Translate the diet from yesterday to today: this is Paleo. Here you mainly eat food that was already available in the Stone Age. Read what they are and how Paleo is related to the low-carb diet.
Paleo, the Stone Age as a model
Accounts of the foods eaten by our Stone Age ancestors vary greatly depending on the source used. Since food was not transported long distances at the time, menus varied greatly by season and region. For example, more fruit was eaten in the tropics than in northern or southern latitudes.
Focus on regional and natural food
In Germany, the Paleolithic geological era people still lived as hunters and gatherers and there was no agriculture. Therefore, Paleo avoids grain-based foods. Bread and rolls, muesli and flakes, pasta and pizza, cakes and cookies, and all processed foods are not on the table. These limitations are reminiscent of a diet without carbohydrates.
Sugar beet and therefore sugar were not yet known in our latitudes, which is why sweets and treats were a rarity. Related bulbs, on the other hand, were often served. Beetroot recipes are still very popular on the paleo diet today. While rapeseed oil or corn and wheat germ oil had not yet been extracted in this country, olives were already grown in southern Europe and used for cooking. Cow farming did not exist, so milk and dairy products are not part of paleo recipes.
Proponents of the Paleo diet assume that the human body is still genetically adapted to the Stone Age diet and therefore modern foods are no good. However, the modification of genetic material has been scientifically proven since the Stone Age.
Balance diet? This is what you can eat on Paleo
Due to the emphasis on regional and seasonal foods, the choice of dishes in German latitudes is limited. Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms and berries and some other fruits are available depending on the season. So paleo breakfast in particular can be challenging, especially when eggs aren’t a favorite food.
When it comes to bread recipes, there are alternatives that fit the paleo principle. Here, for example, almond flour and various seeds, grains and seeds are used for baking. Paleo mueslis also contain various nuts, seeds, and spices such as vanilla and cinnamon. They can be baked into crisp bars with honey.
In today’s dietary recipes you can also find adjustments that do not correspond to the realities of the Stone Age. Milk or yogurt is sometimes served with the modern paleo breakfast, unsweetened of course.
The Stone Age Diet in the Modern World
The Paleo diet is similar to the low-carb diet in terms of food choices, as carbohydrate intake, especially from grains, fruits, and sweeteners, is greatly reduced. While the proportion of naturally grown fruit and honey is also reduced in the Paleolithic diet, the Stone Age diet sticks to the low-carb principle.
For the modern, more sedentary, health-conscious person, this may be a smart move. In fact, carbohydrates are mainly consumed during physical activity, which is often lacking in our sedentary daily lives. Additionally, there is a risk that too many unused carbohydrates promote obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and other lifestyle-related diseases and hinder weight loss.
So far, there are no long-term studies on the effect of the Stone Age diet as an alternative form of nutrition. However, some results show that doing without industrially processed ready meals and reducing sweeteners, in particular, has a positive impact on health. However, the same points of criticism apply, especially with a paleo diet that corresponds to the low-carb principle. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough dietary fiber even if you don’t eat grain products and focus on meat. A dairy-free diet should also focus on adequate calcium intake.