Over the past few months I took up the Paleo diet. Since then, a lot of people have asked me about it. Paleo isn’t so much a diet as a lifestyle change that eliminates glutens, refined sugars, among other things. Paleo isn’t all that new, popularized in the 1970s but stretches back further, and differs in some ways from other low carb and slow carb diets.
Paleo is short for “paleolithic” and refers to the Paleolithic Era of human existence, a period stretching roughly from Homo sapiens to the invention of agriculture. The science behind Paleo argues that our bodies have not evolved to process the diets that dominate our lives today, including grains (wheat, rice, barley), legumes (beans, peanuts), and dairy. Our foods have changed a lot over the last 10-15,000 years – but genetically, we’re not much different from the human species that lived 100,000 years ago. We haven’t had the time to adapt.
I haven’t been perfect in following it and really fell off the wagon over the holidays, but I’ve nearly gotten back on track. I immediately noticed changes when I started the lifestyle – more energy, felt like I was thinking more clearly, sleeping better. Best of all, I lost a stunning amount of weight simply by changing the way I ate. Many people who start the lifestyle note similar effects, including numerous other health benefits.
So, here’s a few of the sources I read when I got started down the path.
- Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet