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What is the Caveman Diet meal plan?

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Quick Answer

The Caveman or Paleo Diet attempts to simulate the diet of prehistoric humans and includes fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. The diet is high in protein and fiber and purports to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.

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Full Answer

The Paleo Diet meal plan is based on the idea that human nutrition is best suited to what was available to Paleolithic ancestors who existed before the advent of farming, and thus the diet excludes any food not available to those ancestors. Restricted foods include dairy, grains, legumes, potatoes, salt and processed sugars. Beverages such as alcohol and coffee are also excluded. Permissible foods in a Paleo meal plan include fresh meat and seafood, fruits, non-starchy vegetables and nuts. Adherents of the Caveman Diet claim that it reduces heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Critics of the Caveman Diet point out that, anthropologically, information on the diet of Paleolithic humans is incompletely understood. For instance, some studies suggest that Paleolithic humans did indeed incorporate grains and legumes into their diets and that early humans consumed more vegetable food and less meat than the Paleo Diet recommends. Critics say that human nutrition is quite adaptable and that, since the Paleolithic period lasted nearly 2.5 million years, it encompasses a wide variety of nutrition acquisition.

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