The Cut-And-Dry 60 Second Primer On Paleo, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, And Other Popular Diets
Between Paleo, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean, and Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian, modern dieting could fill its own dedicated dictionary. Case-in-point: USNews recently included 28 diets—TWENTY-EIGHT—in their ranking of the ‘Best Diets Overall.‘ That’s overload, especially when they all drill down to 5-6 central philosophies, +/- a tweak or two.
Regardless of which team you play for, we’ve condensed the nutritional landscape and laid out the do’s and don’ts of the most common, need-to-know dietary frameworks (in our opinion).
The next time your mom randomly proclaims “I’m a Pescatarian!” you’ll know exactly what the fudge she’s talking about.
The Paleo Diet (Caveman Diet, Paleolithic Diet)
What Is It?
The Paleo Diet—aka the Caveman Diet—emulates the eating habits of our hunter/gatherer ancestors from the Paleolithic Era (~2.5MM years ago), and pins modern eating and manufacturing (post-Agricultural Revolution, ~10,000 years ago) as causes of rising obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. If it’s found in nature, it fits within the Paleo framework; if it comes from a factory, it doesn’t.
Specifically, the Paleo Diet cuts out all grains, dairy, processed food, legumes (beans & peanuts), refined oils, and sweeteners in favor of au natural lean protein, fruit, vegetables, and oils (coconut, olive, flax).
What To Eat On Paleo:
- Meat — grass-fed, not grain-fed
- Fish and Seafood — wild, not farmed, as they contain PCBs, mercury, dioxins, and other toxic chemicals
- Natural Oils — olive, coconut, flax seed, avocado, walnut, etc.
- Grass-fed butter
- Whole Fruit
- Nuts and Seeds — peanuts are legumes and on the “don’t eat” list.
What NOT To Eat on Paleo:
- Grains — wheat, rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, barley, corn, etc.
- Dairy — butter, milk, yogurt, cream etc.
- Legumes — all types of beans, including peanuts.
- Sugar/Sweeteners — white sugar, brown sugar, Splenda, aspartame, refined honey, etc.
- Processed Oils & Vegetable Oils — anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated; canola, soybean, sunflower, safflower, peanut, etc.
- Fruit Juice
References, Notes, Links
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto.
I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP
, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid
, and all-around fitness junkie.
I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine
When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses
and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.
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