Among the long list of fad diets and trendy healthy detoxes, the paleo diet is perhaps the most natural way of dieting. The Paleo Diet is made up of the common eating habits that resemble the way hunter-gathers & farmers around thousands of years ago. The main goal of a paleo diet is to provide your body with healthy foods, consumed in their most natural form and enhance our nutrient intake by a diet that strips away the “bad stuff”.
The reason behind this diet is to get back to eating patterns that our bodies were designed to consume, without the modifications and additives that now plague our meals today. Also known as the “caveman diet” or the “hunter-gatherer diet”, the paleo diet is a great way to cleanse your body of the saturated fats, high levels of sodium, starchy carbs, artificial sweeteners, and other elements that reside in foods contributing to many of the world’s health problems.
WHAT TO EAT
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats
- Fish, especially those high in omega-3s
WHAT TO AVOID
- Refined sugar
- Grains (wheat, oats, barley)
- Legumes, beans, peanuts, peas, etc.
- Highly processed foods overall
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Lower Blood Glucose Levels – without refined sugar, managing your spikes in blood glucose levels is much easier. Paleo can also help with feelings of fatigue that often come with higher levels of blood glucose, leading to health complications such as diabetes.
No Need to Count Calories – Paleo gives you a restriction on the foods you eat, not the quantity, so there’s no need to measure portions, count carbs, or watchpoints. Sticking to the essential fruits, vegetables and lean meats has also been shown to make you feel full for longer, satisfying your appetite, without the large portion size.
Provides Detoxifying Effects – By cutting out foods that tend to bring your body down: trans fats, caffeine, MSG, gluten, and others, you can actually get a good detox from this diet. Vegetables, for example, are a great source of antioxidants, fiber and can provide your gut with the best nutrients it needs on a daily basis. Those who have gone Paleo have noticed a more regular digestive system, less bloating, and an overall boost of energy by sticking to the foods that feed your gut the right way.
Weight Management – If you would like to shed more pounds, lose some inches or just manage your current weight, Paleo is a great way to manage your weight or take some of it off. Paleo allows you to eat your choice of portion by just cutting out the excess foods that are only empty calories. Empty calories can be defined as any food or beverage that does not provide the necessary nutrients for your body to function properly. Those who have switched to a Paleo way of eating have been shown to have lost weight quickly and have been able to sustain a healthy weight through this diet.
Lower Cholesterol – Fried foods, red meat, trans fats, and full-fat dairy are examples of foods that can eventually lead to high cholesterol levels in your body. Paleo cuts it all out! With no unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates/sugars and all the lean protein, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory foods, your body will be thanking you for keeping that cholesterol at bay.
Sleep Better at Night – When your body wants to sleep, your brain releases serotonin that makes you feel tired and want to go to bed. Oftentimes, when you’ve had processed foods that contain chemicals in them, these additives can stop your body from wanting to sleep, keeping you up at night. Paleo goes back to the bare essentials of food, causing your body to rest naturally at the end of the day, leading to a more restful sleep.
Lower Risk of Diseases – Inflammation is the basis of all diseases. By eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats & unprocessed foods, which all have some anti-inflammatory benefits, your health certainly has the potential to improve. And by cutting out sugar, red meats, saturated fats, and starchy carbs, it has been shown that these are the main contributors to fatal diseases such as type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers.
Paleo isn’t for everyone. It is important to remember that all bodies are different and your health is unique. Going Paleo avoids portion control, strict meal plans, and counting calories. It might be just the guide you need to increase your intake of healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals, and detoxifying foods that make you feel better inside and out.