Paleo Diet (Paleolithic diet) is also called Cavemen Diet. The concept is to follow an eating plan which is based on an ancient diet which comprises of wild available animals and plants during the Paleolithic era. The rationale behind is that the energy intake from modern diet is mainly from sugar, grains, diaries and all kind of processed foods. Assuming human bodies have been in a similar conditions as Paleolithic era, i.e. before the advent of agriculture, our common diet usually makes people “over -eating”, which results in all kinds of indigestion and discomforts.
As convincing as the story sounds, I don't have the knowledge of an anthropologist to make my own judgment. However I have tried to understand this from a nutrition and health's perspective.
Long story short, a refined idea of Paleo diet promotes large intakes of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, seafoods, to ensure sufficient but not excess of energy, vitamins, minerals and exclude Saturated fats, the "bad fats". Paleo-diet also stresses the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is believed to improve human's cardiovascular conditions and could not be synthesised by human bodies. Another key word is “fresh”, hence frozen or canned foods are not ideal in Paleo Diet.
In the mean time, Paleo diet also has a long “banned food” list, which includes all kinds of grains, beans, sugar, diary products (except butter), starchy foods, yeast containing foods and fatty part of meats, processed meat (including hams, fatty bacon, lunchmeat), as well as alcohols. (you can see a full list of banned food for a strictly followed Paleo Diet). The list is long and the rationale behind it is even longer. However the bottom line is that the Paleo Diet claims that the foods to avoid usually provide little nutritions and sometimes impair human bodies' intaking of other nutritions. Interestingly, compared to the USDA Food Pyramid, the Paleo Diet is much higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate.
As controversial as it has been since it was invented, I don't believe it will be a universal diet for every one (I am clearly not capable to buy the idea that we still have cavemen's stomachs), however the view on the balance but not in excess of nutritions makes sense to me. Variations of Paleo diets have been created to suit different needs, including improving athletes' health and purifying skins and metabolic system. It sounds interesting enough for me, to put myself as a guinea pig and I hereby announce that my experiment of Paleo Die will officially start today, for 30 days.
Will keep all of you updated and wish me good luck!