Eight Exceptional Paleo Benefits
The Paleo Diet is also known as The Caveman Diet, The Stone Age Diet and the New Evolutionary Diet. It is a modern day attempt to emulate the eating habits of Paleolithic humans. The Paleolithic period lasted from some 2.5 million years ago until the start of the agricultural age, which began around 8,000 CE. During that period of time people ate what they were able to hunt, kill and gather. That means that their diet was high in . . .
- Wild game
- Nuts and seeds
- Green leafy vegetables
- Root vegetables
The Paleo Diet, then, is composed of a simple maxim:
Eat what our cave dwelling ancestors ate and stay away from what he didn’t eat.
That means avoiding as many processed foods as possible. Agriculturally based products should also be kept to a minimum. Cavemen didn’t spend all day preparing foods in the kitchen and neither should you.
|Because finally, after thousands of years of disruption, corruption and contamination, it allows us to eat the way that our bodies were designed.
For some two million years, the human diet mainly consisted of the following. . .
- Nuts and Seeds
- Starchy Plants
Throughout those thousands of generations, humans were far more physically active than they are now. So, it’s probably no surprise to learn that every ancient hunter gatherer people that have been studied come out immeasurably superior to modern human beings in terms of fitness, body mass index, insulin sensitivity, oxygen consumption and even vision and bone density. They were also free of chronic inflammatory disease.
Today, mankind is a pitiful shadow of our healthy, strong vibrant ancestors. We are, as a society, sick, fat and unhealthy.
So, what happened?
The answer can be summed up in a single word . . .
The modern diet and lifestyle are at odds with our genetic makeup and our biology. Today, the average person gets over 50% of their calories from flour, sugar and industrially processed seed oils. We are sedentary for 90 per cent of our day. And yet we are sleep deprived. And, we are chronically stressed.
It only makes sense that the way to restore our vigor, energy and vibrant health is to go back to a way of living that more closely matches they way our bodies are made.
That is what the Paleo diet is designed to do.
It emphasizes the nutrient dense food that the human body thrives on, while getting rid of the processed sugar and carb laden non-foods that form the basis of the modern Western diet.
Paleo makes sense and it works..
Quick note: Before we go on, if you’re interested in getting started with paleo, there’s a great breakdown of the current top paleo meal delivery services over at GarageGymbuilder.com, which is necessary reading before signing up for anything.
Eight Exceptional Paleo Benefits
No More Sugar Crashes – On most diets, weaning yourself off sugar is the first and biggest challenge. And, no matter how hard they try, most people never break away from their sugar dependency. This often leads to sugar crashes when their intake drops below normal levels. With Paleo, though, sugar is almost removed completely. The end result is that Paleo dieters are far less sugar dependent.
Increased Energy Levels – When you begin on Paleo, you my struggle at first with the reduced carbohydrate intake. But, after the initial stage when you have a to the Paleo way of eating, your energy levels will remain constant throughout the day. Paleo eaters are far more likely to develop a healthy relationship with food and a more vibrant quality of life.
Muscular Mass Gains –
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a diet built around high protein food sources like meat and fish will result in net muscle gains when undertaken in conjunction with a quality weightlifting routine. Protein allows muscle to rebuild and repair itself after it has been broken down as a result of resistance training. In addition, a body that is free from the toxic wastes that are part and parcel of processed foods is bound to result in a more anabolic, muscle stimulating internal environment.
Improved Gastro Intestinal Health & Improved Bowel Movement – Some people are under the misconception that Paleo is all protein and fat at the expense of fiber. The truth of the matter is that fibrous vegetables are very important to the Paleo diet. Such selections as kale, spinach and cauliflower will keep your digestive system constantly cleansed. The fiber will also fill you up and leave you satisfied for longer.
The Paleo diet has also been shown to prevent the insulin resistance that leads to diabetes, as well as improving glucose metabolism. In a 2007 study, it was seen that a Paleo diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.
Lose weight without cutting calories – the reduction in processed carbs will allow you to drop the fat while still eating to your heart’s desire.
In a study that was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014, 70 obese women were assigned to either a Paleo or a Nordic Nutrition Diet. The Paleo diet was seen to have greater benefits in terms of fat loss, lowering abdominal obesity and triglyceride levels.
One of the reasons that the Paleo diet is so effective at fat loss is that it has a satiating effect on the appetite. A 2010 study that was published in Nutrition and Metabolism showed that the Paleo diet was more effective than the the Mediterranean diet in satiating hunger. There was also a marked improvement in glucose tolerance and lower dietary energy intake in the Paleo group compared to the Mediterranean diet group.
Paleo weight loss is built on the concept that, while important, calorie consumption is not the over-riding factor in fat loss. Rather it is the balancing of hormones such as cortisol and insulin. A Paleo diet helps to regulate foods that cause hormone regulation issues. It also reduces food based inflammation.
Still, Paleo is less about weight loss than body composition. If you are exercising intensely (which is recommended) you may actually find your weight going up, even as your belt tightens. This is due to an increase in muscle mass while you are losing fat.
Keep in mind that muscle weighs 5 times as much as fat does.
Those with the most weight to lose, will do so most quickly. Weight losses of up to 50 pounds in a 6-8 month period are quite common among people with 100 or more pounds to lose. Those who have less than 20 pounds to lose can expect to lose about one pound of fat per week (whether it shows on the scale is another matter).
Reduced Inflammation – The abundance of healthy fats and nutrient dense foods such as those found in nuts, oils and vegetables, along wild grass fed beef, free range eggs and wild salmon result in a higher intake of anti-inflammatory micronutrients. It also leads to a balance between the levels Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, which lessens the body’s inflammatory response.
People who follow the Paleo diet will, as a result of these benefits just mentioned, of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A 2016 study by the University of Houston Laboratory of Integrative Physiology had eight women switch from a standard western diet toa a Paleo diet for eight weeks. All eight of these people experienced in excess of a 35 per cent increase in levels of interlukin-10 (IL-10). IL-10 is a molecule that fights inflammation while also protecting blood vessels.
Eliminates bloating and other digestive problems – Cutting sugar, processed foods and other rubbish from your diet will do your stomach a whole world of good. Many of the foods that cause bloating are off limits on the Paleo diet. These include dairy products, grains and legumes. Getting rid of the toxic rubbish that is in all those processed foods that you’ll also be avoiding will also greatly contribute to a happier digestive system.
Paleo encourages the consumption of foods that the human body has spent thousands of years adapting to absorbing. It’s bound to do so more efficiently than any chemically produced, processed non-food.
Enhanced mental alertness – Eating more wild fish (especially salmon) will give you more Omega -3 fatty acids, which will make your brain work better. Omega 3’s play a key role in the transmission of serotonin and dopamine, as well as a whole host of neural health actions. There have been a number of studies have shown a connection between low intake of Omega 3 fatty acids and depression.
People who follow the Paleo diet will experience a better quality of sleep. This is due to a more balanced interplay between insulin, cortisol and growth hormone that comes from eating the Paleo way.
The Paleo diet will also eliminate the mood swings that come with fluctuating insulin levels. Natural, whole food eating produces its own internal high., which is one reason so many people swear by Paleo – it just makes them feel good! If your interest has been piqued after reading this article, I highly suggest making things easy for yourself and hopping on a weekly delivery service.
In a Nutshell: Why Go Paleo?
- Fat loss, without water loss, occurs slowly and steadily
- Cuts out the reliance on white refined carbs
- High in dietary fibre and root vegetables
- Lean proteins emphasized (promotes muscle gain)
- Cuts out empty calories
- Low in sugar
- High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids