You may have seen beets at the local salad bar, or maybe had them with dinner out of a can. The picture above is what beets look like pulled right out of the ground....
The Eat Like A Caveman Diet
The Paleo Diet, often called the "caveman's diet," is an approach to eating that is growing increasingly popular. The premise of this plan is to only eat foods that would have been available to ancient man before agriculture. The foods recommended are ones that can be hunted or gathered. But foods that need to be cultivated and harvested are strictly prohibited.
The (modern day) Paleo Diet then consists mainly of grass fed, wild caught meats, game and fish (vegans cringe here). Eggs are permitted as are all vegetables and fruits. However, starchier and sweeter types are avoided or saved for athletic training. Healthy animal fats, coconut oil, seeds and nuts complete the meal.
Grains and legumes are strictly prohibited on the Paleo Diet. And dairy too is typically shunned. But like with any approach to eating, there are those that make exceptions. Those Paleo eaters that do allow dairy stick to products made from grass-fed animals. Many use raw bees honey or raw maple syrup on occasion as well.
Sweets are pretty nil, though I've seen some Paleo recipes using coconut flour and raw cacao nips (chocolate) to make some acceptable desserts. Again, the goal is to eat in a more primitive manner because our bodies are supposedly better suited to this type of eating.
Now I'm not certain that I buy into all of the science of this approach. There are people who can digest grains well and do not gain weight from them. And properly prepared grains do have excellent nutritional content. But I do see the value of reducing grain consumption, especially processed grains and foods.
America is FAT! There is no denying it. And grains are mostly carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are like gas in your car. If you don't use it, you shouldn't keep refilling the tank! I don't see America running around on her feet burning up fuel as fast as she consumes it. Talk about alternative fuel sources... try getting off of grains! Therefore, this approach can be very helpful in balancing blood sugar and eliminating a lot of the type two diabetics out there.
For those with grain issues, like me, this is an excellent approach to eating that can resolve a lot of the symptoms involved with being gluten intollerant or allergic to grains. I have been eating the Paleo way for about a month. I did it for 6 months when I first discovered I had Celiac Disease. After returning to the "safe" grains, my symptoms slowly returned. So I have resolved to divorce from my passion for rice and gluten-free pasta for good! Unless, of course, I find some coconut flour or potato flour noodles that have ZERO grain!
There is no ONE approach that works for EVERYONE. We are all genetically and biochemically unique. It is our task to discern what works best for our body, our lifestyle and our budget. With that said, I do recommend trying the Paleo Diet if you have weight or blood sugar issues. And I especially recommend it if you have Celiac Disease or are allergic to any of the grains.