he paleo diet has gained a strong popular following based on the need that people have to develop a nutritional pattern that fits their lifestyle, helps them lose weight and improve their overall health. According to proponents, the Paleo diet does all three of these. The diet advocates that the users eat their foods as close to the natural state as possible, while still including cooking the food. A common description for this diet is called a Hunter-Gatherer diet because people are eating grass fed meats, vegetables, fruits, plants, nuts and seeds.
Paleo foodies will steer clear of processed sugars, and processed foods like bread, artificial cheese, cold cuts, potato chips and sugary cereals. The most focused users will also prohibit dairy, grains and legumes from the diet. These types of foods have a low glycemic index and are gluten free. The low glycemic index will reduce the blood sugar spikes that you can experience from eating foods that quickly turn to glucose in the blood stream. These sugar spikes will increase the amount of insulin your body produces. Just 2 hours after eating a high carbohydrate meal you’ll experience a crash in your blood sugar and then fatigue.
The types of foods will also help you to lose weight more easily because you will reduce your sugar load, and subsequently your caloric intake. With this combination, you’ll experience a loss of weight that is unplanned. If you have more weight you’d like to take off, it will be time to start counting a few calories. But because the foods are very filling it will be easy to cut back and still stay full.
In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that eating a paleolithic type diet would also reduce blood pressure measurements. High blood pressure is a condition that affects all your small blood vessels and will damage them – including small vessels in the kidneys, heart and peripheral vascular disease. (1)
Other studies have shown that eating a paleo type diet will also experience lower subcutaneous fat, lower C-reactive protein levels, lower blood pressure and greater sensitivity to insulin. (2) Most people are happier with less subcutaneous fat and weight loss. C-reactive proteins are responsible for increasing your risk for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis and other inflammatory diseases. Doctors will test for C-reactive proteins to determine if their anti-inflammatory medicines are working.
Eating this diet will also help to reduce the toxic load in your body and many find that their response to allergens is reduced. Often times this is because of the reduced gluten load in the body which will increase the response to allergies.
(1) European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Metabolic and Physiologic Improvements from Consuming a Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherer Type Diet
(2) Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: The Beneficial Effects of a Paleolithic Diet on Type 2 diabetes and Other Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
(3) Facebook: Dr. Cordain’s Rebuttal to U.S. News and World Report top 20 Diets
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine: Pros and cons of the Paleo Diet
MedlinePlus: C-Reactive Protein
Mercola: Feast Like a Cavemand and Watch the Pounds Melt Away
Huffington Post: 6 Health Lessons From the Paleo Diet
CNN: Paleo Diet Ranks Last on “best diets” list
Scientific American: How to really Eat Like a Hunter-Gatherer