In 1970 gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin, MD, first promoted a diet emphasizing foods eaten during the Paleolithic Era, a period in human history that ended about 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture. It focuses on natural whole food with little or no processing, eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, and nuts. The resulting loss of low nutrient carbohydrates, especially carbohydrates from cereals and grain, turns the body into a fat-burning machine. In general, the Paleo Diet calls for
- Consuming fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts & seeds, healthy fats, and eggs.
- Avoiding dairy, grains, processed foods and sugars, legumes, starches, alcohol, refined sugars, and processed oils.
Today Paleo is rapidly becoming a diet of choice for customers who want to improve energy, fitness, and health. New media, such as Paleo Magazine and a podcast titled “Latest in Paleo” are leading the movement and new products produced by manufacturers such as Zest Brands, and other newer companies, are launching products that they are touting as being “Paleo-friendly.” Since adherence to Paleo philosophical standards will likely require certification, there is a debate in the industry about the inherent conflict of packaged, processed products and the underlying rule that Paleo diets should exclude most processed foods that could not be found during the Paleolithic era.