Diet Basics: Nutrition program based on eating foods we were genetically designed to eat

Diet Ground Rules: The Paleo Diet is based on the diet of our ‘hunter gatherer’ Paleolithic ancestors, and includes lean animal foods like meat, birds and fish, along with vegetables and nuts but not too much fruit.

It encourages weight loss by filling you up with lean meats and fish, fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables. And, according to Paleo philosophy, as processed foods, sugar, salt, grains, legumes, dairy products, coffee and alcohol weren’t available to our prehistoric ancestors, they’re off the menu. It’s also suggested that, as we haven’t adapted to eating them, these foods may cause many health problems, not just weight gain.

Diet Review: While the elimination of grains and refined carbohydrates makes this a relatively low carbohydrate diet, it may be slightly less restrictive than other diet plans of this nature because most fruit and vegetables are allowed. However, practising dietitian Melanie McGrice still has reservations.

“My biggest concern is that legumes and all dairy products are cut out. Anyone who follows this diet long term may not be meeting their calcium needs,” says McGrice. “This diet, if you were going to follow it, would need to be modified to ensure that it provides all of your nutrition requirements.”

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