When health has become so important for all of us, then following various diets and workouts has become essential too. As a proper diet helps in maintaining weight, which is an important factor in keeping away disorders like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disorders, etc. As the healthcare industry is a massive one, every day we see a new list of superfoods or diets popping up on our screens on various social media platforms. But out of so many options like the keto diet, intermittent fasting, military diet, etc., one such very popular diet of recent times is the Paleo diet. So what is the paleo diet? How does it work? How to follow it?
The basic premise on which the paleo diet works is the idea that eating like our ancestors are associated with our genetics and promotes good health. Other names for the paleo diet include the Stone Age diet, the Caveman diet, and the Paleolithic diet. According to the paleo diet, the best food choices involve simple, unprocessed foods and what a hunter-gatherer would have eaten in prehistoric times or before the agricultural revolution occurred. For example, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, etc.
Walter L. Voegtlin first suggested the paleo way of eating in his book titled “The Stone Age Diet” in 1975, but at that time it didn’t become popular. But in 2002, the paleo diet became popular when researcher and exercise physiologist Loren Cordain wrote a book titled “The Paleo Diet.”
So, what is the paleo diet? What food items do we eat when we are following the paleo diet? Well, in layman’s terminology, you can say that you have to eat something which doesn’t need much processing (cooking, preservation), like fruits and vegetables, nuts, eggs, lean meat, seafood, etc., something which can be consumed directly from your surroundings. Food items that are not included in the paleo diet are grains & grain products (pasta, and cereals, as grains have a high glycemic index); legumes; milk; cheese; yogurt; and dairy products (have hormones from animals).
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
1. Keeps blood glucose levels stable
Consuming fewer sugars, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates is one of the keys to maintaining blood glucose levels in our bodies, especially in people who suffer from diabetes. In the paleo diet, all these types of food items are restricted. So, the paleo diet helps in maintaining blood glucose levels.
2. Helps in lowering blood pressure
The two factors which help in lowering blood pressure through a paleo diet are not consuming refined carbs and sugar. Because of this, bad cholesterol is not accumulated in arteries and thus maintains or lowers the increased blood pressure.
3. Weight control
The main aim of introducing the paleo diet is to lose weight via a more organic, natural, and easy-to-use method. This diet doesn’t need a calorie count, and you can easily consume a good amount of lean meat, nuts, fruits, and vegetables throughout the day. It also helps in restricting the amount of refined sugar as well as salt intake too. That way, weight loss is very easy and visible in people who follow the paleo diet.
4. Reduces cholesterol levels
One misconception about the paleo diet is that you can eat as much meat as you like. This is not true. The paleo diet only allows lean meat, not high-fat meat like bacon, bruschetta, etc. In fact, while following the paleo diet, most people eat leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, etc. So all these food items help in reducing cholesterol levels due to limited consumption of processed and refined foods, which is one of the major contributors to high cholesterol levels in our body.
5. Early satiety
This is one of the main reasons that the paleo diet is successful in reducing weight as well as reducing bad cholesterol in our bodies. Stateity means the feeling of fullness after consumption of food. With a high-fiber, high-protein, and good-fat diet, satiation is reached quicker and also stays for a longer period. As a result, it aids in weight loss without much effort.
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6. Increased immunity
Well, the diet that is procured from its native origin is the most natural and organic in nature. It has the maximum amount of nutrients as the food consumed is unprocessed. The nutrients include vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, etc., and all of these are mainly present in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood, etc. Also, following the paleo diet limits your intake of unhealthy junk food and drinks too. This also adds to our stronger immunity.
7. Beneficial for people who are gluten intolerant
Nowadays, many people are discovering that they are allergic to gluten. Gluten is a kind of protein which is present in grains, especially in wheat and wheat products like salmonella, refined flour, etc. Gluten is also present in oats, barley, and rye. Most people have gastro-intestinal issues when they consume gluten if they are allergic to it. But thankfully, the paleo diet restricts the consumption of grains in general. People with gluten allergies can enjoy this diet without any hesitation.
Well, any diet is not complete, they all have some shortcomings. Similarly, the paleo diet is not always successful in any cases. The aim of any diet is to introduce healthy eating habits which helps in maintaining our weight, immunity and overall mind-body wellness. So, next time if you want to try out the paleo diet then make sure you know what it includes or not?