The Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet, also known as caveman diet and Palaeolithic diet, is a diet plan based on food which ancient ancestors might have eaten like berries, meat and nuts. The idea of Paleo diet was framed in the year 1970, but only in year 2012, this diet plan became popular and was listed as one of the latest trends in diet. Several books have been released on this diet, thereby making this diet very popular.
You might think, what actually is a Paleo diet? Well, this is probably the only diet plan which allows you to eat in the healthiest way. This is because, it is the only nutritional approach that helps you stay lean as well as strong and energetic at the same time by working with your genetics. Researches in many different disciplines like biology, dermatology etc. indicate that it is a modern diet plan that comprises of refined foods, sugar and trans fat.
A healthy Paleo diet includes lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and healthy fat which comes from nuts, olives, avocados, fish oil, grass-fed meat and seeds. Lean proteins provides healthy bones, strong muscles and healthy immune function. Proteins also provide a sense of satisfaction between meals. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients which are found to decrease the chances of developing degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes etc. healthy fats such as monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats reduces the chances of obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Thus, the Paleo diet provides many other health benefits apart from weight loss.
While on a Paleo diet, dieters are allowed to consume seafood, lean meats, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, they are strictly prohibited from consuming dairy products, grains, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed food and sugar. The Paleo diet also encourages dieters to optimize their lifestyles by getting frequent exposure to sun, manage the stress in their lives and reduce it, adopt healthy sleeping habits and do healthy exercises frequently. Good health not only depends on healthy diet but also on stress management, sleep and exercise. So make sure you adopt all the factors in your life for good health.
Now, let’s talk about some of the benefits of the Paleo diet.
- First of all, it allows you to have a clean diet, that is, a diet without chemicals, preservatives or additives. Though this diet contains some natural packaged sauces and ingredients, but a large amount of colouring, sodium, artificial flavouring and other substances are still eliminated as this diet mostly consists of real, whole foods.
- With this diet plan, you can have the anti-inflammatory benefit from the plant nutrients present in fruits, nuts, oils, seeds and vegetables.
- This diet increases the red meat intake of the dieters, thus you will be consuming more iron which is very good for health.
- Since, Paleo diet includes intake of large amounts of fats and proteins, this will provide a feeling of fullness between your meals. Thus, you will not have the urge to eat again and again after you have your meal.
- Paleo diet is rich in healthy fats. You get saturated fat from seafood, poultry, coconuts and grass fed meat while unsaturated fats from olive oil, seeds and nuts. one should not always say no fats because healthy fats are necessary for your body. These fats are necessary for maintaining healthy skin, healthy arteries, healthy brain and decreasing systemic inflammation as well.
- This diet plan provides a healthy balance between saturated and unsaturated fats in your body which in turn enables your body cells to function correctly, that is, send messages in and out.
- Paleo diet actually provides sustained weight loss. Many people who have taken Paleo diet have experienced weight loss and muscle growth along with active life style.
- This diet plan emphasizes a lot on optimized life style. This is because stress management, better sleep, sufficient vitamin D, gut health and improved metabolic process help in getting rid of off stored body fat.
- The Paleo diet will provide all the essential minerals and vitamins to your body as it includes a lot of vegetables and fruits in its diet plan.
Like it is said nothing is perfect. So along with benefits, the Paleo diet has certain disadvantages too.
- The foods recommended in Paleo diet can be costly. Thus, this eating plan is very pricey and not meant for those who are having money issues.
- In this diet plan, you are not allowed to eat grains which are considered to be very good for health.
- Since, you are not allowed to consume any dairy products, it can adversely affect your bones. This is because, dairy products are must for your good bone health as they contain calcium.
- This diet plan can be actually very tough for people who are vegetarians as it excludes beans.
- This diet can also prove to be very difficult for athletes. This is because mostly athletes need 3 to 6 grams of carbohydrates per pound of their body weight each day and this requirement cannot be fulfilled with just fruits and vegetables.
- If you consume certain foods and nutrients and later if you are not able to find suitable replacements then this can create a nutritional imbalance in your body.
Paleo diet is difficult to adopt. Before you start Paleo eating, you need to do a lot of planning and a lot of preparation time. This is because you need be sure that the food items which you ordered or planning to prepare will not contain processed food or any other items that are banned in Paleo diet.
Before taking up Paleo diet, you must know that this diet plan is not temporary like most of the other existing diet plans. This diet plan is meant to be made a lifestyle. You can not stop following this plan once you reach your goal. You will have to stick to this plan lifelong. If you go on and off on this plan, you will put on weight very rapidly.