Due to the recent health revolution, many health fads and diets have been creeping up into the mainstream arena. You might be wondering what you should consider and what you should omit. One popular diet you might have heard about is the Paleo diet. This diet can be beneficial for a few reasons. The following guide will tell you all about it.
What is The Paleo Diet?
There are many reasons why people gravitate to this particular diet. For one, a growing movement is pushing people toward unprocessed foods. For example, the raw diet (that could be compared to paleo diet) encourages people to eat foods that are as close to nature as possible.
Still, the most popular reason people are interested in the paleo diet is weight loss. Search engine statistics show that the paleo diet usually accompanies weight management.
So what does the paleo diet include?
- A little more than half of the calories needed per day should derive from seafood and lean meats.
- A quarter of the calories needed per day should come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
It should be noted that the diet contains specific items to avoid. The following are some foods that those following the paleolithic diet stay away from:
- The diet cannot contain dairy of any kind.
- Grains should not be consumed while on this diet.
- Processed sugars should be avoided.
- Salt should be avoided.
- All processed foods need to be eliminated.
The reason people on this diet avoid these foods is because they became popular during the agricultural revolution. The foods that were introduced during the agricultural revolution were processed and drastically different from the foods human beings ate before this movement.
These foods do not agree with the digestive system, making them hard to digest. This is one reason why those who promote the diet say that it may help someone lose weight.
Benefits Associated With the Diet
Yes, this diet is usually associated with weight management, but why? Well, the diet jump-starts an ideal digestive cycle, which should drastically increase metabolism. This jump-start is linked, according to paleo diet believers, to the fact that it is a lot easier for the stomach to digest foods it was meant to digest.
Ensuring metabolism works optimally means that the body will have more nutrients and minerals, which should help in the following areas:
- Overall energy should be boosted.
- Proper intake of minerals and vitamins can decrease the risk of disease.
- Minerals and vitamins make the body more resistant to infections.
- Good energy distribution has been linked to improved sleeping patterns.
- Sound sleep is also associated with better memory retention and other positive cognitive functions.
Of course, these are just some of the most common benefits associated with this particular diet, though, there are others. For example, those who are attempting to gain muscle have benefited from this particular diet. The lean meats contain enough protein to help them build muscles. A growing number of body-builders are singing this diet’s praises.
It should also be noted that eliminating processed foods is a part of almost every diet. Processed sugars or carbohydrates are empty carbohydrates. They are broken down by the body quickly. This turns into glucose and spikes insulin levels. This happens often when consuming processed foods, which could lead to heart disease or circulatory issues, just to name a few problems.
After seeing what this diet might offer people, it makes sense that so many health enthusiasts have taken this diet to heart and really committed to it.
What are its Origins?
To get a better idea of where this diet originated from, all one has to do is look at the name of the diet, which is called many names like the following:
- Paleo diet
- Paleolithic diet
- Caveman diet
- Stone-age diet
The idea is to return to a diet that is closer to the diet that human beings were first exposed to. Most of the people who believe in this diet think the digestive system has remained essentially unchanged since the stone age era, making the paleo diet ideal.
The idea behind this diet appeared in a book written by Walter Voegtlin back in 1975. It should be noted that Voegtlin was a notable gastroenterologist, who was offering an alternative diet to people. The idea did not catch on, but it did get a few people interested. One of the most notable people who was attracted in the idea was Loren Cordain. This man published a book called The Paleo Diet in 2002. At this point, many bloggers and health enthusiasts decided to talk about the diet.
It is no secret that many people are beginning to trust third parties like bloggers more than ever. The fad caught on like wildfire and is now one of the most popular New Age diets out there. There are several cookbooks, recipes, blogs, and other venues where caveman dieters can get more information on how to make the switch from a traditional diet to this new one.
Is There Evidence Supporting This Regimen?
The question on everyone’s mind is whether this diet is based on truth. Well, this diet is controversial, to say the least. Of course, there are aspects of the diet that are not disputed. For example, giving up processed carbohydrates and other artificial foods is definitely accepted. The issue that some dietitians have is the lack of dairy and legumes. For one, some worry that those who practice the diet might become deficient in calcium at some point.
There is no denying the fact that there is some evidence that backs this diet, though, there is not much. One piece of evidence that many paleo-enthusiast sites talk about is the fact that the pre-historic men did not suffer from issues like heart disease.
Others sites delve into the fact that 40 percent of people cannot digest gluten properly. This issue makes it possible for certain substances from gluten foods to find their way into the blood system. A neurologist found that this reaction puts the person who consumes gluten at risk of developing problems like depression.
People out there who are interested in losing weight should know that small studies have shown that (provided one also exercises) weight loss is definitely a possibility. There is also some anecdotal evidence that points out that those who opt for this diet are more energetic and require less meals throughout the day.
There is no doubt that there is more to learn about this diet and others. The key is to be open to what the paleo diet can accomplish to see if this diet is worth trying. If you reap the benefits, then perhaps this diet is the right one for you.