I am currently following a Primal lifestyle. I haven't quite eliminated dairy all the way yet. I follow it because it has improved my overall health tremendously!
The Paleo and Primal diets are both referred to as the
caveman diet. While the Paleo diet was first popularized by Loren Cordain,
researcher and author of "The Paleo Diet," Robb Wolf, biochemist and author of
"The Paleo Solution" also largely contributed to the movement. The Primal diet
was developed by Mark Sisson and published in "The Primal Blueprint." Both
diets, with a few minor differences, emphasize the consumption of foods that our
ancestor hunter-gatherers ate and the avoidance of processed neolithic foods
that were introduced after the introduction of agriculture.
The foods that constitute the foundation of the Paleo and
Primal diets are very similar: animal protein and fats as well as nutrient-dense
produce. Both the Paleo and Primal diets recommend choosing high-quality foods,
such as grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range chicken and eggs,
wild-caught fish and game meat. These foods have a better omega-6 to omega-3
ratio, making them less inflammatory and better for your body. Seasonal
vegetables, fruits, tubers and nuts also are a big part of both diets. Wolf and
Sisson both encourage the selection of locally grown and organic produce as much
as possible. Coconut oil is another fat used by both Paleo and Primal
Foods to Avoid
Whether you decide to follow the Paleo or the Primal diet,
you need to limit all grains, especially the gluten-containing ones, as well as
processed foods, sugars and legumes, which include not only beans and lentils
but also soy and peanuts. All types of grain products are described as having a
poor nutrient density in addition to having the potential to trigger health
problems because of the antinutrients and gluten they contain. Cordain, Wolf and
Sisson all recommend eliminating processed foods made with sugars, high omega-6
vegetable oils and chemicals from your diet.
The main difference between the Paleo and the Primal diet
concerns the inclusion of dairy products. While Wolf and Cordain suggest
eliminating dairy products, especially during the initial months, Sisson does
not have any objection against the consumption of good quality, full-fat dairy
products, such as butter, cream and full-fat yogurt. The Primal diet recommends
choosing dairy products from pastured animals and consuming them raw instead of
pasteurized. The Paleo diet does not forbid the consumption of dairy products
but recommends that they be removed for a while and then reintroduced at a later
time to assess your individual tolerance.
The recommended approach to start on the Paleo or Primal
diet differs. Wolf recommends that you adopt a strict approach with the Paleo
diet, excluding all non-Paleo foods, such as grains, dairy, legumes and
processed foods, for at least 30 days to see whether the approach is for you.
Sisson, however, recommends implementing the Primal diet with a looser approach,
allowing a more gradual transition using the 80/20 rule, which suggests that you
should eat Primal foods 80 percent of the time, allowing you to "cheat" for the
other 20 percent of the time.