With the rise in lifestyle related conditions such as diabetes type 2, obesity, and car-diovascular diseases, it is important that one eats right so as to prevent or control these conditions. Because of the need for healthy foods, various diets have been in-vented over the years. Some widely talked about diets of this sort include paleo and primal diets.
There is not much difference between paleo and primal diets except in regard to in-clusion or exclusion of certain foods and products. Lets look at the two diets indi-vidually in order to understand how they differ from each other.
Paleo diet is also known as palaeolithic diet. Its name stems from the palaeolithic period in history, that is the period preceding the Agrarian Revolution. Paleo diet advises that one should refrain from eating foods which were not available prior to the Agrarian Revolution. These include foods like dairy products, grains, legumes, and refined sugar. Perhaps let us see the foods people ate during the palaeolithic age before we can proceed with more about paleo diet.
The palaeolithic period was characterised by use of tools which were carved from stone. During this time, human beings lived on economic activities like scavenging, hunting and gathering. The foods which were eaten during the palaeolithic period included nuts, fruits, leafy vegetables, meat and fish.
Coming back to the paleo diet, it is a diet which encourages people to eat only foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds. It also requires one to avoid using refined vegetable oils and salt on food. Paleo diet in addition advises against eating potatoes, bread, and rice.
The major aim of paleo diet is to get people to eat foods which are nutritionally beneficial as opposed to the ones which are not nutritionally beneficial. It aims at avoid foods with high sugar contents, foods which are acidic, and foods which are low in nutrients. Instead, it seeks to have people eating healthy proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients.
Proponents of paleo diet argue that human beings’ metabolic system has not yet adapted to processing highly refined foods or foods which weren’t available during the palaeolithic period and why problems like obesity and diabetes arise. Paleo diet was first popularized by Loren Cordain in a cook book he published in 2002. Cor-dain has since revised the paleo diet to include fermented dairy products and refined sugar which is in the form of gels and energy drinks for sportspeople.
Primal diet was developed by former endurance athlete Mark Sisson. It is pegged on the caveman’s culinary lifestyle. Primal diet argues against eating foods that were not being eaten before the Industrial Revolution. It discourages eating of foods such as grains and legumes and processed foods and sweeteners. It also rules out refined vegetable oils such as canola and soybean oils.
Primal diet requires that food be consumed in its most natural state, this is why it doesn’t permit processed and refined foods. Proponents of primal diet say that hu-man beings’ digestive systems haven’t been able to adapt to the processed and re-fined foods which were introduced with the onset of the Industrial Revolution and that’s the reason why lifestyle related diseases are on the rise.
Practising primal diet requires that you refrain from legumes and grains such as beans, lentils, and rice and instead eat foods like meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. It also permits raw and fermented dairy products like kefir, yogurt, and raw cheese and also natural sweeteners like honey.