Paleo diet promotes a healthy, ancient lifestyle

Students+on+the+Paleo+diet+are+restricted+to+the+most+natural+foods+types.+

Megan Beh

Students on the Paleo diet are restricted to the most natural foods types.

Jacqueline Bieter, Staff Writers

In the paleo diet you focus on the simplest form of foods to get the most nutritional value.”

— Spencer Shaver

New diets spring up every day in order to maintain the healthiest possible lifestyle. Recently, some students have found the Paleolithic Diet to be effective and one of the most beneficial diets for them.

The Paleo Diet revolves around the idea of “the simpler the better.” Based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups hunter-gatherers would have thrived on during the Paleolithic Era, paleo-dieters focus on consuming the most natural food types. These foods include fresh meats, fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts. The diet is a grain-free, legume-free, sugar-free, dairy-free lifestyle, as well as being low in omega-6 fats.

Senior Dana Buckhorn, who follows the paleo diet, sees the benefits this diet has to others. “To me, the diet just makes sense, [eating] foods that [don’t] contain harsh processed ingredients. I like it because it’s just the simplest thing to do,” Buckhorn said.

Since hunter-gatherers were typically free from the problems people suffer today like obesity, cancer, and acne, imitating the Stone Age diet has become popular among people who desire to stay healthy. Buckhorn has noticed differences in her own life after practicing the paleo diet. “Once I started the paleo diet, I noticed a big difference in my performance in soccer, and overall I just felt better and healthier,” Buckhorn said.

The nutrition of the paleo diet is surrounded by the premise that humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors. As human genetics haven’t changed much since the rise of agriculture, it is understandable that the ideal diet for a human should resemble the diet of “cavemen.”

Senior Spencer Shaver has been on the paleo diet on and off since sophomore year but has recently taken it under stricter terms and recognizes the difference in hu- man food intake. “Normal diets for Americans mostly consist of artificial processed foods because of how popular and accessible they are, but in the paleo diet you focus on the simplest form of foods to get the most nutritional value,” Shaver said.

Starting the Paleo Diet can be a tricky task because of its differences from the typical health lifestyle. It can be difficult since most restaurants and meal options do not accommodate the lifestyle of an ancient caveman, so commitment and awareness of food intake is important. “I think it’s difficult to start and give up all the sugary carbs and fats that people mostly eat during their day. That’s why it’s important to map out your meals,” Shaver said.

For teens, this type of lifestyle can be difficult to obtain since many don’t follow a strict diet all the time. “When I go out with friends, it can be difficult to resist unhealthy foods at dinners since they are so tempting and I can’t order the same meals as them,” Buckhorn said.

At school, students on the Paleo Diet don’t have many options for meals at lunch. “It’s hard at school because of the limited options. I either have to plan a meal before or get a salad without dressing, since Taher doesn’t have really any other options for foods without the processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars,” Buckhorn said.