What do health nuts eat? We recommend you lean towards these two diets: Clean eating and the Paleo diet.
It is important to note that the word “diet” in this context is misleading. “Diet” traditionally means a temporary, restrictive way of eating to meet some sort of health goal. A more accurate way to categorize how healthy people eat is not a “diet” but rather, a lifestyle choice.
Athletes eat for fuel, and calories are not a concern. Clean eating and the Paleo diet are the diets of choice for some athletes because these are eating practices that support a highly athletic lifestyle, muscle growth, and health body function. Unlike bodybuilders, athletes do not “bulk and cut” as aesthetics are not the main focus- functionality is the goal for working out. And you will be glad to know that, like any eating plan, “cheat” meals exist for athletes too 🙂
Here is an overview of clean eating and the Paleo diet.
This method of eating involves eliminating all processed foods and food additives from your diet. Processed foods wreck havoc on the human body- from your metabolism, to your liver, to your immune system- and is a main culprit behind rising obesity rates worldwide.
“Clean” foods are natural, whole, unprocessed foods. A good way to tell if a food is clean or not is by reading labels. If there are over ten ingredients, or if you don’t recognize the ingredients, it is probably not clean.
|Clean Foods||Dirty Foods|
|Fresh fruits & vegetables
Whole cuts meats from the butcher- no ground meat (ground meat has fillers)
Whole wheat bread & pasta
Other whole grains
Vegetable oils such as olive & coconut
Seeds & legumes
All natural peanut butter
Sugar-free maple syrup
Unsweetend almond & rice milk
Herbs & spices
Salt & pepper
Anything with high fructose corn syrup
Any artificial sweeteners
Ground meats (hot dogs especially)
Fruit juices that are not 100% fruit & water
Cheese that is not all-natural
Pre-flavored canned & jarred foods
Anything that has been microwaved or deep fried
Anything from a fast food restaurant
Anything with artificial dyes or coloring
The Paleo Diet:
The paleolithic diet , also known as the caveman diet, hunter-gatherer diet, or Stone Age diet, is a relatively new diet that has quickly become a favorite among athletes. This diet is based upon eating like… well… a caveman. With forks and knives, of course. The idea is to only eat foods our paleolithic-era ancestors would have eaten, as these are the foods that the human body is “meant” to process. This diet follows the logic that the human body evolved to process pre-industrialization era foods, meaning Paleos only eat things that could have been hunted or gathered in the good ol’ days.
You will notice that the paleo diet and clean eating are similar in that all processed foods are discouraged. However, the Paleo diet is much more restrictive than clean eating, as you can see with the following table.
|Things Paleos Eat||Things Paleos Don't Eat|
Fish & seafood
Fresh fruits & veggies
Nuts & seeds
Natural oils like olive & avocado
Plant based oils
| Cereal grains
Legumes (including peanuts)
Refined vegetable oils
Candy & sweets
Dairy (eggs eggscluded)