The Paleo or Paleolithic diet is based on the eating principles that our ancestors followed in the Stone Age, when they survived with what they hunted or gathered in nature, without agriculture or livestock.
It basically consists of excluding dairy products, legumes, grains, processed oils and refined sugars, and focusing on vegetables, meats, eggs, fish, roots, fruits, as well as nuts, seeds and lots of water (ahh and very limited alcohol).
One of the foundations of this diet is that the human genome has changed very little since then and has not had time to adapt to the foods that have appeared during the last 10,000 years.
Excludes processed foods
Out of flour, sugar, industrial buns, ice cream, sweeteners, soft drinks, etc. Eliminating these products can be a very positive change for those who usually take them daily, increasing energy levels and stabilizing blood sugar. Also, for those intolerant to lactose and gluten, digestion improves considerably by eliminating “the cause” of the problem.
Full of protein
There are no deficiencies in this macronutrient as it is a fundamental part of the diet. There is a contribution of all the essential amino acids and no muscle mass is lost.
Lots of fiber
By including a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, you consume a lot of fiber, vitamins and minerals, which prevents bloating and constipation.
Limits of the agri-food industry
The animal protein that our ancestors ate was wild, that is, they were animals that did not feed on feed made mainly of cereals (but rather grass and roots) and were always free. Unless you make sure to buy organic grass-fed meat, organic eggs from free-range hens, wild fish (not farmed), etc., you will be consuming pro-inflammatory fats, as they do not contain Omega 3 but rather excess Omega 6.
Lack of fiber and certain nutrients
The fact of completely eliminating foods such as lentils, chickpeas, brown rice, oats, amaranth, quinoa, etc. very rich in vegetable protein, alkalizing, with minerals such as iron, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins, and replacing them with animal protein (not always of the best quality and very acidifying) is not always good. They are foods that have been consumed for thousands of years and are part of the daily diet of very long-lived people (the Japanese, for example) so the paleo diet seems debatable.
Our genome has shown a great capacity to adapt to all types of diets (visible in the diversity of foods eaten in different places around the world) and how we tolerate certain foods depends on our individual genome. There will be people who have no problem digesting chickpeas and who do not tolerate red meat well, for example, and vice versa. Many people follow a vegetarian diet rich in legumes and whole grains and have iron health. It's all about balance and seeing what suits you best.