Paleo diet, which has been dubbed the Stone Age diet among other names, is presently enjoying great popularity. "What would a caveman eat?" is the one simple question it goes by. There are things that a modern person needs to know before deciding whether or not to go for paleo diet.
This diet runs on fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, and seafood. These are the same foods that our ancestors are said to have eaten. According to the experts, paleo diet reduces glycemic in the body. It contains the right ration of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids; enhances vitamin and nutrient consumption and a well-balance diet including carbohydrates, protein and fat.
What do experts say concerning Paleo diet benefits?
The health benefits of paleo diet are not proven. Several small studies have attempted to determine whether or not a paleo diet is a healthier diet, with one small study revealing that the diet improved blood sugar over a period of 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean diet. This was published in the Diabetologia journal. However, it is difficult to say if researchers could have the same results in a larger study.
What the menu consists of
It involves eating foods straight from the Earth, just the same way our ancestors did. Our ancestors had no livestock or crops that they could call their own. The experts recommend grass-fed and organic varieties whenever possible so as to limit exposure to pesticides, antibiotics and additional chemicals that were not in existence back then. Research suggests that Paleolithic obtained roughly 35% of their calories from carbohydrates, 35% from fats, and 30% from protein.
Paleo comes with a lot of support
Among Paleo diet's biggest achievement is more to do with the support that paleo eaters offer to each other than its nutritional benefits. There are many people who are living the Stone Age lifestyle in modern times who flood online community forums, Facebook pages and are in Meet-up groups. It is not possible to find that with various other diets.
Going paleo means giving up modern foods
On paleo diet, anything coming in a jar, box, or bag is supposed to be avoided just like anything that was not eaten then during those days. This includes grains, dairy products, added salt or legumes such as beans, peanuts, soybeans and lentils. The diet generally outlaws potatoes. However, some authorities on the diet claim that eating them sparingly is not bad as long as they are earned through exercise. Generally, alcohol and honey are also not considered as paleo diet good fits. However, red wine red wine is considered as the closest paleo drink option and honey is more preferable to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Cut down on processed foods to improve your health
Although the diet in its entirety has not been studied in depth, there could be many benefits associated with cutting packaged foods from your diet. Three fourths of the average American's sodium intake (nearly twice what it should be) comes from commercially prepared foods. This is according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Also, according to a study by Public Health Nutrition, people who cook at least five times in a week are 47% more likely to be alive after a period of 10 years as compared to those who depend more on processed foods.
It's impossible to completely mimic our ancestors
Our ancestors used to hunt game such as antelopes and buffalos and possible other animals that we have not heard about since they became extinct long time ago. The meat from these animals was generally somewhat lean and provided healthier omega-3 fat as compared to the animals we have today, including the ones that are fed on grass. Even most plants that flourished during those days have ceased to exist - making it difficult to accurately follow their meal plan. This is according to Dr. Katz.
You can eat too much protein
Scientists estimate that our ancestors consumed a 1:1 ratio of calories from meats in order to produce. Paleo diet must preferably consist mostly of fruits and vegetables to produce equivalent amount of calories in a steak and so you need to consume large amounts of salad. But many people do not realize it and they eat meat in excess.
According to Dr. Ochner, consuming excess protein and insufficient carbs can damage the kidney and increase your risk of osteoporosis. Besides, since most of the present meats have a higher content of saturated fat than those of the past, it can increase the risk of heart disease. This is according to Dr. Katz.
Many of paleo's banned foods are healthy foods
According to Dr. Ochner, each fad diet always thinks that it has found out the root of all evil. However, nutrients in diary, legumes, and whole grains all of which the diet forbids, can be helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and promote a healthy weight. For women who are looking to avoid osteoporosis, cutting dairy which is the main source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets is very worrying.
The Paleo diet is difficult
When it comes to Paleo eating, a lot of planning, preparation time and mental resolve are required. For example, eating out on the diet is difficult and not as simple as ordering chicken and a salad. One of the things to consider is the oil in which the chicken was cooked and if any of the salad toppings came processed, canned, or packaged.
Although weight loss is not the only purpose of eating Paleo, going on and off the diet can result into big weight fluctuations. Any swing diet starts in weight loss from muscle and fat and normally ends with weight gain of all fat. This contributes to a slowdown in metabolism and increased insulin resistance.
Kelly Everson is an American author and MA in English literature. She is a health article writer who has written numerous articles/online journals on stretch marks, pregnancy, sleep disorders and joint pain problems. She is also passionate about health, beauty and fitness. She is contributing to Consumer Health Digest from 2011.