There are so many different kinds of diets in the world! Well I believe that choosing the one that makes you happy and healthy is best. Each being finds thier own choice of diet and it is up to them to find what works. Today I’ll be talking about the difference between the Paleo diet and an Ayurvedic diet. The Paleo diet is a modern diet based on that if our paleolithic ancestors didn’t eat it, then we shouldn’t eat it. Ayurveda is a 5000 year old Indian medicine healing system that states food is our first defense.
The Paleo Diet recommends eating a lot of fresh lean meats and fish, fruits, vegetables, healthier fats, eggs, and nuts and seeds from local sources. Avoid processed foods, sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, beans, and corn. Raw food is okay too. The hunter gatherer enthusist are usually inspired to know where the food comes from, what benefits it brings you, and who grows it. Most people who take up this diet are involved with sports like Crossfit, Bodybuilding and High Intensity training. This type of lifestyle allows them to eat more calories and more protein to rebuild muscle mass. This diet allows you to eat whenever you want and also follows a macro-nutrient guideline in todays world. A Paleo dieters nutritional plate would follow; 19-35% Protein, 28-47% Fat, and 40% Carbohydrates. This means they are aiming for high amount of protein and fat through meats, oils, seeds and nuts.
The Ayurvedic diet recommends a plant based diet consisting of cooked foods like; beans, legumes, grains, vegetables, healthier fats, nuts, seeds and occasional dairy and meat. Avoid processed foods, heavy meats, sugar, frozen foods, canned/pickled, raw and cold foods. These foods should be grown organically, locally, and free of pesticides and chemicals. Ayurvedic enthusiasts believe that food has the power to heal us-if were eating the right things. Food is filled with Prana (life force energy) similar to calories in the western world. The food is cooked with intentions that is full of prana and is correct for our bodies dosha. In indian medicine each person is classified as a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. Each dosha has suggested food types they should lean towards. Ayurvedic nutrition also promotes that everything is OK in moderation, for instance, one date with almond butter slathered on top is like nectar for the body while 4 dates with almond butter slathered on top is toxic. The nutritional plate of the vedic diet would usually consist of the six rasas; Bitter, astringent, sweet, salty, sour, and pungent. Depending on your dosha you would want to incorporate more of these tastes or less of them. For instance a Pitta person leans more towards bitter, astringent, and sweet to balance the body because they already have a lot of heat in the body. Ayurveda focuses on the fact that we are what we digest and the food we eat is the concept of life, vitality, and qi.
One of the major difference between these 2 diets is that Paleo eats a lot of meat and Ayurveda prescribes a plant based diet with little to no meat consumption. In Ayurveda it is believed that lean meats and darker meats are rajasic and tamasic. These foods are considered dead or have little to no prana. Meat is considered heavy, dull, depressing, and very hard to digest. When the digestive fire is diminished; issues of bloating, diarrhea, constipation and gas can occur. Foods that are hard to digest leave you susceptible to disease. Eating meat is also against Ahimsa, non-harming or non-violence. Most yogis who practice Ayurveda follow a spiritual belief of not eating meat because we are all connected and it is non-humane to consume meat. At least the good thing about the paleo diet is that even though they are consuming meat, they are choosing grass-fed, local, and organic. Ayurvedics find protein through rice and legumes or beans eaten together that create a complete protein that is low in fat. The physical practice of yoga (asana) is prescribed in the ayurvedic way. This form of physical exercise does not need excessive amounts of protein like a Crossfitter would. Yoga is nice and gentle on the body, so you would choose foods that are plant based and gentle on the body as well.
I honestly like both diets. I believe that eliminating processed foods and sugar will do wonders for your body, Both of these diets prescribe that. They also both gear towards organic and local. As an X-crossfitter I have tried the paleo diet and I really enjoyed the benefits for my workouts and muscle repair. During that time I did experience a lot of gas and bloating from all the meat consumption. Now that I am in school for Ayurveda and I practice a mainly vegetarian diet incorporated with light circuit training and yoga I have noticed my digestion is much better. Physical exercise and spirituality are the main factors between these 2 diets. I am not against a strict Paleo devotee, in fact the research that is being conducted by Paleo enthusiasts, the community building around the growing of food, sharing of recipes, and sharing the knowledge benefits everyone. Food is medicine, and I think that is the common message of Paleo and Ayurveda. Thanks for reading:) Stay tuned for my cooking video coming soon!:)
Of course this blog wouldn’t be complete without some photos I’ve taken in the past month…