Paleo and LCHF Food Intake Approaches
The food you take in everyday has very important roles to play to your general wellness. With the kind of eating habits that many people have today, there are some important nutrients that are missed. This actually leads to nutritional deficiencies. Furthermore, some symptoms could occur and affect a person’s daily living. In relation to this, experts have discovered ways to make sure that the body functions to its full potential without the need for supplementary intake.
Almost everything around the world has evolved and food is one thing that has been greatly affected with the changes. Food can even be obtained instantly nowadays and they have become so processed. Such kinds of food are not able to fill in all the needs of a human body. Thanks to professionals and their research on human diets, there are diet regimens that bring us back to how our ancestors used to eat from the earlier years. These kinds of diet regimens are actually deemed healthier than any kind of food intake methods in the recent days.
Two of the best and most natural diet approaches today are the Paleo diet and the LCHF or the Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet. For the Paleo definition and LCHF mantra, read through the rest of the article look into the ways both diet types are similar and different.
The Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is derived from the eating approach that the people from the paleolithic era used to follow. Thus, the name paleo diet from the “Paleolithic” reference. Actually, the paleo diet does not actually focus on “not eating” kind of diet. It is more of an effective approach to food intake, while making sure that you get all the necessary nutrients that your body needs. This actually means eating exactly just what you need and nothing more.
The Paleolithic era was dated back to what is more commonly known as the Old Stone Age. This was the time when the first people used stone tools for their daily activities. Basically, the Paleo diet encourages people to eat food in its most natural state. It involves eating of real and unprocessed foods. These kinds of food are the healthiest in the market.
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What to Eat
- Fruits and Vegetables – all kinds of fruits and vegetables are allowed in paleo. This could include any type, such as the sweet potatoes and other crops. Just make sure that you eat only organic types of these food items.
- Meat – Poultry, beef, and pork. This may also include game and organ meats. You may also get meat from lamb and goat.
- Eggs – any egg as long as the sources are naturally raised
- Fish and other Seafood sources – All seafood items are acceptable, except for those that have high mercury levels. You can even take seaweeds in this kind of eating approach.
- Nuts and Seeds – if your goal is to lose weight, you may want to take these in moderation as they could add up to the calories you have every day. Also, you should avoid peanuts as they are not considered as nuts. They actually belong to the legume family and are therefore not included in this kind of diet.
- Fat sources – this includes oils from coconut, walnut, macadamia, hazelnut and even olive oil. The palm oil was supposed to be included on the list, but there are information telling that the production of palm oil has affected greatly the living and cause possible extinction of Orangutans. In this case, the palm oil is not included. This is one link that proves how palm oil production affects the living of Orangutans.
- Other food items – herbal tea from organics plants, fresh coconut water, fruit and vegetable juices, spring water and filtered water. All organic coconut products are also good for paleo.
What NOT to Eat
- Grains – grains could cause or aggravate inflammation in the body. Also they are quite difficult to digest so they are not included in the recommended food items for paleo.
- Flour (All types mostly white flour)
- Bread (bread has flour)
- Oats (including gluten free ones)
- Cakes and bagels
- Dairy – one important reason why dairy is cut off in paleo is the fact that it can cause several health problems. It includes problems in digestion, making a person less able to lose weight. At times dairy could also cause problems to the skin.
- Sour cream (and all other related cream formulas)
- Cheese (any type of cheese, especially cottage cheese)
- Milk and other milk products
- Yoghurt (even Greek yoghurt)
- Beans and Legumes – these are not included in the list of food items for paleo because they are simply hard to digest given the food choices for this specific eating approach. Beans and legumes have phytic acid or phytates. The phytates are said to attach to compounds including calcium, magnesium and iron. In this case, they get excreted from the body and cause electrolyte imbalance.
- White, black and red beans
- Garbanzo beans
- Vegetables with Omega-6 – omega-6 fatty acids are said to be one of the causes of inflammation and it can also cause heart diseases. And, of course, most of the vegetable oils and not actually coming from vegetables. They are mostly sourced from soy, corn, cottonseed or sunflower.
- Refined and Artificial Sweeteners – these are crashed off the list in paleo diet because it can reduce the body’s energy levels and it also makes it difficult for an individual to lose or control weight with sugar. Sugar can also play with your emotions, making you feel grumpy most of the time.
- Synthesized sugar
- Malt and corn syrup
- Corn sugar
Under the Paleo umbrella, there are several versions that aim to improve the diet to its full potential. One version is the Primal Blueprint as founded by Mark Sisson, a well-known health buff and healthy eating expert. Here is an interesting and very informative podcast of an interview with Mark Sisson. Listen to it here. More information about Mark Sisson on his site “Mark´s Daily Apple”. To buy Mark Sissons´s books got to this place.
The Low-Carbohydrate, High Fat or LCHF diet is exactly what name says it is. You are encouraged to consume foods that are good sources of good fat and avoid food items that are filled with carbohydrates and starches. One of the most important goals of this eating approach is to keep your blood sugar in a normal level. You would not want to increase your sugar in the blood to make sure that you are burning fats and store them less in the body.
This kind of diet, does not totally eliminate carbohydrates from the food items to be consumed. However, it is goaled to eat only a minimum consumption of it. For anybody who wants to lose weight, the LCHF eating approach recommends to take only less than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. However, if the diet is followed without any goals of weight management, then a more liberal amount of up to 50 grams a day would suffice.
What to Eat
- Eggs – Choose organic eggs. You can eat them in any way it is prepared; whether it is boiled, fried, or poached.
- FAT – look for natural fats. Butter is a good one! Coconut oil, olive oil, hollandaise sauce
- Meat – pork, chicken (including skin), beef, fish.
- Dairy – high-fat cheese, yoghurt, cream and sour cream, real butter, and milk. However, you need to check on the milk ingredients as they could contain sugar in them.
- Vegetables – You can eat vegetables that grows above the ground and NOT under. Think of eggplants, cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli, asparagus and lettuce, tomatoes, avocadoes.
- Beverages – water, coffee (with full-fat cream), and Tea
What NOT to Eat
- Sugar – Sugar is something that you want to eliminate from your diet, if you are following the LCHF approach. Sugar causes a lot of diseases and you would want to avoid that.
- Ice cream
- Soft drinks
- Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates breakdown into sugar and sugar is something that is avoided mainly in LCHF.
- Legumes – legumes are also sources of carbohydrates, so as much as possible they should be avoided.
- Low-fat or fat-free items – As much as possible, you would want to eat natural sources of healthy fat. Fat sources are important in LCHF because fat is considered as the main source of energy, instead of carbohydrates, for this particular eating approach.
- Low-fat or fat-free milk
- Fruits – most fruits are sources of sugar and they are very sweet. They’re just like candy, so you want to avoid tem as well.
- Beer – Beer is considered as the liquid form of bread. It is loaded with sugar and carbohydrates.
For individuals who are suffering from diabetes, it is important to watch the amount of carbohydrates that you take every day. Diets with carbohydrates that are too low may cause hypoglycemia. This means that your blood sugar could go very low or lower than normal. If at times when your sugar in the blood is in normal range to low range, you may need to change the amount of insulin you administer as part of your treatment regimen for diabetes.
In this case, it is important to monitor your blood sugar regularly. Or, better yet, always include your diet plans with your doctor’s prescriptions. It is important though that you talk to your physician before going into certain diet approaches. You will not only be guided by them but they will usually be able to give you suggestions as well.
As a Summary
You have some of the most common kinds of food that you can and cannot take for both types of diet. To wrap everything up in a summary, here’s a good insight to the similarities and differences of both eating approaches.
|Types of food||Paleo||LCHF|
|Carbohydrates and StarchFruits, vegetables, root crops,||Not restricted, but definitely no to crops and starchy sources like potatoes and related food items.||Highly controlled! Up to 50grams daily only.|
|DairyCream, Yoghurt and Cheese||NO (in any form)||YES! High Fat! Not Low-fat|
|Saturated FatNuts and Seeds||Not restricted, but not considered as important||YES, used as primary energy source.|
|Refined Food, Trans Fat, Sugar||NO||NO|
|Natural, unprocessed food items||YES!||YES!|
|GrainsRice, pastries, pastaanything with flour||NO||NO|
If you look closely, you will be able to see that both eating approaches are not just “diets” that could become a latest trend in the society. Instead, you can consider both approaches as lifestyle practices that are aimed to provide what is only naturally best for the body.
When eating the Paleo and LCHF way, it is important to remember that you eat food items that are produced organically. For food items that came from animal sources, they should all be grass-fed or pasture raised. A lot of meat sources today are coming from animals that are being fed with synthetic feeds and this is not acceptable to both eating approaches.
Most experts say that the animal sources should be free of hormones and antibiotics. Also, the professionals studying the paleo diet also encourage individuals to choose the right kind of meat sources and make sure that the animals are being fed with the kind of food that are appropriate for them and that they have not been abused while they are being raised in farms.
For fruits and vegetables, choose the ones that are locally grown naturally and have not been genetically modified. There are a lot of food items that we may think of as healthy ones on the list. However, they could not be as healthy as we think they are. The fruits and vegetables that you eat should not be treated with pesticides or filled with preservatives. As much as possible, choose the freshest and most organic sources in all the food items that you consume.
Another very important thing that you should consider when choosing the food items is to look into the labels. Make sure that your food items are non-GMO and are in their most organic and natural forms. You would also want to check for hidden ingredients. Say you are to drink milk in LCHF, but most milk has sugar in them that you want to avoid. So it pays to check the labels of every food item to take.