The dietary lifestyle that is called Paleo is becoming very popular among people who realize that the standard American diet is primarily responsible for making people sick and obese. Adherents of the Paleo diet seek to consume types of foods that were purportedly eaten by early humans which excludes the processed, chemically ladened, pseudo foods that are currently on the grocery store shelves. The diet seems to present a win win situation for Paleo styled eaters and the environment. However, the eating plan notably promotes the consumption of animal products in generous quantities. The question that many people have when they investigate healthy diets is how can they follow the beneficial Paleo lifestyle while still maintaining their convictions to keep their diets free of animal products. The Paleo lifestyle and veganism seem to be at opposite ends of the dietary spectrum, but a closer look at both diets may show that being Paleo and vegan are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Food Consumed as a Paleo Vegan
Dr. Mark Hyman, who is a medical doctor at the UltraWellness Center in Massachusetts, promotes the benefits of both diets and calls himself a “Pegan” that stands for a Paleo-vegan. Paleo vegans’ meals include about 75 percent high quality produce and 20 percent nuts and seeds. By eating this way, Paleo vegans gain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients to stave off illness and build immunity. They also gain clean sources of healthy omega 3 fats and muscle building protein. This plan is greatly enhanced when the majority of the produce is organic and consumed fresh and raw.
Foods Eaten Sparingly as a Paleo Vegan
The goal of the Paleo vegan diet is optimal health that begins with a reduction in inflammation within the body. Some foods that were eaten by early human ancestors now are found to trigger inflammatory responses in their descendants. Examples of these foods include all types of grains and many legumes. When a Paleo vegan consumes these foods, the items should constitute no more than five percent of their meals. They should also strive to consume gluten free items that are considered to be resistant starches like many types of beans. Resistant starches feed good gut bacteria and help Paleo vegans with weight management.
Foods Eliminated as a Paleo Vegan
Paleo vegans avoid all animal products including dairy. Refined flours, gluten, Omega 6 rich seed oils, added sugar, artificial sweeteners and other chemically derived flavor enhancers are also off the table for Paleo vegans.
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