Is The Paleo Diet For You?

Jan 22, 2014 10:07:38 AM

paleo diet

The Paleo Diet is based upon eating wholesome, contemporary foods from the food groups our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have thrived on during the Paleolithic era, the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. These foods include fresh meats (preferably grass-produced or free-ranging, if you can get it), fish, seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils. Dairy products, cereal grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods were not part of our ancestral menu.

Typical Paleo Menu

  • For breakfast, make an easy omelette. Sauté onion, peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli in olive oil; add omega-3-enriched or free-range eggs and diced turkey or chicken breast. 
  • Paleo lunches are easy. At the beginning of the week, make a huge salad with anything you like. A good starting point can be mixed greens, spinach, radishes, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, avocadoes, walnuts, almonds and sliced apples or pears. Store the salad in a large sealable container. Each morning prepare a single serving from the large batch and then mix in meat (ground beef, beef slices, chicken, turkey, ground bison, pork chunks, etc.) or seafood of choice (salmon, shrimp, tuna, or any fresh fish or seafood). Toss with olive oil and lemon juice. 
  • For dinner, try spaghetti squash as a substitute for any pasta recipe. Top with pesto, marinara and meatballs. 
  • Roasted beets and their greens make a great side dish for pork. Asparagus, broccoli, and spinach can be steamed quickly. Salmon, halibut, or other fresh fish fillets grill well with accompanying veggies, olive oil and garlic. 
  • Berries and other succulent fruits make a great dessert. Pre-cut carrot and celery sticks, sliced fruit, and pre-portioned raw nut/dried fruit mixes are easy snacks

Losing Weight on The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet presents itself as the unique diet to which our species is genetically adapted, since this program of eating was not designed by diet doctors, faddists, or nutritionists, but rather by Mother Nature’s wisdom, acting through evolution and natural selection. The Paleo Diet is based upon extensive scientific research examining the types and quantities of foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The foundation of The Paleo Diet is meat, seafood, and unlimited consumption of fresh fruits and veggies.

This diet claims to help you lose weight, as a high-protein, high-fruit and veggie diet with moderate to higher amounts of fat, but with increased quantities of healthful omega-3 and monounsaturated fats. Protein has two to three times the thermic effect of either fat or carbohydrates, meaning that it revs up your metabolism, speeding weight loss. Additionally, protein has a much greater satiety value than either fat or carbohydrates, so it puts the brakes on your appetite. Finally, numerous recent clinical trials have shown high-protein, low-glycemic load diets to be more effective than low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets in promoting weight loss and keeping it off.

Promoting Long Term Health

Rather than a fad diet, The Paleo Diet is presented as a long-term eating plan aimed at those who want to be healthy and avoid disease. Decades of research by Dr. Loren Cordain and his colleagues demonstrates that hunter-gatherers were typically free from the chronic illnesses and diseases that are epidemic in Western populations, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases and many more.

The carbohydrates (unlimited fruits and veggies) in The Paleo Diet are of a low-glycemic index, meaning that they cause slow and limited rises in your blood sugar and insulin levels. Excessive insulin and blood sugar levels are known to promote a cluster of diseases called the Metabolic Syndrome (obesity, hypertension, undesirable blood cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, Type 2 diabetes and gout). The high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fat content of The Paleo Diet will also help to prevent the Metabolic Syndrome.

Additionally, because of the unlimited amounts of fruits and veggies permitted on The Paleo Diet, your body will be slightly alkaline – meaning that diseases and disease symptoms of acid/base imbalance (osteoporosis, kidney stones, hypertension, stroke, asthma, insomnia, motion sickness, inner ear ringing, and exercise-induced asthma) will improve. The high soluble-fiber content of the Paleo Diet will improve most diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and the high omega-3 fat content will improve most inflammatory diseases.

paleo diet

Addressing Concerns

The diet also states that followers of The Paleo Diet will not be insufficient in nutrients as lean meats, fruits and vegetables provide more fiber, minerals and B-vitamins per calorie than whole grains. The diet also explains that while a diet without dairy would appear to be lacking in calcium, The Paleo Diet promotes good bone health and states that followers of the diet are not at risk of osteoporosis, due to the diet’s avoidance of foods which result in calcium excretion (hard cheeses, cereal grains, salted foods and legumes), therefore by replacing hard cheeses, cereal grains, and processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance, which brings us also back into calcium balance.

Limitations

Vegans and vegetarians are not able to follow a Paleo Diet as most vegans and vegetarians rely upon legumes (beans, soy, lentils, peas, etc.) and whole grains to meet the majority of their daily caloric intake, and these are prohibited by the diet. Furthermore, it is impossible to follow a Paleo Diet without animal food (meat, seafood and eggs).

The Verdict

Generally speaking, The Paleo Diet has a lot of restrictions, making for a very unsustainable lifestyle with food. Losing weight is enough of a challenge, and it is possible trying to switch your diet to something so limited could be detrimental to your success. The evidence shows that yes, for a diet of our original human ancestors, this may have been very acceptable, however in the 21st century it is simply unrealistic.

So, the big question is, is The Paleo Diet for you? Seemingly, this diet could work well for weight loss, although the large downside is, there are many food restrictions that most of us are not willing to sacrifice. If this diet does sound manageable to you, Phen Caps would complement it perfectly, as the high protein combined with Phen Caps would easily suppress hunger so you consume less calories. However, you can also easily eat a normal, balanced diet and with the help of Phen Caps, you can depend on your cravings and appetite being held at bay! What do you think about The Paleo Diet? Let us know by commenting below! 

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Posted in Food By

Laura

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