SOURCE: The Paleo Diet

April 25, 2011 05:00 ET

The Paleo Diet: Should You Eat Like a Caveman?

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Apr 25, 2011) - (Family Features) When you think of the saying "Everything old is new again," you might not be thinking about what you eat. But a growing number of people are advocating a return to the foods humans used to eat -- thousands of years ago by using the Paleo Diet.

The idea behind the Paleo Diet is that the human body is best adapted to eat like the hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic era. That is, we should be consuming lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts -- and pretty much nothing else. No processed foods, no dairy, no grains, no legumes, and no starchy vegetables like potatoes.

There are seven keys to the Paleo Diet that help guide healthier food choices:

  • Eat a relatively high amount of animal protein.
  • Eat fewer carbohydrates than most diets recommend, but eat lots of the good carbs from fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a large amount of fiber from nonstarchy fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a moderate amount of good fat.
  • Eat foods with a high potassium content and a low sodium content.
  • Eat a diet with a net alkaline load.
  • Eat foods rich in plant phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

In his book, "The Paleo Diet" (Wiley, 2011), Loren Cordain, Ph.D., uses the analogy of a car designed to run on gasoline. Putting diesel fuel into the tank wreaks havoc on the engine. Likewise, "We are designed to run best on the wild plant and animal foods that all human beings gathered and hunted just 333 generations ago. The staples of today's diet -- cereals, dairy products, refined sugars, fatty meats, and salted, processed foods -- are like diesel fuel to our bodies' metabolic machinery. These foods clog our engines, make us fat and cause disease and ill health."

Cordain's book and its companion book, "The Paleo Diet Cookbook" (Wiley, 2011), lay out the guidelines for re-adapting our bodies to this way of eating. The books include tips, meal plans and ways to personalize the diet. "The Paleo Diet Cookbook" has more than 150 recipes like the one included here.

For more information about the Paleo Diet and to read excerpts of these books, visit

Cajun Blackened Turkey Cutlets
Serves 4

1teaspoon paprika
1teaspoon onion powder
1teaspoon garlic powder
1teaspoon oregano
2teaspoons cayenne pepper
2teaspoons white pepper
46-ounce turkey cutlets, pounded thin
2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and peppers. Place spice mixture in a large plastic bag and add turkey. Close bag and shake well to thoroughly coat turkey.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over high flame. Add turkey and cook for ten minutes, turning at the halfway point. Remove from skillet and tent with foil for five minutes.

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