Understanding the why, not just the what, is essential to maintaining an effective Paleo diet.
1. Eat fewer carbohydrates than what is recommended in the modern western diet. The carbohydrates you do eat should come from fruits and vegetables, not grains, starchy tubers or refined sugars.
2. Eat a higher proportion of animal protein than the typical western diet. About 55% of your calories on the Paleo Diet come from lean animal protein sources.
3. Eat a large amount of fibre from non starchy fruits and vegetables.
4. Eat a diet with a net alkaline load. An acidic body environment creates negative effects on the body at the cellular level and people with acidic body chemistry are prone to fatigue.[i] All fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming and sea greens are very alkaline forming. Meat on the other hand is acid forming, so you need to make sure that you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to maintain the net alkaline load.
5. Eat foods with low sodium content and high potassium content. Potassium helps to maintain hydration. Proper hydration enables optimal heart function, muscle contraction and nerve impulse stimulation. Excess sodium causes dehydration. Foods high in potassium include leafy green vegetables and most fruits. Bananas and kiwis are particularly high in potassium.
6. Eat a moderate amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Eat nearly equal amounts of Omega 3and Omega 6 fats. Minimize the amount of saturated fat you eat. Cold water fish are high in Omega 3 fats as are Paleo friendly oils like olive or avocado.
7. Eat foods rich in plant phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Phytochemicals also known as phytonutrients are plant compounds that boost the immune system and offer health benefits independent of its nutritional value.[ii] Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and green tea are excellent sources of phytochemicals.
(also I’m glad for the nudge — we can all benefit from being reminded from time to time)
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