The paleo, or Paleolithic diet has become wildly popular in recent years with health-conscious consumers who are interested in enjoying a healthy lifestyle. The paleo diet originated in the late 1970’s but takes it cues from the consumption behaviors of primitive people thousands of years ago.

Paleo Diet Flowchart

What is Paleo?

The paleo diet, also known as the Caveman diet or Stone Age diet, is a modern nutrition plan based on the assumption that human genetics have not changed significantly in the last 15,000 years. That era marked the beginning of primitive agriculture and a momentous shift from a hunter-gatherer existence to an agrarian way of life. Proponents of the paleo diet argue that although modern technology has changed the way we produce food, our bodies have not adapted to the radically different nutritional content of wheat, grains, rice, and other refined foods.

In general, the paleo diet is comprised of wholesome, contemporary food that is similar to the assumed diet of Paleolithic humans. This includes fresh, lean meats, especially grass-fed beef with high levels of beneficial omega-3 fats and oils. It features fish and seafood as primary sources of protein as well. Fruits and vegetables are also staples of the paleo diet. Additional sources of nutrients from the gatherer tradition include nuts, seeds, mushrooms, roots, and healthy oils.

Foods that are considered agricultural products are excluded from the paleo diet. These include grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined sugar and salt, and processed oils. Guidelines for paleo eating also prohibit most alcohol as it is considered processed. However, hard ciders that are fermented are notable exceptions to this rule.

Why is Paleo Popular?

Foods__cropped_One of the reasons the paleo diet has grown so popular is that it is easier to manage and maintain than other diets. Unlike other dietary and nutritional plans, paleo does not require people to track points or keep strict count of calories consumed throughout the day. Instead, paleo relies on a few simple guidelines to focus on making healthy choices to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs.

The rapid recent adoption of the paleo diet is also attributable to the growth and popularity of non-traditional exercise regimens like CrossFit and other functional movement workouts. In many instances gyms like these encourage customers and clients to increase fat and caloric intake, and replace carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, and sugar with healthier fresh fruits and vegetables. They suggest that making these kinds of lifestyle changes can help clients reduce fat and gain muscle mass when combined with rigorous exercise. These nutritional recommendations are identical to the guidelines of the paleo diet, making it a natural fit for these alternative exercise classes and communities.

Another reason paleo cuisine is popular is precisely because of its dietary restrictions. The paleo diet offers a convenient way for people with grain allergies, lactose intolerance, and other nutritional restrictions to quickly and easily find food they can enjoy despite their dietary limitations.

Whether you are new to paleo or you’ve made a full conversion, Christophe’s To Go offers dozens of delicious ways to enjoy the paleo lifestyle in the comfort of your own home.