Paleo Diet Caloric Breakdown

The Paleo Diet, which is also known as the caveman diet, hunter gatherer diet or Paleolithic diet, has proven successful for a lot of people including myself. There are some different thoughts on the exact protein, fat, carbohydrate breakdown of this diet. Therefore, I thought it would be wise to write a bit about this and anything other tips I can think of when for paleo diet practitioners. It should be noted that most advocates of the paleo diet consider eating a high percentage of animal flesh to be a key feature of the diet. Read on for specifics and recommendations as to exactly what type of flesh may be best to consume. If you are looking for paleo recipe ideas, you can check out the paleo cookbook review part of the site. These paleo cookbooks contain hundreds of paleo friendly recipes to keep the variety in your diet.

In a research paper by O’Keefe, James H.; & Cordain, Loren titled “Cardiovascular disease resulting from a diet and lifestyle at odds with our Paleolithic genome: how to become a 21st-century hunter-gatherer” and in research conducted and published by Cordain L, Miller JB, Eaton SB, Mann N, Holt SH, Speth JD titled “Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets”, the authors state that when following the paleo diet, one should get about 56-65% of their food energy from animal foods and 36-45% from plant foods. A diet high in protein is recommended (19-35% calories) and generally low in carbs (22-40% calories). A fat intake that is similar to today’s western diet is advocated (28-58% calories). Many people, including myself, recommend eating only lean cuts of meat and grass-fed beef. Eating wild game is also advocated by many paleo diet followers. These types of meats tend to contain higher levels of omega-3 fats compared to grain-fed animals.

Many people also exclude foods that have high glycemic indices like potatoes (they give similar insulin reactions to refined foods). Some people have also gone as far as to avoid fruits due to the high levels of fructose in them (but not avocados as they are little nutritional powerhouses).

As I alluded to above, not all paleo diet practitioners agree on the exact breakdown of your daily calorie intake on the diet. The exact intake amount of our Paleolithic ancestors is in dispute as well. The average diet for modern hunter-gatherer societies is thought to consist of 64-68% animal calories and 32-36% of plant calories. The animal calories are divided in differing proportions between hunted and fished animals (usually 26-35% consisting of hunted food).

It should be noted that modern hunter-gatherer societies have shown a great disparity when it comes to the exact caloric breakdown of their diet. If you are new to the paleo diet, don’t get too confused. Find a calorie breakdown you are comfortable with and do it for a while. Make adjustments to your diet and the caloric breakdown as needed. Do remember that since you will be consuming a large amount of animal flesh, you should make that flesh as safe and as high quality as possible. It may cost a little more, but your health is worth it.