Concise Paleo Diet, the 15 minute guide for people wanting to know what the paleo diet is all about.

concise-paleo-front-coverI wrote this guide to help people learn the basics quickly so they can start improving their diet right away. It’s a short read and will answer the key questions that most beginners will have.

If you’d like, you can also download this entire essay as a PDF file. I encourage you to share it with anybody you think might be interested in learning about the paleo diet. You can download it from this link: ConcisePaleoDiet.pdf

What will you learn?

  • The problems that come with not eating real food
  • Who is leading the charge into researching and promoting the paleo diet
  • How to test yourself for dietary intolerances
  • What foods to exclude from your diet
  • Why bread isn’t the best thing since sliced… bread
  • When in history was the paleolithic

What you will not learn:

  • How to live on broccoli for two weeks
  • How to raise chickens in your back yard
  • Flatulence odor masking techniques

Ok, let’s get started! I’ll start out by briefly explaining the core premise of the paleo diet.

Paleo in a nutshell:
The main premise of the paleo diet centers around the idea that the average human body has not yet sufficiently adapted to eating foods that have become available since the invention of agriculture around 10,000 years ago. Some human adaptation has undoubtedly occurred, but the more modern the food, the less likely it will be good for us to eat.

Due to eating foods that exist outside of our evolutionary metabolic milieu (as Dr. Kurt Harris would say), people now deal with chronic “diseases of civilization” like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Foods that humans have typically eaten:

  • meat
  • seafood
  • vegetables
  • tubers
  • fruit
  • nuts

It’s pretty difficult to argue with the healthfulness of a diet full of those kinds of foods. Some people will try, usually by suggesting that one “needs heart-healthy whole grains”, but it simply isn’t true. Humans evolved just fine for a million years without bagels.

Foods that humans should consider avoiding or limiting:

  • refined or processed sugars
  • gluten grains
  • legumes
  • grain and seed cooking oils
  • dairy
  • processed food in general

Just like a hunter-gatherer in the wild should avoid the strange looking berries that caused the rest of his tribe to get sick, so should modern humans avoid foods that lead to chronic illness. What really surprises people, is that foods they have been told for years are healthy are turning out to be not so good.

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17 Responses to Concise Paleo Diet

  1. Curtis Cannata says:

    Hey David, great site, great content and terrific paleo guide. Our Crossfit fit gym is starting 90 day food challenge today, I will be sure the guide get’s circulated!

    Take care and Go Noles!
    C

  2. Faye Lewark Daniels says:

    I have only been on the Paleo Diet for a month but my total cholesterol went from 163 four months ago to 110 this morning and I attribute this to the Paleo eating plan and the bonus was losing weight. Thx for the Concise Paleo Diet!…..;o)

    • David Csonka says:

      I’m glad to hear you are doing well on the paleo diet Faye. I would focus more on the HDL / Triglyceride rating though, more than the total cholesterol value. The ratio is considered a much better predictor of any problems. Thanks!

  3. Robyn Bishop says:

    I’m going to try the Paleo Diet pretty soon and I’m pretty excited about it. Thanks for the Paleo Guide, it cleared up a few questions I had about the nutrition side of things. I was a vegetarian for years but the lack of protein was really affecting my level of fitness. I found I couldn’t get past a certain point because my muscles had nothing to work with.

    Thanks again for your great info!

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  5. Txomin says:

    Thank you for all the information you provide, David.

    You have mentioned that you skip a meal every so often and even go an entire day without eating at times. How does this factor into your exercise routine? I worry that I might be under-nourished when I train and that I might not recover or develop muscle properly if I don’t replenish nutrients afterwards.

    Please forgive my ignorance on these matters.

    • David Csonka says:

      Txomin,
      Sorry I didn’t get a notification on this comment, so I somehow missed it.

      During fasted workouts, your catabolic rate is certainly going to ramp up so that your body can draw out enough energy to sustain your workout. However, if you eat a big meal full of protein and carb/fat afterward, the enhanced muscle protein synthesis coupled with overnight tissue repair and HGH release should counteract this.

      I usually only do short high intensity strength training workouts like this though. I don’t often do endurance workouts fasted.

  6. Travis Burke says:

    Great look at this diet. Through personal scientific research and self-experimentation, I arrived at a diet similar to Paleo and then read about paleo and added the few changes I needed. A testament to how much healthier this diet is came for me when I decided to engage in a modern diet for a day and eat processed carbs, sugars, etc. just to see how I’d feel. About 3/4 through the day and I need four hours of sleep and awoke with a hangover like feeling of headache, nausea, etc. Also, some old allergy symptoms returned that had been abated on the paleo diet. I won’t be conducting that experiment again. I guess we must build up a tolerance to modern prcessed foods the same way we do to drug and alcohol use.

    • David Csonka says:

      That sounds pretty crazy Travis, though not hard to believe. It’s pretty cool that you decided to test how your body would feel going back to the “normal” diet.

      I’m a big supporter of self-experimentation – it’s probably the only way we can ever really figure out what works best for ourselves.

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  8. pauly hart says:

    hi david, recently, my wife and i have quit eating meat and meat products due to the inability to acquire it in a non g.m.o. state as well as the cruelty that we have seen these animals endure in pen-raising. we find it is hard to go in on splitting the price of a range raised cow with the neighbors who all think that meat comes from a grocery store. is there a source that you would suggest getting your meat from online that is structured in a more health centered environment?

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