What is Paleo Diet?

January 18, 2018

Paleo diet, also known as caveman diet, stone age diet and primal diet is gaining immense popularity nowadays. It is said to be one of the oldest diets and is also very effective in providing results. The food that we eat does not only affect our looks, but our health as well. In fact, wrong diet is the second most common reason for deaths around the globe. It is a form of diet that includes no grains and dairy. According to the supporters of paleo diet, grains are the main cause of weight gain.Grains are composed of carbs that turn into sugar once they reach our body. This sugar is either used by the body or stored as fat, making us fat.

In addition to this, grains also contain gluten, and with a lot of us being gluten intolerant, it is important to reduce consumption of foods that contain gluten. Regular consumption of gluten can cause problems such as joint pain, acid reflux and dermatitis.

Moreover, grains are hard to digest as they also contain lectins that affect our body and makes us unhealthy and fat.

All in all, paleo diet includes no grains, sugar, and processed foods.

But Then What Do We Eat? What do you eat if it bans grains? Firstly, you will not be malnourished. We tend to eat more carbs than what our body needs, hence there is a need to control our carbs intake. Less carbs means less glucose, which means less fat. As a result, you will soon begin to have a healthy and fit body.

Not All Carbs Are Bad: Remember that not all carbs are bad, and paleo diet does not mean 0% carbs. You will still get some from vegetables and other foods. Paleo diet is not a no-carb diet, it is different and more effective.

You Forgot to Mention Dairy: No, we did not. When we look at it, humans are the only animals that consume milk beyond infancy. No other mammals do it even, and there must be a reason for that. While paleo diet suggests to stop the consumption of dairy, but that does not work for everyone. We recommend that you begin by reducing the consumption of dairy products to see how your body reacts. In most cases, a reduction help, but our bodies differ, so find out what works for you and then act accordingly.

Paleo Diet Today

As per recent diet ranking survey, paleo diet ranks #32 among the list of the best overall diets. The figure may not be very impressive when you look at it, but that’s largely because not many people are aware of paleo diet, but more and more people are now turning to it.

Now, the main question:

Everything Is Banned – What Do I Eat?

You can still enjoy some delicious meals. This article also includes recipes, but before that let’s have a look at what’s included:

  • Meat – Consume grass-fed meat.
  • Fowl – All animals that got wings and that try to take off, such as ducks, turkeys, hens and chickens. You won’t have to miss Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Eggs – Try to get your hands on eggs that are rich in omega-3.
  • Vegetables – Avoid deep-fried veggies.
  • Oils – Use natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil
  • Nuts – Do not consume a lot of nuts, and use them only as snacks.
  • Tubers – Yams and sweet potatoes are good, especially after a workout.
  • Fish – Avoid farm fish as they may contain mercury.

What Science Has To Say About Paleo Diet?

Science does not really love paleo diet. This is mainly because dairy and grains are excluded from paleo diet. While some nutritionist like this exclusive, many think that dairy and grains are important for growth, and hence are not in favor of paleo diet.

Study#1

A research conduction between the 32nd ranked paleo diet and the 1st ranked mediterranean diet had interesting results. This research was published in Diabetologia, 2007. Let’s get to know what it revealed. In this research, a group of 29 men who suffered from heart diseases were examined for a time duration of 12 weeks. They had type 2 diabetes and spiked levels of sugar. These were divided into two groups. One group followed a paleo diet while the other, mediterranean diet.

  • The Main Areas Of Focus In This Research: Level of glucose tolerance, weight, insulin levels and weight circumference were examined thoroughly.
  • Glucose Tolerance: This trait shows how quickly glucose is cleared from a person’s blood. Typically, a person with good glucose tolerance will have reduced chances of catching diabetes. Now, comparing both the diets, paleo diet showed signs of improvement in the glucose tolerance levels while mediterranean didn’t.
  • Weight loss: While both of the diet plans helped participants lose weight, paleo diet reigned supreme here as well. People on paleo diet lost 5 kgs of weight and had a 5.6cm reduction around the waist area (circumference). On the other hand, those on mediterranean diet managed to shed 3.8 kgs of weight with only 2.9cm of waist reduction.
  • Conclusion: The outcome went in the paleo diet’s favor as it showed greater improvements in form of glucose tolerance and weight loss.

Study#2

Another research was conducted among 10 women who were sound and healthy with a BMI of over 27. They were instructed to consume paleo diet for at least 5 weeks. This research  was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2013.

  • The Main Areas Of Focus In This Research: Insulin sensitivity, muscle and liver fat.
  • Muscle And Liver Fat: The fat found around the liver and muscles can lead to metabolic issues. After a period of eating paleo diet for 5 weeks, these women showed a reduction of 49% in liver fat, but muscle fat remained constant.
  • Insulin And Other Outcomes: Insulin levels showed a decline of 19%. Cholesterol was also reduced (33 mg/dL). Triglycerides went down by 35 mg/dL (0.39 mmol/L). LDL cholesterol reduced by 25 mg/dL. HDL cholesterol went down by 7 mg/dL, and 14.3% decline in ApoB was also observed.
  • Conclusion: This study too revealed that paleo diet is an effective diet to stay fit and in shape as it helps reduce liver fat and also helps in losing weight.

Paleo Diet Recipes To Know About

These recipes are not only mouth-watering but will serve great health benefits.

Cabbage Rolls: An easy to make dish that is also delicious.

Ingredients Needed: The ingredients needed to make cabbage rolls are:

  • ground pork (0.45 kg.)
  • ground beef (0.45 kg.)
  • Pan fried and chopped onion (237 ml onion)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • smoked paprika (5ml)
  • mixed and dried herbs (10 ml – parsley or oregano etc)
  • Salt 2 tablespoon
  • 5 ml. pepper
  • 10 large blanched cabbage leaves.
  • Tomato sauce

How To Prepare: First, preheat the oven to 400 F. Add onion in a container (saucepan), add oil and cook until it gets soft and sauce like.

  1. Add salt and tomato sauce.
  2. Reduce the heating temperature and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix it nicely.
  4. Take cabbage leaves and start adding the meat mixture to it and roll it up. You can use a toothpick for better support.
  5. Keep the rolls in the oven and let it bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Your cabbage rolls are read to be served.

Umami Gravy: This one takes a little longer to prepare, but is worth the effort.

Ingredients Needed:  

  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cups of organic bone broth chicken stock
  • ½ tb.sp of fish sauce
  • ½ pound sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ½ ounce of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

How To Prepare: Take dried mushrooms and rinse them thoroughly in cold water. Make sure the mushrooms are fully covered in water. Leave them for half an hour.

  1. Melt the ghee in a container (saucepan) and give medium heat. Add salt and onions once the ghee is hot. Stirr the onions for a few minutes until they turn brown.
  2. Pour tomato sauce and fish sauce in the saucepan, stir nicely.
  3. Take the saucepan with mushrooms in it, and let the mushrooms boil until they leave water. Also, wait for the water to evaporate. This may take 10-15 minutes.
  4. Take the mushrooms out and chop them up.
  5. In the other saucepan with onions, add garlic and the chopped mushrooms. Mix a little and then add thyme sprigs, broth to the mixture.. Next, increase the heat.
  6. After a few minutes, decrease the heat and let it cook for 30 minutes until the mixture is reduced to half.
  7. Turn the heat off.
  8. Take out thyme twigs, and your umami gravy is ready to be served.

How Long Will It Take For Results to Show?

Remember that paleo diet is not a crash diet. You will not see results right away. Typically, it takes about four weeks for results to show, but this depends a lot on factors such as your overall health and lifestyle. Moreover, remember that when you embrace paleo diet, you should do it for a lifetime and not for temporary results.

The benefits discussed in the science section above can be enjoyed if you truly turn to paleo diet. Temporary changes in diet may not provide you with similar results.

The Verdict

Know more about paleo diet and embrace it to live a fit and healthy life. This diet actually works and offers countless benefits in addition to weight loss.

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