Pairing Paleo with Wheat-Free Diets - dummies

Pairing Paleo with Wheat-Free Diets

By Rusty Gregory, Alan Chasen

The dietary principles of a Paleo lifestyle align pretty closely with those of a wheat/grain-free lifestyle. You eat simple foods and avoid processed ones. For example, Paleo-friendly proteins should be grass-fed, organic, or wild-caught. As for oils, you can use almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, and palm oil, among others. Organic veggies are a staple of the Paleo lifestyle.

Paleo has its foundation rooted in man’s diet during the Paleolithic era. It’s sometimes called the caveman diet because it’s based on the hunter-gatherers’ diet of meats, fruits, and vegetables. Interestingly, the human genetic makeup is virtually the same as it was during the Paleolithic era. (Grains weren’t introduced until later, in the Neolithic era.)

Paleo’s anti-inflammatory approach helps stabilize blood sugar, insulin, and leptin and eliminates leaky gut through a grain-free, low-carbohydrate diet high in healthy fats.

When it comes to fruits, you have to be cautious. Today’s fruit is nothing like the fruit of the Paleolithic era. Today, it’s available 12 months out of the year, which isn’t natural; your caveman ancestors ate only the fruit that was in season. Today’s fruit is also much larger and sweeter; that makes it easy to overeat, which can cause blood sugar spikes and insulin reactions.

Therefore, Paleo recommends focusing your produce intake on veggies over fruits. The fruits you do eat should be organic, and those with low levels of fructose are best for regular consumption. Try apples, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and blackberries.

A Paleo lifestyle goes a bit farther than wheat-free living in terms of what you cut out of your diet. Going Paleo requires that you give up grains, beans and legumes, dairy, white potatoes, seed oils, anything with added sugar, anything processed, and most alcoholic beverages.

Within the Paleo community, several foods are controversial topics. For instance, some devotees consume tubers and maple syrup, and others don’t. Understanding how your body reacts to certain carbohydrates is key in determining what foods you can tolerate.

To supplement a healthy eating plan, you also follow some simple rules when living Paleo that are meant to help you feel better mentally and physically:

  • Get adequate amounts of quality sleep.

  • Participate in physical activity in the form of play and exercise.

  • Practice positive self-talk.

  • Follow stress-management techniques regularly.