Define Paleo

We’re constantly being asked to define Paleo.  The definition I use is:

“Paleo” (short for Paleolithic) is an extremely healthy style of eating based on what we evolved to eat such as various meats (beef, poultry, fish, etc.), vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds while excluding grains and sugar.

I feel like that is fairly succinct, easy to remember and really gets to the heart of the matter without getting into too many boring details.  In fact, I like to refer to my definition as my Paleo “elevator pitch”.  However, if you’re interested, there are more definitions from around the web.  And, since this site aggregates Paleo diet blog and Paleo recipes blog content from around the web, I’ve aggregated some Paleo definitions from around the web as well.

Wikipedia defines Paleo as:

The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, such terms as the “Paleolithic diet” also refer to the actual ancestral human diet.

Dr. Loren Cordain, the founder of the Paleo Diet, defines Paleo as:

The Paleo Diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meat, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils (olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia, walnut and flaxseed). Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

Robb Wolf, one of the most popular Paleo advocates on the web, defines Paleo as:

The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, Ophthalmology, Dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility – See more at: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/#sthash.4fEhCliq.dpuf

PaleoDiet.com defines Paleo as:

Paleo is a simple dietary lifestyle that is based on foods being either in or out. In are the Paleolithic Era foods that we ate prior to agriculture and animal husbandry (meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, etc.). Out are Neolithic Era foods that result from agriculture or animal husbandry (grains, dairy, beans/legumes, potatoes, sugar and fake foods).

So now next time someone asks you to define Paleo you can point them at this page.

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