What Is A Paleo Diet?

Benefits of a paleo diet

Benefits of a paleo diet

The Paleo diet is one of the most popular diets in the 21st century, but it was introduced in the 1970s. It has wide benefits for people with diabetes, which derive from eating real, natural foods and cutting out processed foods. The most standard benefit of following this diet is weight loss, which is achieved through lower carbohydrate and sugar intake on the diet.

Let’s see what exactly the Paleo diet is and how beneficial truly it can be when one follows it.

What is a Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet is designed to resemble what the hunter-gatherer ancestors of human beings consumed in the paleolithic age. All these hunter-gatherer ancestors had very lower rates of lifestyle disorders like obesity, heart diseases, and diabetes. 

According to many studies, the paleo diet is capable of delivering results in the form of weight loss. If you want to follow a paleo diet, you must follow the necessary changes which must be made to suit your requirements. 

The main purpose of the paleo diet is to return to the way of eating that’s more like what early humans ate. The reason behind this diet is, the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet which has emerged with farming practices.

Farming changed what people ate and established grains, legumes, and dairy products in the human diet. This rapid change in the human diet outpaced the body’s ability to adapt and this mismatch is believed to be one of the most contributing factors to the prevalence of obesity and diabetes today.

Benefits Of Paleo Diet

  • Weight Loss:

  • One of the main features of a paleo diet is consuming unprocessed foods. This simply means that a paleo diet has very low carbohydrates as it excludes foods such as grains that need to be processed.

    Removing processed foods and avoiding high carb foods has adversely impacted your blood sugar levels, this diet also helps in reducing body fat and consequently leads to weight loss.

    A study conducted on women in 2016, has found that women who followed the paleo diet are seen to achieve greater weight loss when compared with those who followed a low carb diet.

  • Increases Insulin Sensitivity:

  • As most of the foods in the paleo diet are low carbs, there is often lower demand on the pancreas to produce insulin levels in the body. Insulin is the driving force of type 2 diabetes and that’s the reason it allows some people to reduce the amount of medication they need.

  • Improves Heart Health:

  • Several studies have reported that the paleo diet has many benefits for heart health too. This is especially useful for people who are dealing with diabetes as it is one of the most common diabetes complications. 

    It also helps in improving cholesterol levels in the body which means, it lowers LDL cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol, and keeps your heart healthy.

  • Lowers Inflammation:

  • Too much inflammation in the body increases the risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, but including a low-carb diet or low GI foods will help you to get rid of inflammation. 

  • Boosts Your Energy Levels:

  • Following the paleo diet means avoiding the drop in energy that normally occurs shortly after consuming high GI and sugary foods. 

    Foods To Eat When Following Paleo Diet

    The paleo diet needs to be modified to suit every individual requirement. Check out some of the best foods you can incorporate into your diet:

  • Fruits And Vegetables:

  • All fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. The only thing you need to avoid when following a paleo diet is some vegetables and fruits like potatoes, bananas as they are high in sugar. These foods need to be taken in moderation while losing weight.

    The ultimate key to follow a paleo diet is to consume whole unprocessed foods. You can include vegetables like cauliflowers, carrots, broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, and spinach. Include fruits like berries, peaches, apples, plums, and grapes.

  • Nuts And Seeds:

  • Nuts and seeds are rich sources of healthy fiber, fats, and proteins. You should remember that peanuts must not be considered in your nuts and seeds because they are technically legumes.

    Consider almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios, and seeds like sunflower seeds, pumpkin, flax seeds as a part of the paleo diet.

  • Eggs:

  • Eggs are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are a crucial part of your paleo diet. Organic eggs can provide omega 3 fatty acids which is a better option.

  • Meat And Seafood:

  • Meat and seafood is a good source of lean protein and eating it helps you stay fuller for a longer time. It also helps in building and strengthening cells and tissues in your body.

    Include common meat sources like chicken, tuna, and seafood such as salmon and tuna as part of your paleo diet. Meat from grass-fed animals is also recommended over meat from grain-fed since it is leaner and has more omega 3 fatty acids. Consuming meat and seafood also helps in reducing inflammation in the body and protects your heart.

    Foods To Avoid When Following Paleo Diet

    Below is a list of foods you need to avoid when following the paleo diet:

  • Processed Foods:

  • Processed foods like refined sugar, salt, and vegetable oils need to be avoided completely. Because excessive salt or sugar contributes to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart diseases.

  • Grains:

  • Grains are products of modern agriculture and did not exist in the paleolithic period. In addition, they are rich in carbohydrates and cause spikes in your sugar levels.

    Even though whole grains don’t cause sugar spikes they do contain compounds like gluten, lectin, and phytates. These compounds cause inflammation in the body and prevent other nutrients from being absorbed.

  • Legumes:

  • Legumes are members of the lentils, peas, beans, peanuts, and soy foods that are high in lectin and phytic acid content. 

    Take Away

    A paleo diet has its own advantages but they do come with side effects that cannot be ignored. Please consult a doctor before including this diet in your routine.

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