Friday, March 25, 2011

Clean Eating vs "The Paleo Diet"

     Yesterday in conversation, someone asked me the difference between Clean Eating and "The Paleo Diet"   ( wherein you mimic the eating habits of our earliest ancestors who yes, did not eat Pop*Tarts )  I think its an important distinction, and one worth investigating.

Clean Eating: The removal of all processed foods from your diet. If it grew on a bush or tree, or walked/swam the Earth - you can eat it. Clean Eaters do not drink alcohol, and use things like salt and food preservatives very sparingly if at all. Water consumption and 5-6 meals a day are promoted. Many Clean Eaters adhere to a "if it has a barcode, I'm suspicious of it" feeling on food..

Clean Eating Food Pyramid ( Thanks again, Tiffany! )

Paleo Diet: Eating those foods that were only accessible to our most primitive ancestors - meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and berries. No alcohol, salt, oils, beans, or grains. Foods that were only developed in the last 1,000 years ( dairy products, for example ) are not consumed.

Paleo Food Pyramid:

Major differences: Clean Eaters will eat organic, whole wheat pastas and grains, organic dairy products    and oils ( in moderation )

                             Paleo eaters will not. eat the above.

Paleo : They do not eat foods we eat now that would not have been around 100,000 years ago - like milk form a dairy cow. They do not eat grains, as grains were cultivated by humans only in the past 12,000 years, approximately.

I find Paleo interesting because behind it seems some facts that are hard to argue: Modern man has bent agriculture to suit his will, and the result is non-nutritious food are bodies can't digest very well ( processed foods ). Clean Eaters maintain that foods that are as minimally processed are preferable, and food is a good thing as long as it is nourishes the body with as little chemicals and preservatives as possible.

Neither "camp" is right in this instance. I personally find the Paleo Diet too limiting,  I'd really prefer to have dairy and grains in my diet as well - in limited quantities, of course. The main difference, I believe, are the inclusion of "clean" dairy and grain elements in CE, and the exclusion in Paleo.

There are many crossover recipes from Paleo which are well suited to the Clean Eater - and I encourage you to look out for Paleo recipes which would be great for the Clean Eater - and vice versa!