Paleo Diet

Proponents of the Paleo Diet claim it is a healthy approach that ‘works with our genetics to help us stay lean, strong and energetic.’  

The diet is founded on the principles of the cavemen; our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors.  The diet is based on food that the earliest humans ate, such as meat and fish, seeds and nuts, and fruits and vegetables, rather than the foods later produced by farmers, such as grains, and dairy products.        

Eating a diet rich in lean protein, fruits, vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats - can reduce  the risk of diabetes and certain cancers, plus other chronic diseases including heart disease and autoimmune diseases.  

Following this concept will ensure the absence of processed foods, and will eliminate other poor food choices – measures that alone, can help us lose weight!      


About
The Paleo Diet
 

The Paleo DietThe Paleo Diet

According to Mayo Clinic,  “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, 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.” 

Foods you can Eat:

  • Lean proteins, including seafood, – a higher protein intake than the typical Western diet (will also keep you satisfied between meals)
  • Fruits and vegetables – rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber - all help support a healthy immune system 
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy Fats  - including  avocados, fish oil, olive and coconut oils

 Food to Avoid:

  • Legumes, grains, processed foods, starches, alcohol, and dairy products

WebMD discusses the Paleo Diet and its caveman-approach theory, and lists additional pros and cons of the concept.   

You can read more at WebMD at: http://www.webmd.com/diet.


Evidence

After searching for published studies involving the Paleo Diet, I abandoned my search.  But instead, I found a great review and discussion on Mayo Clinic’s website. 

According to the experts at Mayo Clinic, there is little clinical research available.  Long term studies are needed which discuss the advantages and potential health risks.  

You can read more about the diet and the Mayo Clinic review at:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182?pg=2


Conclusion

Cons                 

  • Cost – expensive (grass fed meats, salmon, etc.)   
  • Not possible for vegetarian diet (must eat protein in form of meat; no legumes or dairy)
  • No Dairy products – eliminates a good source of calcium
  • No legumes – legumes are a good source of vegetarian protein and fiber 

Pros

  • Health benefits, reduces disease risks 
  • Weight loss (though not specific)
  • No calorie counting  

How much weight can you lose and how fast? 

In the materials I reviewed, weight loss was always mentioned, but no specific claims were made in terms of how much or how fast weight could be shed.  

However, sticking to a healthy diet that’s rich in vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and fish, is likely to help you shed pounds at a sensible rate – while also helping you feel satisfied between meals.  

Has the Paleo Diet worked for you?  Tell us about it in the space below.  Or share your story!

The Solution to Permanent Weight Loss

(the inspiration for this website)

by Robin D. George


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