Another day another fad diet that’s long on promises and short on results. Each one claims to be THE “revolution in eating” that will help us finally lose weight and get healthy. With so many to wade through it’s really no wonder everyone is confused and has a hard time separating fad from fact.
But one of these so-called “trends” that seems to have some serious staying power is the Paleo diet. In fact it’s been gaining momentum instead of fizzling out like most fads.
And there’s a very good reason for that. Well actually, TWO of them:
(1) it works
(2) it’s no fad
The reason that Paleo can seem like a fad to some is that it’s essentially the opposite of all of the diet myths that they’ve been hammering into our heads for decades now. We’ve been taught to fear cholesterol, run from fats and avoid eating “too much” protein. So a diet that actually praises healthy fats and embraces grass-fed and wild meats can certainly seem like some sort of passing fancy.
But it’s not. It’s a very old way of eating that dates back thousands of years. Paleo is actually a return to the way our ancestors naturally ate long ago. (That’s where the phrase “caveman diet” comes from.)
And “Going Paleo” means that besides those lean meats and healthy fats, you’re also getting plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding grains and dairy—just as our ancestors naturally did.
The results of switching to this way of eating are nothing short of extraordinary.
“Going Paleo” is good for your health
Following a Paleo diet will help you shed weight. In fact, Paleo beats most other diets hands down when it comes to moving that number on the scale.
But Paleo can do so much more than just help you slim down. The Paleo diet is also heart friendly, helping to improve heart disease.
Eating this way has also been shown to help reverse metabolic syndrome as well as full blown diabetes. And a Paleo style diet has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is at the heart of every major and chronic disease you can name.
Let’s take a closer look at what the diet can do for your heart.
Help your heart by eating MORE protein and fat
Far too many doctors and nutritionists preach severely limiting meat in your diet—or even giving it up entirely. They insist that skipping out on the animal proteins so you can avoid so-called “killer” cholesterol and “sickening” saturated fats is the key to a healthy heart. And while they mean well, their misguided mistake is harming the health of countless people under their care
The problem is the typical Western diet is already loaded in carbohydrates, which sends inflammation levels soaring and our risk for heart disease climbing.1
When you eliminate meat your diet becomes even more unbalanced. But even worse, the hole created by cutting the meat is typically filled with… yes, you guessed it, even MORE carbohydrates.
Tragically when you increase carbs in an already overweight group of people you send their plasma saturated fat levels through the roof, and their risks for heart disease and stroke shoot up right along with them.2
In other words, insisting people give up meat sets off a deadly domino effect.
And those saturated fats that people have been told to avoid in their diet? Studies prove that they don’t actually raise your plasma saturated fat levels.
But the Paleo diet isn’t just harmless to your heart, it offers cardiovascular benefits too. Which brings us to metabolic syndrome.
Paleo proven to help reverse metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome isn’t a single disease, but rather a group of different warning signs that raise your risk for stroke, diabetes and heart disease. Those warning signs include:
- elevated blood sugar
- raised cholesterol levels
- high blood pressure
- extra fat in your belly area
And this is where the Paleo diet truly beings to shine. Eating a Paleo style diet can help reverse the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, and in some cases it can do that incredibly fast.
For example in a study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease the Paleo diet managed to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, raise good HDL, and drop systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels, significantly better than a control diet. 3 Those dramatic results were seen within just two short weeks.
And the benefits keep coming, this time in the form of better blood sugar control.
Better blood sugar with the low carb Paleo approach
In just two weeks the Paleo diet leaves the standard American Diabetes Association (ADA) Diet in the dust, according to a study out of the University of California San Francisco.
In the study participants on the Paleo diet were given the lean meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts that we’d expect on the typical hunter-gatherer diet (in other words no grains, cereal, dairy and legumes). The second group was put on the diet recommend by the ADA which including whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy.
The lucky folks on the Paleo diet did better than the other group on virtually every scale,4 with significantly better improvements in…
- blood sugar
- insulin sensitivity
- and lipid profiles
Ditch the spare tire with low-carb Paleo
The key, of course, is the reduction in carbs that you naturally get with the Paleo diet. And as anyone who has tried low carb eating—whether they were strictly following a Paleo approach or not—can tell you, cutting carbs leads to weight loss.
For example when Brazilian researchers performed a meta-analysis comparing low-carbohydrate diets to low fat ones the low carb dieters lost significantly more weight than the low fat dieters. They also saw improvements in their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.5
It’s clear the Paleo diet isn’t the diet of the month, it’s a lifestyle that will leave you healthier and more vibrant than you’ve ever been before. Why not make the switch to Paleo today?
1. Buyken AE et al. Carbohydrate nutrition and inflammatory disease mortality in older adults. Am J Clin Nutr.2010;92(3):634-43.
2. Brittanie M. Volk1, Laura J. et al. . Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome. Plos One November 21, 2014.
3. Boers I, Muskiet F et al. Favourable effects of consuming a Palaeolithic-type diet on characteristics of the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled pilot-study. Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Oct 11;13:160. doi: 10.1186/1476-511X-13-160.
4. Masharani U, Sherchan P et al. Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 2015 Apr 1. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.39.
5. Bueno N, de Melo I, et al. Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Nutr. 2013 Oct;110(7):1178-87. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000548
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