What is Paleo eating?

paleo diet, paleo foodsWhat is Paleo eating? Those who are eating Paleo or following a Paleo diet are simply eating foods that were only available to cavemen and women during the Paleolithic era, hence the “diet’s” additional name, the “Caveman Diet”.

More specifically, people who are following a Paleo lifestyle of eating avoid gluten, grains, refined oils and sugars, salt, legumes and dairy, as well as foods that are processed or treated with artificial colors or flavors. They focus on eating non-processed, grass-fed meats, fish, organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and eggs.

The basic principle of the Paleo diet is feeding your body with foods that you body knows how to break down and absorb, and foods that allow your body to absorb a high level of nutrients upon consumption.

Why can’t I eat potatoes on the Paleo diet?

This is a question that is often asked when people are researching going Paleo. Potatoes come from the ground, and if they aren’t being consumed in a  highly processed form (french fries, potato salad, etc.) or grown or treated in an unnatural way, why are they excluded from the list of foods that are considered to be “Paleo-friendly?” In short, it’s a grey area, and the answer may vary depending on who you ask.

Starchy vegetable like potatoes and sweet potatoes aren’t technically considered Paleo — although many Paleo followers, myself included, believe consuming them in moderation is OK — because they have a high glycemic index (GI), similar to — or higher than — the GIs of refined sugars. Foods with high GIs are often considered to be non-Paleo as they cause a spike in your blood sugar shortly after they are consumed, which is linked to metabolic issues and disorders when regularly consumed. Further, most potatoes are consumed in processed forms — such as french fries and fried potato chips — or are treated with chemicals during the growth process.