The Paleo diet is one of the most popular diets out there, with many people using this method. As many people in the spotlight, such as movie stars, athletes and entrepreneurs follow it, it is now common knowledge what the regime is all about.
For those of you who are a bit unsure, it is a diet which suggests eating in a similar way to people of the Palaeolithic period (caveman era). This means eating unprocessed, grass-fed meats and non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach. The diet also call for followers to avoid processed meats like salami or bacon, beans (including tofu), and even many fruits, which are considered to be too high in fructose.
Paleo is thought to represent a more authentic way to eat. It is a leading weight-loss diet and is a form of ‘clean’ eating. Indeed, avoiding added salt, sugars and processed food is certainly good for you in the long run. But what if you are vegetarian and you want to benefit from this back-to-basics way of eating? With all this emphasis on meats and fish, and avoiding the pulses and root vegetables that usually make up vegetarian diets, surely Paleo is out of the question?
Leading nutritionists have come up with a few ways in which to adapt the Paleo diet whilst still getting all the nutrients you need as a vegetarian:
1. Dairy is your friend
Not one for vegans, and a bit of a grey area for Paleo-aficionados, but eggs and other dairy products are a great way to get enough protein in your diet whilst adhering to the rules of unrefined Paleo.
2. Hemp seeds and quinoa
Grain-like seeds like quinoa – although not strictly allowed in a classical Paleo diet – take the place of rice, pasta and potatoes (which are certainly not allowed in Paleo) and supplement the rest of your meal with some much needed carbs and protein.
3. Fermentation is your friend
Much of what is ‘wrong’ with beans and legumes is in the way that they are prepared for consumption. Traditionally, beans release anti-nutrients which interfere with the body’s digestive system. Fermenting or sprouting your legumes is a way to reduce this. You can still have beans and grains in your diet whilst remaining true to the ethic of Paleo.
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