The Paleo diet: eat healthy & slim

Do you want to lose weight or just feel healthy and fit? Eat like your ancestors! That in short is the Paleo diet. And “ancestors” does not mean your grandfather, but prehistoric man: the man who emerged more than a hundred thousand years and who we still resemble, because our brains, our body and our digestive system have changed little in all those thousands of years. Wouldn’t it be more than logical that we also eat the way they ate?


One of the most important pillars of the Paleo diet is the absence of sugar, grains, beans and dairy on the menu. The reason for this is that grains and dairy products have only been eaten since the invention of agriculture and livestock farming, about ten thousand years ago. Ten thousand years sounds like a lot, but if we were to summarize the entire evolution of modern humans in one day, ten thousand years ago would be no more than an hour ago. This means that for most of that day people ate completely different things than grains. What exactly they ate remains a guess, of course, but we can make a very good estimate.


The Paleo diet is a very natural diet. It assumes that you eat as much fresh and unprocessed food as possible. Nothing from packages, jars and bags. Nothing with E numbers, or an excess of salt and sugar. Because the Paleo diet is naturally gluten-free and lactose-free , it is a perfect diet for people with Celiac disease (gluten allergy) and cow’s milk allergy . People with respiratory problems such as asthma and people with stomach and intestinal complaints such as heartburn , Crohn’s disease and IBS often benefit greatly from this way of eating. Do you want to lose weight ? This also works perfectly and without hunger with the Paleo diet.

Low carb

The Paleo diet is naturally low in carbohydrates , because you no longer eat grains and beans. You can occasionally eat some roots and tubers such as (sweet) potatoes. Vegetables such as pumpkin and turnip are also carbohydrate-rich vegetables. But that is small compared to the number of carbohydrates in bread, pasta and rice.


Fruit satisfies our sweet tooth. Primordial man did not have access to sugar, but he did have access to fruit in certain seasons (and very occasionally, if he was lucky, he found some honey). You may wonder whether it is actually necessary for us to eat two pieces of fruit every day, as the nutrition center prescribes, because less than two hundred years ago we did not have cold stores to store apples for a year, but we ate apples as they grew. namely in the fall. This also applies to pears and all berries. That was the season in the Netherlands when there was plenty of fruit and it was undoubtedly eaten by prehistoric man.


Green leafy vegetables, roots and tubers were also eaten by early man. It grew and flourished everywhere and every season had its own types of vegetables. In principle, nothing has changed these days; kale is still an excellent winter vegetable and an ordinary head of lettuce really does not want to grow in the winter in the Dutch climate. Thanks to imports and greenhouses, we can now get most vegetables all year round, but prehistoric man really had to make do with what was available in his environment.


Since about the 1950s, we have been made to fear saturated fat . Animal fat would be bad for us and all the cholesterol would clog our arteries. Primordial man did not think about that. They were hunters. If they had killed an animal with great difficulty, they did not throw away the precious fat. It was not. This fat contains many (processable) calories and nutritional value and was eaten with relish. The generation that grew up in the first half of the 20th century also still cooked in lard (pork fat) and butter. And there were hardly any cardiovascular diseases . These mainly started when, after the Second World War, people started eating more and more vegetable fat, such as sunflower oil and margarine, white flour and sugar. It probably takes a lot of effort to believe this, but your body knows exactly what to do to process animal fat. Vegetable oils are less healthy for humans according to the Paleo diet. If we again compare human evolution with a day, it has only been ten minutes since humans started eating vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. They didn’t have the technology to squeeze oil from all those little seeds. Olive oil is easier to obtain and is therefore allowed for cold use on the Paleo diet. For baking and roasting you can think of beef fat, lard and coconut oil.

(Organ) meat and fish

Meat and fish were also regularly on the menu. All species, of all animals that could be hunted in their environment. Not only the muscle meat was eaten, but also the organs such as heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Meat contains valuable minerals and gives you a feeling of satiety. Don’t avoid the fat edge on the meat either. This gives the meat a lot of flavor, makes it tender during cooking and is nutritious.

Nuts and seeds

When it was available, ancient man ate nuts and seeds. These contain a lot of good and healthy fat and many minerals.
No sugar, grains, beans and dairy. Lots of vegetables, roots and tubers, fish and meat, fat, fruit and nuts. Fresh and unprocessed food. Perhaps very different from what modern people are used to, but closer to what almost all people before us ate. It’s a different time, we have modern resources and our fruits and vegetables are no longer what they were a hundred thousand years ago. But with a little creativity and planning, you can still come close to the diet of ancient man today and feel just as healthy and fit.

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