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The Paleo Diet Evolution

Learn how the Paleo diet has evolved over the years.


The Evolution of The Paleo Diet - Paleo 1.0 to 2.0

It is widely considered that Dr. Loren Cordain is the "founder" of the Paleo Diet.

His first book, The Paleo Diet, not only coined the name "The Paleo Diet," but it was the first published book to hit the mainstream and promote the idea of a diet based on research in evolutionary biology and anthropological human studies. 

Since then, countless books, authors, blogs and brands have been created based on the Paleo concept.

And as a result of the growing interest and research in the Paleo communities, there have been many evolutions of what is considered "Paleo."

The thing is, there's no single definition... there's only versions of Paleo.

One of the most accepted evolutions of the Paleo diet since Cordain's original work is the move from recommending lean meats to fatty meats.

Cordain's first book recommend lean meats as ideal, but the Paleo community as moved mostly away from lean meats to all forms of meat, especially fatty meats, as long as they come from healthy animals.

Even Cordain has updated his stance on fatty meats since publishing his first book.

In general, the Paleo community tends to agree on the importance of eating fatty cuts of meat from healthy animals.


Other Paleo Evolutions 

Even though Cordain is considered the grandfather of Paleo, there is still no single definition or officially approved version of the Paleo diet. Unlike a diet like Zone or the Atkins diet, no one has trademarked the Paleo Diet and set out exact guidelines.

This is why there are so many interpretations of Paleo.

Anyone can create a blog or write a book on Paleo and put whatever twist on it they want. As you might imagine, this has lead to much confusion and conflicting ideas on what is actually Paleo.

That being said, you'll see some unwritten laws showing up in most Paleo versions. A few of these have evolved from the original diet proposed by Cordain.

Here are a few of these evolutions:

  • The move from lean meats to fatty meats from healthy animals.
  • The move to focus on quality and not as much on quantity.
  • Combining intermittent fasting with Paleo
  • Going low carb, low-to-moderate protein and high-fat
  • A softening stance on dairy (full fat and raw dairy being the typical recommendations).
  • Including grass-fed butter, a neolithic food, as a part of a Paleo diet.
  • Moving to clean fat as the primary macronutrient in the diet (compared to protein which has long held the top spot in most diets).

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To Sum Up

I think it's a good thing that Paleo has many definitions becuase it will keep evolving Paleo as more and more people seek to innovate and improve the concept.

Of course, for the average person, this is not ideal. After all, people want to be told what works in as few words as possible so they can get the results they want with as little fuss as possible.

Confusion only gets in the way of this.

And who can blame them?

Most people aren't that interested in nutrition and food in the first place (shocking, I know).

Of course, part of our mission at Wild Foods is educating and encouraging people to become more interest in food, health and nutrition. The fact is, the more intersted you are in these topics, the easier it's going to be to get the results you want.

And I know you want results because you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't.

Nutrition takes practice and leaning.

You have to prep meals, make smart decisions at restaurants and the grocery store, restrain yourself at parties when junk food is calling your name, and so on.

This is what I recommend to get you more intersted in food, cooking and nutrition:

  1. Read a few books and blogs and compare the recommendations.
  2. Experiment with some of the recommendations in your life. Keep what sticks and try something else for what doesn't.
  3. Build a favorite recipe archive right now. Keep it in your kitchen. Consider spiral-binding it. Laminate it or put it in protective sheets. Add a sectino for easy side dishes and "make ahead" ingredients like homemade mayo, ketchup, sofrito, etc.
  4. Make dinner for friends.
  5. Watch cooking shows and check out

Then, as you learn more about Paleo, you will figure out what best "version" suits your lifestyle.

colin stuckert CEO Wild Foods