You don't have to be a dedicated follower of the health and fitness world to know that there's a trendy new diet popping up every year. Just as we're getting used to the ketogenic diet, another diet is hot on its heels in the popularity stakes. It may not technically be new, but the Caveman diet appears to be making a comeback, following its peak a few years ago. The diet's popularity is based on the idea that our Paleolithic counterparts suffered fewer ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity due to their clean diets and active lifestyles.
What Is It?
The Caveman diet – or the Paleo diet as it's commonly known – is based on emulating the eating habits of cavemen from the Paleolithic age. Basically, if a food wasn't available to our Paleolithic ancestor, following this diet means it is also unavailable to you. Because farming wasn't something Paleolithic man did, foods resulting from it such as dairy, grains, and beans are off the menu. Following the diet includes an initial carb detox as the body gets used to not having the food group as a primary source of fuel.
What Can You Eat?
Despite how many delicious foods you can enjoy while eating like a caveman, you'd essentially have to cut out whole food groups to follow the super-clean diet. With an emphasis on high-quality, organic, unprocessed wholefoods, items on the approved list of caveman foods include: eggs, grass-fed meats, fish, low-glycaemic fruit and veg, nutrient-dense oils, nuts, and seeds. Foods to avoid on the diet include processed foods such as sugar, GMO-produce, and cereals.
What Are the Benefits?
Following the caveman diet forces you to eliminate a lot of foods including dairy, trans fats, and processed sugars, that can cause health problems such IBS, heart disease, and diabetes, respectively. For many people who follow the Keto diet, a caveman diet (which is very similar to keto minus the excessive fats) is a great way to transition from the popular, high-fat diet without going completely cold turkey, and losing its mental and physical benefits. That being said, some items on the keto-approved list such as sweeteners, salts, additives, and inorganic fats are processed, and therefore not allowed on the caveman diet.