Paleo: How healthy is the Stone Age diet? | BARMER

9k=Those who eat Paleo only eat what our ancestors already knew in the Old Stone Age. The paleo diet has a reputation for preventing cardiovascular disease, but is this diet healthy at all? Paleo: Diet as it was over 10,000 years ago

The name Paleo derives from the Palaeolithic, the scientific name for the Old Stone Age. Agriculture and cattle breeding did not exist at that time, everything that could be fished, hunted, collected or picked was eaten. What nutrition people ate 10,000 to 20,000 years ago according to previous knowledge is part of the modern paleo diet.

One can imagine that in the Palaeolithic no processed foods, sweets or ready meals were known. But many foods that we use as a matter of course today also did not yet exist in the “real” Stone Age diet. These include cereals, legumes, milk and dairy products, and sugar. In this diet, therefore, these foods are dispensed with.The most important foods of people in the Palaeolithic wereFruitVegetableFish, meat and poultryEggsNuts and seeds (exception: peanuts. They belong to the legumes)FungiHoney

While today we can buy any kind of fruit and vegetable at any time of the year, people in the Paleolithic could only eat what was ripe in their environment. So they ate regionally and seasonally, with predominantly fresh vegetables and fruit, which is still generally recommended by nutrition experts today.

Meat rarely ended up on plates in the Palaeolithic, because hunting was complex, often dangerous and not always successful. Therefore, people in the Paleolithic Age ate predominantly plant-based. The diet was free of (or low in) carbohydrates. Thus, it can be counted as a low-carb diet.

However, today’s Paleo diet contains far more meat than that of Paleolithic people. The German Society for Nutrition also cites this as criticism: According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the daily high consumption of animal foods should be viewed critically from a health and sustainability point of view.

Additives and processed foods are avoided in the Paleo diet, and attention is paid to the high quality of the food. Thus, this form of nutrition also fits the clean eating trend.

While people in the Paleolithic mainly used animal fats such as lard, today’s Paleo diet contains more healthy vegetable fats such as coconut, olive, and walnut oil. Instead of milk, hazelnut or almond milk are recommended as plant-based alternatives. What can a Paleo Nutrition Day look like?For breakfast, for example, a nut muesli consisting of different nuts and kernels (e.g. chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, almond flakes and sunflower seeds) with some fruit and plant milk and sweetened with honey provides energy for the day.For lunch, a meat or fish fillet with vegetables tastes good.At dinner, a sweet potato curry consisting of sweet potatoes, coconut oil, grated coconut and curry powder fills.Is the Paleo Diet Harmful or Healthy?

Studies (albeit with small numbers of participants) indicate that Paleo may have a beneficial effect on fat loss and also on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics in modern humans. The diet can also prevent obesity, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels.

Avoiding processed foods, fast food, sweets and additives is good for your health in any case, and Paleo is also suitable for people with gluten or lactose intolerances. Those affected should definitely seek medical advice or a nutritionist on what they are allowed to eat and where lactose and gluten are contained.

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The DGE sees Paleo, as already mentioned, the often high meat consumption critical. She advises eating a maximum of 300 to 600 grams of meat per week. Paleo fans who eat a lot of meat should therefore also keep an eye on their intake of proteins, because too high an intake increases the risk of kidney problems, gout or arteriosclerosis. As a guideline, 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight apply. The DGE also warns that the complete renunciation of cereals and legumes can cause nutrient deficiencies.

The supply of fiber and certain nutrients can be problematic with the paleo diet. In addition, according to the DGE, the complete renunciation of foods such as cereal products (suppliers of fiber and B vitamins), legumes (high-quality protein sources, fiber, B vitamins) and dairy products (important sources of calcium, iodine and riboflavin) may lead to nutrient deficiencies in the long term. The supply should therefore be regularly reviewed.

Overall, even if some studies indicate positive effects of a paleo diet, there is no reliable evidence so far, the study situation on long-term changes is very low. Prefer low-fat and low-calorie foods

If you want to eat Paleo today, you should keep in mind that people in the Stone Age had a completely different everyday life. They moved much more and therefore had a much higher energy requirement than we do today. You should keep this in mind if you want to change your diet to Paleo. Therefore, prefer low-fat and low-calorie foods. Also, try to get enough exercise.

In a paleo diet, it is also important to eat a balanced diet. Prefer lean meat and do not exceed the maximum amount recommended by the DGE. Supplement your diet twice a week with fish (tip: fatty sea fish such as salmon contains many omega-3 fatty acids).

Healthy vegetable fats and high-quality nut varieties such as walnuts, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts also deserve a permanent place on the menu, as well as plenty of liquid such as still water or unsweetened herbal teas.

Pay attention to the best possible quality of your food. Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day to provide your body with enough vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber.