Off late we have been hearing so much about the paleo diet and all its benefits and how easy it is to follow. So read ahead and find out all about it and see how you can make the most of it
What is a Paleo Diet
A Paleo diet is all about eating just like how our ancestors did. Paleo fans aim to eat as naturally as possible, opting for grass-fed meats, fish, an abundance of fruit and vegetables and other whole foods like nuts and seeds. There are different versions of the diet and these vary in their restrictiveness, some of which allow foods which were not available in those early centuries like low-fat dairy products and root vegetables like potatoes, while others shun even fruit or veg that is considered to contain too much fructose. All versions of the diet encourage lean proteins, fish, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats from whole foods such as nuts, seeds and olive oil and grass-fed meat.
The diet’s reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices. 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 outpaced the body’s ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.
What to eat
- Nuts and seeds
- Lean meats, especially grass-fed animals or wild game
- Fish, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna
- Oils from fruits and nuts, such as olive oil or walnut oil
What to avoid
- Grains, such as wheat, oats, and barley
- Legumes, such as beans, lentils, peanuts and peas
- Dairy products
- Refined sugar
- Highly processed foods in general
Health Benefits of Paleo Diet:
The Paleo diet emphasizes clean eating, removing processed, unnatural foods and replacing them with whole ones. You won’t have to compromise flavor for health – in fact, the more whole, nourishing foods you eat, the less you’ll crave the bad stuff. This is not to say you can’t indulge, you’ll just do so with better-for-you options, like natural sweeteners low on the glycemic index, or higher-quality dark chocolate.
The core aspect of a paleo diet is eating unprocessed food. This typically means that a paleo diet tends to be low in carbohydrate as it excludes foods such as grains which require processing. Together with removing processed foods and avoiding high-carb foods that adversely impact your blood sugar levels, the paleo diet can help reduce body fat and consequently lead to weight loss.
Increased insulin sensitivity
Because most paleo foods are relatively low-carb, there is often lower demand on the pancreas to produce insulin. Paleo diet can thus decrease insulin secretion and therefore improve the effectiveness of insulin. This reduces insulin resistance, the driving force of type 2 diabetes, and may allow some people to reduce the amount of medication needed.
Improved heart health
Research has shown that Paleo diet has benefits for health of the heart. This is particularly beneficial for people with diabetes, as heart disease is one of the most common diabetes-related complications. Paleo diet leads to lowered total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and increased HDL compared to a standard diet. These are vital to improve your hearth health.
Eating foods low on the Glycemic Index (GI) as part of a paleo diet means you will avoid the drop in energy that normally occurs shortly after high GI and sugary foods
Too much inflammation in the body can increase the risk of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, but eating low-carb, low GI foods – particularly omega-3 fatty acids – can protect against excess inflammation.
You don’t have to worry about feeling deprived on the Paleo diet. You’ll eat more protein and healthy fats compared to the typical Western diet, leaving you satisfied for longer. No more blood sugar spikes that wind up making you hangry later!