The Paleo diet—here’s everything you need to know

In recent years, there has been a new eating regimen – the paleo diet. Based on diets our ancestors ate, including unprocessed products and low in carbs, a number of modern-day famous fans, from Jessica Biel, to Megan Fox and Blake Lively, have won over after sampling their purported benefits. This includes not only weight loss, but also claims of a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

However, among the scientifically backed Mediterranean diet, the questionable advantages of the short-term keto diet, and the highly temporary Pratt diet, you may be wondering where the paleo diet fits in all of this. We spoke to nutritionists to find out the historical origins of this eating regimen, as well as the foods you can eat and why it might be good for you, as well as the downsides to be aware of.

What is the paleo diet and what foods can you eat?

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“The Paleo diet was designed to reflect the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of our ancestors,” says Tamara Wellner, a registered dietitian with Second Nature. “It involves eating foods that were only available before agricultural practices began, about 10,000 years ago.” She explains that the basic idea behind the eating regimen is that people were believed to be generally healthier in the Paleolithic era, with lower rates of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and it is believed that these findings can be replicated by modifying our modern diets. Although it remains unclear to researchers whether their diet is responsible for the differences in health, or whether it is due to other factors such as the fact that they spend more time outdoors and have higher fitness levels.

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