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8 Key Differences between Paleo/Primal Diets and Modern Diets

1. You eat more Protein

Our hunter- gatherer forefathers ate about 19-35% protein. Modern Western diets only comprise of about 15% protein and it rarely includes a good range of amino acids. Getting enough protein on a Paleo/Primal diet can help to balance blood sugar levels, more energy and healthier bones. Good quality meats, fish and eggs should contribute to most of your protein requirements.


Is eating meat bad for your health?


2: You eat ‘better’ carbohydrates

On a Paleo/Primal diet you will eat carbohydrates that have a lower Glycaemic load – Non starchy fruit and vegetables will provide most of our carbohydrate requirements, this will keep your blood sugar stable. Avoiding blood sugar spikes will keep you slim and maintain consistent energy levels.


3: You eat more fibre

Yes even without eating whole grains! Dietary fibre is essential for good health; vegetables and fruit contain far higher amounts of fibre than grains. Some vegetables have 31 times more fibre than refined flour products.

paleo diet Free range pork strips

4: You eat more fat

But only the good stuff – Recent comprehensive large population studies show that saturated fats have little or no adverse effects upon cardiovascular disease. Yes that means your GP’s information is out of date! Choose your meats wisely so that the saturated fat you eat is from grass-fed animals. 100% grass fed meats have up to five times the Omega- 3 fats of animals that have been fed grain based diets. Eat healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with a higher Omega-3 to and Omega-6 ratio. Cut the trans fats and reduce the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in your diet. Wilderculture has a great free course, ‘is it healthy to eat meat?‘ which covers a variety of topics from ancestral diets to vegan and vegetarian deficiencies to help you get a well-rounded view of the topic.
paleo diet mutton boned and rolled leg

5: Your diet will be higher in potassium and lower sodium

Our ancestors had a ratio of about 5 potassium to 1 sodium and our body needs this balance to help our organs function efficiently. Modern diets are likely to have a ratio of 2 sodium to 1 potassium, this has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes.


6: Your body will be more Alkaline

By eating a diet high in fruit and vegetables you will reduce your acid load to the kidneys. High dietary acid may lead to bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, risk of kidney stones and aggravate asthma. Therefore more Alkaline in our bodies will keep these issues at bay.


7: We will receive more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals

Grains are no substitute for grass fed meats, fruits or veggies as they contain no vitamin A, C or B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins that whole grains contain are not synthesised in the body well.


8: You can have Diary!

We left this paleo diet basics ‘hot potato’ until last. Dairy was not available to our hunter-gathering friends however has been eaten by traditional pastoral cultures for thousands of years and some tolerate it well. As a natural product from an animal which (in some form) would have been around in prehistoric times, it is acceptable. The main reason Paleo purists avoid dairy is that some people have a problem with lactose and casein intolerance. Both of these molecules are present in human breast milk, this means our ancestors must have not just tolerated it but thrived on it for some time, in many Western cultures the ability to digest these proteins continues into adulthood.

I do, however, think that milk and its derivatives should be ‘raw’ as the pasteurisation process takes away the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that help us digest it. We believe homogenisation is a no-no, it messes with the way our body recognises food and our bodies are more likely to mark it as an allergen. If dairy was an unpalatable food there would be no good reason to include it in our diet. Raw dairy and its products are delicious and can make a very difficult diet regime much easier. Diary can add flavour and texture to many dishes.


Comment below and let us know how your Paleo or Primal Diet has improved your health…. 


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We have created our own health plan that draws from ancestral wisdom and helps you build a way to eat that is good for the planet and good for your unique life circumstances too. Take a look at our ‘Wildervore Approach.’

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