Paleo diet for weight loss – why is it so popular?
Hi everyone, I’m back again to discuss another diet trend. Some of you might have heard about the Paleo diet, (Paleolithic diet), an eating plan modeled on prehistoric human diets, is it right for modern humans? And why is it so popular? I believe that the Paleo diet is definitely one of the best diet trends out there. A diet that includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. (Caveman diet)
A Paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains. These foods were eaten during the Paleolithic era, which dates from approximately 2,5 million to 10,000 years ago.
Purpose of Paleo Diet
The purpose of a paleo diet is to return to eating that’s more like what early humans ate. The diet’s reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices – an idea known as the discordance hypothesis.
Farming changed what people ate and established dairy, grains and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This relatively late and rapid change in diet, according to the hypothesis, out placed the bodies ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.
Paleo Diet Food List
- Eggs, preferably free – range
- Seeds such as flax, pumpkin, and chia
- Paleo granola
- Paleo pancake mix
- Paleo smoothie mix
- Coconut yogurt
- Dreid fruit
- Fresh fruit
Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. No-sugar added nut milk, i.e almond, coconut, or cashew
- Fresh vegetables
- Lean Protein – salmon, chicken breast, trout, etc.
- Paleo – friendly soups
Fresh fruit, especially citrus – ideal for adding to salad for optimal iron absorption. Salad ingredients such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage, tomatoes, and kale.
- Favourite vegetables – Mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.
- Salad ingredients like lettuce, spinach, avocado, etc.
- Fresh fruits
- Berries and dark chocolate (as close to 100% cacao as possible) for a dessert a few times per week.
Lean protein – chicken breast, lean beef steaks, bison burger, venison, etc.
- Fruits, fresh or dried
- Fresh vegetables
- Paleo – friendly snack bars such as Larabars
Nut butters such as cashew or almond ( be sure there’s no sugar added)
Seasonings and Beverages:
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Green tea
- Sulfate-free wine
Favourite herbs, i.e. basil, garlic, thyme, oregano
Health Benefits of Paleo
Paleo focuses on real, whole, unprocessed foods. This reduces and in most cases eliminates, consumption of preservatives, additives, artificial colours and flavours, hidden sugars, artificial sweeteners, sodium and flavour enhances. As a result, you eliminate toxins and increase nutrient intake.
Paleo diet is rich in nutrients, placing a huge emphasis on fresh organic vegetables. Instead of filling up on processed carbs such as bread and pasta, Paleo followers get their daily dose of goodness through organic lean meat, veggies, fruit and berries, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, all of which are full of vitamins and minerals.
Most people experience weight loss and muscle growth while eating a paleo diet and keeping an active lifestyle. Improved metabolic processes and gut health, better sleep, stress management, sufficient Vitamin D and a healthy ratio of Omega – 3/6 fatty acids all in aid in burning off stored body fat.
The Paleo diet provides a lot of fiber, which together with adequate water intake and a smaller intake of sodium help to decrease the bloat many people experience from a western diet. Plus, the Paleo diet helps to improve gut flora which is essential in keeping a healthy digestion.
“Hangry” is a combination of hungry + angry, which is a common symptom for many people suffering from acute, or chronic hyperglycemia. This also happens when the blood sugar drops and the person gets a rapid onset of hunger accompanied by irritability, fatigue, disorientation, and a foggy mind. Meals consisting of protein and fat a very satiating. The energy your body gets from fat, protein and some glucose from low GI carbs is released slowly and evenly throughout the day. As a result, the blood sugar levels stay stable and you rarely experience energy drops; hunger develops gradually without mood swings.
Paleo consists of healthy fats from grass fed meat, poultry, seafood, coconut, olive oil, nuts and seeds. There are no trans fats. A healthy ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids is also promoted. The right types of fat are essential in maintaining healthy arteries, brain function, healthy skin, as well as decreasing systemic inflammation.
List of health benefits include:
- Increased and more stable energy levels
- Improved sleep
- Clearer skin and healthier looking hair
- Mental clarity
- Improved mood and attidude
- Improvements in those suffering depression or anxieties
- Less or no bloating, decreased gas
- Sustained weight loss
- Muscle growth; increased fitness
- Lowered risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer
- Higher immune function and general feeling of well-being
- Improved glucose tolerance; decreased insulin secretion and increased insulin sensitivity
- Improved lipid profiles
- Healthier gut flora
- Better absorption of nutrients from food
- Reduced allergies
- The Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, and most people experience reduction of pain associated with inflammation
- Improvements in those with respiratory problems such as asthma
Negative Effects & Disadvantages of the Paleo Diet
- It can get expensive
- You don’t eat any grains or dairy which can be good for health energy
- This diet can be difficult for vegetarians, especially since it excludes beans.
- Most athletes need between 3 to 6 grams of carbs per pound of their body weight, per day. This would be very hard to do with just fruits and vegetables.
The Paleo diet definitely offers some good health benefits and will help you with weight loss, maintaining your weight, and aid in general health and well-being. It may also have other beneficial health benefits. However, there are no long-term clinical studies about the benefits and potential risks of the diet.
You might be able to achieve the same health benefits by getting enough exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. I do recommend the Paleo diet because of all the health benefits associated with the Paleo diet and to me is a safe diet trend to try, and to continue with in your diet for life. Please feel free to chime in with a comment. If you have tried, or are on a healthy Paleo diet plan please let me know your experiences with the Paleo diet. Thank you 🙂
Shawn Founder of Weight Loss Pro