The Lowdown On Paleo – What It Is And How It Works



25 June 2013, Singapore – There is a new diet that has been making waves for some time. Albeit its controversial nature you will expect people who embrace and others to diss it.

This diet is 520 centuries old and it is a good 40,000 years from when man first stopped being nomadic and settled on agricultural pastures. So what is exactly this Paleo diet that has gotten many talking about it, trying it and even converting skeptics into believers? Does it work?

During the Paleolithic Era (which this diet is named after by no coincidence), man roamed the rough terrains and hunted for food by means of spear and basic tools. The foundational pillars of these primitive diets consisted of seafood, meat, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, fruits and seeds that were hunted and gathered for the mobile hunter always on the move. Noticeably absent are the foods that sprung from the agricultural days such as rice, cereal grains, potatoes, legumes, refined sugar, salt, vegetable oils and processed foods, even milk (try milking wild animals).

One of the biggest misconception about Paleo diet is that it’s low-carb. Just because it doesn’t allow for bread, rice, cereal and pasta, doesn’t mean it is ketogenic (process by which fats are burnt instead of carbs, replacing glucose as energy source). One can still get energy from alternative carb sources such as sweet potatoes and yams for the hardcore athlete. For the rest of the people looking to lose weight and gain caveman strength, the Paleo diet will work as is.

For the main part, muscles need an insulin spike after a workout session and bodybuilders often drink shakes rich in carbohydrates and eat carbs to force insulin responses that will guarantee nutrients into muscles directly, facilitating faster recovery and better growth.

If you’re ready to turn back the clock in your kitchen, take a look at a sample of what you can and can’t consume on the paleo diet below. Then make a commitment to stick with a paleo plan for a week. Most people who make the switch begin feeling changes, such as less bloating after meals, within a day or two, so a solid week of paleo should be enough to tell if it’s right for you.


You’ll likely find that it’s surprisingly challenging at first, even if you’re accustomed to preparing your meals and eating clean (eliminating all processed foods and extra additives from your diet). Instinctively, you’ll grab for your container of oatmeal in the morning or brown rice for dinner, or you might feel the pull of a protein bar when you’re on the road. Resist temptation.

That said, you may want to consider adapting it to your specific needs if strict adherence to the paleo plan doesn’t fit your bill. You still can’t eat processed foods or grains, but if your goal is to be lean and muscular while keeping energy levels high, you might want to add yams and sweet potatoes. If you’re in an all-out bulking phase, supplementing with whole milk may do the trick. However, if you’re trying to either get lean or retain a current high level of conditioning, then the literal translation of the Paleolithic diet maybe just right for you.


The Paleo Diet Food List

Recommended foods (may be cooked)


– Lean beef (trimmed of visible fat)

– Lean veal

– Lean pork

POULTRY (white meat, skin removed):

– Chicken breast

– Turkey breast

EGGS (limit to six per week):

– Chicken (go for the enriched omega-3 variety)

– Duck

– Goose


– Rabbit (any cut)

– Goat (any cut)

– Organ meats

– Livers, tongues, and marrow from beef, lamb, and pork Game meat

– Fish

– Shellfish




Moderated foods to be consumed


– Olive, avocado, walnut, and flaxseed (use in moderation–4 tbsp or fewer a day when weight loss is your main goal)

WINE (two 4-oz glasses)



– No more than 2 oz a day, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight

Foods to avoid



– Including barley, corn, rice, oats, and wheat


– Amaranth

– Buckwheat

– Quinoa


– All beans

– Peanuts and peanut butter


Story by Roy Chan

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