicken or pork) and build your meal from there!

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