Paleolithic diet: The Paleolithic diet is a weight loss plan based upon the premise of consuming only those foods available during the Paleolithic era (also known as the Stone Age). People at this time were hunter-gatherers, meaning that all animals were hunted and plants were gathered from nature. There was no domestication of animals or planting of crops for food. Milk products were also not consumed, except during the breastfeeding of infants. Although the diet of people in the Paleolithic Era varied by geographic region and availability of foods, most Paleolithic diets would have contained mostly meats, fruits, nuts, and vegetables with very little (or no) cereals, grains, or milk products.
The modern version of the Paleolithic diet would prohibit consumption of foods such as sugar, dairy products, grains (including cereals, corn, breads, pasta), potatoes, beans, soy beans and lentils. This diet today would be considered a form of high protein diet, which may pose health risks because high protein diets stress the consumption of meats and high protein foods that contain saturated fat and a high percentage of overall fat. According to the American Heart Association guidelines, adults who are trying to lose weight and keep it off should eat no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat and less than 7 percent from saturated fat, which is difficult or impossible with many high protein diets. High protein diets may also restrict intake of important carbohydrates and low-fat dairy products.
Quick GuideSurprising Reasons for Weight Gain
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Weight Loss/Healthy Living Newsletter
Diet and Weight Loss Resources
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016