A vegetarian-paleo diet can be one of the healthiest diet plans you can implement for yourself. As the name implies, it is a combination of the vegetarian and Paleo diets. However, you have to learn a few principles about these two diets to make it work.
What Is a Vegetarian Diet?
A vegetarian diet excludes all meat, fish, and poultry and only includes fruits and vegetables. There are also types of this diet that allow you to eat some animal products like egg and dairy. This differentiates it from veganism.
Some of the staples of vegetarianism are grains, legumes, and beans. Vegetarians get their protein mostly from legumes such as soybeans.
A Paleo diet consists mostly of unfarmed fish, grass-fed meat, and free-range poultry. It prohibits any kind of processed food. This type of diet is based on how ancient humans ate, which was only thru hunting or gathering.
Going Paleo means you can’t eat grains, legumes, and beans. Paleo eaters believe that legumes are saturated with lectins and phytates that reduce its nutritional value. Meanwhile, grains are deemed to inflict inflammation and other types of health issues.
This is one of the problems when combining the vegetarian and Paleo diets. Strictly following both regimes may not be the best for you. But mixing them together can give you lots of benefits.
How to Implement Both Diets
Going into a full vegetarian-Paleo diet is easier for people who avoid meat only because of health purposes. Studies about Paleo have shown the health benefits of eating organic meat and poultry. Thus, these types of vegetarians tend to bring back meat in their diet as long as it is unprocessed.
However, those who do not eat meat because of moral, ecological, and religious reasons are a different story. They find it harder to incorporate vegetarian and Paleo. But there is a way.
Finding a Compromise
Both ethical vegetarians and Paleo eaters have the same opinion that our modern food industry has caused much harm not only to the body but to the environment as well. In this principle, these two types of diets meet together in a vegetarian-Paleo diet.
Vegetarians who want to go Paleo can focus on consuming unprocessed and organic non-meat foods. The chemicals, additional sugars, and preservatives of starchy foods, even if they do not include meat, are obviously lethal.
Getting rid of vegetable-based junk food is a good start for vegetarians who want to try going into a vegetarian-Paleo diet. Eliminating snacks such as French fries, potato chips, and your favorite pistachio ice cream can drastically improve your health.
Determining the right protein sources is a common problem for vegetarian-Paleo practitioners. Nuts and legumes are prohibited in Paleo because of their inflammatory properties, which leaves eggs and dairy as the main options.
Eggs are a great source of protein, and you can cook them in a variety of ways. You have to be cautious about dairy though, as it may cause digestive issues for lactose-intolerant people.
A suitable compromise can be met for vegetarians who do not eat meat for health reasons. However, if you are a vegetarian because of religious or moral views, eating a vegetarian-Paleo diet can be done by consuming plant-based foods that are unprocessed.
Also, check out the beginners guide for the vegan-paleo diet.