Everything You Need To Know About The Paleo Diet™


The paleo diet, also known as the caveman or hunter-gatherer diet, is drawing attention from the fitness world, and it’s all based on thinking (and eating) like our ancestors.

The key to living the paleo lifestyle is to eat wholefoods consisting of lean meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, and to avoid “modern” day foods.

Some of you have probably tried your hand at the paleo diet, in terms of cutting out processed junk food. The paleo diet takes it a step further and cuts out more starchy types of foods which, it has been argued, wasn’t eaten back then.

Here is an extensive list of what and what not to eat on this diet.


  • Grass-fed meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies (including moringa leaf powder)
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)

paleo fruit and vegetables


  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils


Supporters claim that it works in line with our genetics, by taking you back thousands of years to the times of hunting and gathering. The basic idea behind this is that it has been found that the refined foods, trans fats and sugar in our modern, agricultural diet is the cause of diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.

With this diet, portion control or calorie counting isn’t encouraged. Saturated fats should be eaten regularly, including coconut oil and olive oil.

In regards to fruit, you should eat ones low in sugar and high in antioxidants, like berries. Nuts should be high in omega-3 and low in polyunsaturated fats.

Those who buy into the diet believe that it suits us because our bodies are better adapted to the prehistoric foods, before we learned how to make cheese and harvest wheat.

It’s easy to find tips online about how to incorporate this diet into your daily life. An ideal breakfast would be a vegetable and chicken with eggs, lunch can be elaborate salads and you can always snack on some walnuts.


Claimed benefits

Paleo followers preach about the following benefits:

  • Less “bad food” means healthier in general

To cut out all the junk foods and things which contain empty calories provide not only a lack of benefits, but also can be detrimental to our health.

  • Vitamins and minerals

The foods you are meant to eat are filled with essential vitamins and minerals. From calcium to magnesium and vitamin A, you can apparently get all of the nutrients that you need from the whole foods listed.

  • Brain function

The fish specified, such as wild-caught salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. These contain DHA which is known to support our brains development and function as well as healthy eyes and heart.

  • Muscle growth

If you adapt to the paleo diet, you are eating high protein foods which are key for building muscle mass and maintaining healthy muscle function. The lean meats also mean that there are lower percentage of fats in the meat, allowing potential to go for the ripped look if you’re training right.

  • Satiety

Appetite suppression is a key benefit claimed in adopting the paleo lifestyle. Calorie-wise, people feel more full eating natural paleo-friendly foods, as opposed to the conventional modern diet.

  • Blood pressure and disease prevention

Blood pressure levels were shown to improve. It also increased our amounts of blood lipids and glucose tolerance. Most importantly, this diet has shown to be very effective at alleviating chronic diseases.

  • Improved gut health

Sugar and processed/junk food cause inflammation of the intestine, as we aren’t well adapted to digesting them. The paleo diet is better for our digestive tract as it allows the healthy bacteria to thrive.


salmon for paleo diet

Cons / Concerns of Paleo

  • Inconclusive evidence

The health benefits listed above are not well proven. The main ideas behind it assume that our ancestors didn’t have diseases, but this may not be due to their diet and we do not know for sure.

  • The place of ancestral diet in modern day

The truth is, we do not know how much our ancestors ate, or at least not enough to mimic their diet. The world has changed a lot and so has the animals since then. Even the plants may have adapted and evolved, so it is impossible to completely follow their meal plan. There is no evidence that they did not harvest grains as well.

  • Eating too much protein risk

An emphasis on eating protein could lead to consuming too much. This, alongside not eating many carbs, could lead to kidney damage and increase the risk of osteoporosis. If the carb levels are too low for a long period of time, this could affect brain function as the body is ketonic, but the brain isn’t.

  • Missed nutrients

Like many other “fad diets”, this meal misses out many foods which could be good for us. Nutrients found in dairy, legumes and whole grains can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Dairy is a great source of calcium and vitamin D, so you need to be careful with what you miss out of your diet.

  • Difficult to follow

Even if you manage to follow the diet whilst cooking at home, eating out could prove difficult. Which oil is the salad cooked in? Grass-fed chicken? Was anything processed or packaged? Organic? These questions would all have to be answered before ordering a meal (not many places meet all the criteria).


Want to get the most out of your workout? Look at our article for the best post workout meals to see if there are any any paleo-friendly choices you would like.

Anything to add? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you!