Eat Like a Caveman/Cavewoman?

— Written By

Eat Like a Caveman/Cavewoman?
By Kristin Davis, Local Foods Extension Agent

Basics of Paleo Diet

Warrior, Stone Age, Caveman…these are a few of the titles that are often substituted for the popular Paleolithic (or Paleo) diet. In short, paleo supporters believe that the best diet includes foods that were available to our ancestors 10,000 years ago. This refers to foods that can be hunted, gathered, fished; such as fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, nuts, eggs, veggies, fruits and roots. Foods not included in this dietary plan are dairy, grain, legumes, sugar and salt. That’s right, no processed foods! 

Research indicates that two of the key benefits of the Paleo diet is that it helps to reduce consumption of processed foods, which conversely increases consumption of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. The omission of added salt and high sugar foods can contribute to reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and increased weight, which aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Yet, critics of the dietary plan purport that omitting grains and dairy can reduce essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and fiber. Traditionally Americans have looked to these sources for such vitamins.

If you are considering the Paleo plan or any adaptation to your dietary patterns, we recommend consulting your primary care physician or a licensed dietitian or nutritionist for personalized advice.