What Is the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss?
Many food choices available to us today involve a lot of conveniences. But as we enjoy the ease they bring into our lives; we lose sight of how they affect our health.
Paleo diet is one way to address this. Let us discover what it is and what it offers.
What Is the Paleo Diet and Its Purpose?
The paleo diet aims to fill the gap between modern-day nutrition and the way people ate in the Paleolithic era. Back then, more than 10,000 years ago, there was no such thing as farming. And the bulk of people’s diets consisted of the foods that came from hunting and gathering.
The reasoning behind the paleo diet is known as the discordance hypothesis. It suggests that the appearance of agriculture made normal the foods that we are not genetically suited to digest well. And as the introduction of foods from farming unfolded, our bodies failed to catch up with the change.
As the discordance hypothesis further suggests, this gave rise to the many health conditions that are prevalent today. They include various cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. All brought about by the ongoing mismatch between what our bodies have evolved to eat and what we’re actually eating.
How does the paleo diet recommend us to fix this?
What Foods Are Okay on the Paleo Diet?
To get back in tune with how our ancestors used to eat, the paleo diet gives preference to:
- Nuts and seeds, including oils made from them.
- Lean meats from wild game or grass-fed animals.
- Wild-caught fish and seafood.
- Fruits, vegetables, and greens.
- Eggs from free-range poultry.
- Unprocessed salt, spices, and beneficial herbs.
As the paleo diet philosophy implies, as many of these foods as possible must come from organic sources. It’s not the end of the world, though, if you don’t have access to organic produce. Simply check that these foods come from the sources with the least amount of processing involved.
Now, what about the foods that the paleo diet bans?
What Foods Does the Paleo Diet Cut Out?
The paleo diet places a strict ban on the consumption of the following foods:
- Grains, especially gluten-containing wheat, rye, and barley.
- Pasta, bread, and other foods from processed grains.
- Lentils, beans, peanuts, and other legumes.
- Almost all dairy, except for high-fat dairy like butter (acceptable in some paleo diets).
- Low-grade vegetable oils like soybean oil, cottonseed oil, and others.
- Products with added sugar like ice cream, candies, and pastries.
- Margarine and everything else with trans fats, aka hydrogenated fats and oils.
- Anything with artificial sweeteners and other synthetic compounds.
As you can tell, anything that wasn’t readily available to cavemen is a no-no on the paleo diet.
At this point, we have a firm grasp of what the paleo diet is about.
But what exactly do you get out of following it?
Some Benefits of Sticking to the Paleo Diet
Once you switch to the paleo diet, you’ll be likely to enjoy:
- Improved digestive function: Excluding grains, legumes, and dairy-free your digestive tract from having to deal with the problem compound in these foods.
- Steadier energy: By stabilizing blood sugar levels, the paleo diet invites enhanced mental and physical performance as well as better overall moods.
- Better shape: The macronutrient ratio in a typical paleo diet is ideal for losing fat and gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass.
- Fewer health problems: Since the paleo diet prohibits heavily processed foods, it fends off many chronic diseases that an average diet fosters.
For the majority of people, these benefits alone are convincing enough to go paleo.
What about you, though?
Is Going on the Paleo Diet for You?
Going paleo is especially suitable for people with:
- Major food intolerances: Free of gluten from grains, lectins from legumes, and lactose from dairy, the paleo diet is hypoallergenic and anti-inflammatory.
- Insulin resistance issues: Low in high-glycemic carbs and dairy proteins – two main contributors to insulin resistance – the paleo diet normalizes insulin sensitivity.
- Excessive body weight: By returning insulin sensitivity back to normal, the paleo diet accelerates fat loss and promotes healthy body weight.
- Cardiovascular health problems: Because it cuts out so many processed foods, the paleo diet supports cardiovascular health in a profound way.
Do you find the benefits we’ve mentioned important?
Then chances are that the paleo diet is a fit for you.