Content starts here


Paleo: The Key to a Healthy Lifestyle?

Paleo Food Pyramid

This is a guest post by Annie Lynsen, on loan to AARP from Small Act.

The Paleolithic Diet, or "Paleo" for short, is a dietary lifestyle that eschews processed foods, dairy and grains in favor of a vegetable-, fruit- and meat-based diet. The logic is that we should eat as our ancient ancestors did, because such a nutritional balance will allow our bodies to work the way they were designed to work.

In the introduction to Everyday Paleo, Sarah Fragaso writes:

Eating Paleo is an easy concept: We should eat as our ancestors once did, we should eat based on how we are genetically wired to eat, and we should eat foods that are not processed, modified, or tampered with in any way, shape, or form. It is not a 'fad' diet or the latest trend in Hollywood. It's about how our bodies are meant to be fueled.

The diet was first popularized in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, but several new books and blogs have been popping up on the subject.

Admittedly, I'm skeptical of diets that eliminate entire classes of food, and I'm not alone. But a lot of this diet seems to make sense: we've all heard that Americans, by and large, eat too few vegetables and fruit and not enough fish. More evidence seems to be mounting that we consume too many grains and dairy, too.

If you're interested in learning more, here are some books and websites with more information:

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

Mark's Daily Apple
Nom Nom Paleo
Paleo Diet Lifestyle
Primal Nut

Have you tried the Palto diet, or something similar? What has your experience been like?

Image credit: Paleolithic Nutrition

Search AARP Blogs