"Barney Rubble: You know, Fred, I hear that eatin' too much red meat is bad for you. Fred Flintstone: What a load of bunk! My father ate it every day of his life and he lived to the ripe old age of thirty eight."The Flintstones, a modern Stone Age family
Nostalgia is a powerful drug. Maybe if we just ate the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors did, all our health problems would disappear? Hmm…don't count it. Diet isn't the only thing determining your health, and health care was pretty primitive in the Paleolithic era. Yet the idea of eating fewer processed foods and eating more whole natural foods does have some merit. That, in essence, is the Paleo diet, which favors eating meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, roots, and nuts over the foods produced by modern farming and food processing like grains and legumes, cheese and dairy products, processed oils, and refined sugar. There are worse diets out there. And truth be told, AmazingRibs.com has been celebrating the joys of eating meat for many years. We just never called it "paleo."
Is the Paleo diet good for you? It's hard to say. This way of eating takes on many different forms, from strict adherence to what hunter-gathers ate to simply eating whole foods and avoiding modern processed foods. The diet's biggest proponent, Loren Cordain, is an exercise physiologist in Colorado. He trademarked the term "Paleo diet," and his 2002 book of the same name describes the diet as 55% of daily calories from meat and seafood with the remaining daily calories evenly divided between vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. No dairy. No grains. No added salt. No added sugar. Some research has shown that eating this way may improve your cardiovascular health and body composition (muscle mass), but no credible studies have shown that a paleo diet will help you lose weight. Plus, there's a lot of debate about evolutionary biology and how our genetic makeup has evolved over thousands of years and adapted to our modern dietary choices. Simply, put our bodies and metabolism are no longer the same as those of Paleolithic humans.
Regardless, if you're following a Paleo diet, you are no doubt craving good meaty recipes, and we have a ton of them. Barbecue is all about the meats! And the tasty sides, of course. Along with ribs, brisket and steaks, you'll find lots of vegetable and fruit recipes among the recipes listed below. Just keep in mind that if you're following the Paleo diet very strictly, you may want to swap out some ingredients here and there. For instance, some of our spice rubs call for small amounts of sugar. You can omit it, or replace it with natural coconut sugar, a sweetener that many Paleo dieters allow. If a barbecue sauce recipe calls for sugar, replace it with natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. As for salt, you can switch refined salt like Kosher salt to unrefined salt like pink Himalayan salt. And if processed vegetable oils show up in a recipe for sautéing or frying, use olive oil or coconut oil instead. Make whatever swaps you like so you can adhere to your version of the paleo diet. Then bring on the brontosaurus ribs.