Hello Paleo: An Overview of the Paleo Diet

The “Paleo Diet”, short for paleolithic, is a staple in many people’s lives in recent years. Several products are even now branding as paleo-friendly. How is a paleo diet different? A paleo diet intends to mimic the eating patterns during the paleolithic era or the stone-age. The menu includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. All of which were foods commonly obtained by hunting and gathering in the past. While the definition of paleo may vary from person to person, to exclude dairy products, legumes, and grains is standard since these foods were not available until the emerging of farming after the stone-age.

lettuce, apples, pears, melon orange, bok choy, squash, eggs, chicken, beef, and fish on wooden table

Foundations of Paleo

The overall purpose of the paleo lifestyle is to return eating patterns back to those of early humans. The thinking behind it all is that there is a disconnect between our bodies and current conventional eating. The swift growth of farming post-paleolithic era is believed by some to have happened too quickly for our bodies to adapt. Thus, creating a mismatch between the foods commonly available to us and our body’s ability to process them.
Foods that are typically eaten on a paleo diet:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, with a focus on grass-fed animals and wild game
  • Fish, with a focus on those high in omega-3 fatty acids [salmon, albacore tuna]
  • Oils from fruits and nuts [olive oil, walnut oil]


Foods typically excluded from a paleo diet:

  • Grains [wheat, oats, barley]
  • Legumes [beans, lentils, peanuts, peas]
  • Dairy products
  • Refined sugar
  • Salt
  • Potatoes
  • Highly processed foods in general


How Does It Measure Up?

There are clinical trials comparing the Paleo Diet to other eating patterns such as the Mediterranean Diet or the Diabetes Diet. These trials suggest that a paleo diet may provide some benefits when compared to other diets including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products.

It should be noted, there is still a long way to go in terms of studying the Paleo Diet and its effects long-term. More trials with larger groups and other contrasting diets to compare to will be helpful in understanding overall health benefits and any possible risks.


Get A Taste For Paleo

As previously stated, there are many products at our fingertips now that announce they are paleo-friendly right on the label. We recommend locally-made Steve’s PaleoGoods grainless granola bars or Paleo Ranch bacon jerky– both companies that give a portion of their proceeds back to the community!



The Mayo Clinic, What is it and why is it so popular?

Harvard School of Public Health, Diet Review: Paleo Diet