Paleo is short for Paleolithic which has been around a long. It’s based on a diet the caveman ate who were hunters and gathers for their food base. Some people roll their eyes at the word “Paleo” and wonder is the Paleo diet good for you? Let’s find out…
People start the Paleo diet for different reasons. Therefore, there are different versions for different results. When you’re trying to get multiple sclerosis (MS) into remission you want to go as strict as possible. Because… the nervous system is one of the slowest to heal.
It sounds hard but it really isn’t.
History of Paleo
According to Wikipedia, gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin created the Paleolithic diet in the 1970s. He suggested people should eat like our Paleolithic ancestors to be much healthier. But a hunter gather diet has been around much longer.
Roger McDougall a screenplay writer from the 1950s was eventually diagnosed with MS. He ended up blind and in a wheelchair within a few years. He decided to “stick to those foods which had been consumed by man since the very beginning.”
It took him years and determination but he was able to reverse his MS symptoms. He lived many years as a healthy person just by changing his diet. This is the story I first discovered that gave me hope after the worst MS attack I’d ever experienced.
Loren Cordain termed the word “Paleo” with his book The Paleo Diet, released in 2001. Today there are many different versions of his original diet. Removing processed foods for natural foods is still the base of each version.
Paleo Foods Allowed
When you first begin the Paleo diet it can seem a little overwhelming. No more fast foods, boxed meals, or pizza nights. Instead, you need to make your meals from whole nutritious foods.
Keeping things simple you’ll avoid additives and other toxins in your food. Limit carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar levels to a normal level. Choose vegetables as your main meal, eat 6-9 cups each day. Increase your omega-3 fats to help your heart, nervous system and to repair your myelin.
Foods to eat:
- Wild-caught fish
- Grass-fed beef
- Pasture Raised Eggs
The Paleo diet eliminates processed foods which irritate the gut and cause inflammation. Researchers have recently linked too much bad bacteria in the guts of people with MS.
Eating a Paleo diet removes the inflammation and rebalance the bacteria. It returns your body back to its healthy state.
Grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and vegetable oils didn’t exist during the caveman era. Our digestive system hasn’t kept up with the pace of the modern man. These processed foods are contributing to our unhealthy bodies.
The standard American diet is high in processed foods, GMOs, unhealthy fats. They are low in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. We are a wealthy country of sick and malnourished people.
Paleo foods are anti-inflammatory by providing foods which are high in antioxidants. By removing inflammatory foods our bodies are able to start healing and you begin to feel better.
Triggers to MS:
→ Diet (processed foods, refined sugar, refined carbs, food allergies, etc.)
→ Infections (Candida, viruses, bacteria, and parasites)
→ Environmental Toxins (heavy metals, mold, pesticides, plastics, etc.)
→ Chronic Stress
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
What makes the Paleo diet such a nutrient dense diet is the type of foods you eat. Fresh local organic vegetables have more vitamins than GMO vegetables. Grass-fed beef contains more omega-3 essential fatty acids than grain fed beef.
People tend to think of the Paleo diet as a diet high in proteins, this isn’t the goal. The goal is to include a wide range of foods. Including vegetables, berries, healthy fats, and healthy proteins for their vitamins and minerals.
Removing grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugar, and processed foods improves your gut health. Plus, it’s amazing how much better food tastes. Real whole food also keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time.
Disadvantages of Paleo Eating
As far as your health goes, there really isn’t a disadvantage. People who start the Paleo diet discover they are losing weight. Plus, they are balancing their blood sugar without even trying. Unfortunately, for some people, they can’t afford to lose weight.
Keeping the weight on when you’re already thin becomes a real struggle. To keep from losing weight, add more healthy fats like coconut oil, coconut milk, avocados, etc.
Always keep food around to keep you from going hungry. Everyone is different so pay attention to your body. You need to figure out what works for you and alter the diet to fit your needs.
To learn more about healthy fats read: Healthy Fats Improve Your Health
Another disadvantage is the cost. Yes, organic food cost more but so is always being sick and taking lots of medications. Whole Foods recently lowered their prices on a lot of products. Plus, more store are carrying organic due to demand. Check out stores like Costco, Walmart, Kroger, even Target is carrying organic products.
The first thing you should do is clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Remove all processed foods, give them away or throw them away. Keep these tempting foods out of your reach. You know the old saying “out of sight – out of mind.”
Instead of focusing on what you can’t have focus on what you can have. Instead of pasta replace it with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. For sugar use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Instead of rice blend some cauliflower to make cauliflower rice instead.
To learn more read: 12 Crucial Paleo Swaps for Cooking
Don’t let people discourage you, you are doing this for your health. For some people it’s quick but for most, it’s going to take awhile. MS didn’t show up overnight, it actually took years before your diagnoses.
Remember, this is not just a diet
it’s a lifestyle change for the better!