This question is quite popular and gets asked quite often by people who are just getting started with the Paleo lifestyle. Maybe you have recently decided to go Paleo after experimenting with other diet fads. Or maybe you are simply curious about what all the noise is about and want to find out more about this new lifestyle trend. In either case, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the evidence for the Paleo diet and whether or not you should actually be trying to cut grains out of your diet.
What is the Evidence for the Paleo Diet?
As we mentioned above, many people are just curious about what the Paleo diet is and whether or not they should try it. It’s a popular term that gets thrown around a lot, but most people have no idea what it means. As the name would suggest, the Paleo diet has its roots in paleolithic times, which were approximately two million years ago. During this time, humans were primarily eating what they could hunt or gather. Basically, the Paleo diet promotes eating real food and discourages you from eating processed garbage. Here’s a short video to help explain:
Nowadays, most people don’t have the time to hunt for their food. This is why most people opt for ready-made foods and fast foods. However, you should still try to eat nutritious foods as much as possible. When you do eat processed foods, it’s quite easy for them to add a ton of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients to the food. That’s why it’s always better to prepare your own food whenever possible because you have the control over what’s put into it. You can use fresh produce and whole grains to create delicious dishes that won’t break the bank. Most importantly, eating healthy food helps you stay strong and fight off illness.
The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet
As you might imagine, there are both pros and cons to the Paleo diet. It’s quite difficult to keep a balanced view when discussing this issue because, on the one hand, you have a diet that promotes health and is high in nutrients. On the other hand, you have a diet that has been shown to be detrimental to health in some studies. This is why it’s always better to look at the evidence supporting both sides of an argument. It might seem like common sense, but until you’re actually in this situation, it’s easy to lose sight of the facts.
Let’s take a quick look at the pros first. As we mentioned above, the Paleo diet promotes health. People who opt for this diet are usually in good health and have no problems with digestion. In addition, they lose weight quite easily because they’re not eating foods that are rich in calories. The food tastes magnificent and has a wonderful texture as well. Of course, you should always check with a physician before making any major lifestyle changes, but most people can follow this diet without any issues.
The Effect of The Paleo Diet on Diabetes
One of the issues that get brought up quite often whenever someone decides to go Paleo is diabetes. It’s quite simple to see how this could happen since the Paleo diet doesn’t contain any potatoes or sweet potatoes. These two foods are among the most significant contributors to blood sugar levels in the human body. In fact, the glycemic index of sweet potatoes is 66, which is quite high. In comparison, white potatoes have a GI of 34. It’s quite clear that if you’re not including these two foods in your diet, you’re not causing your diabetes symptoms to flare up. This is why it’s quite important to eliminate these foods from your nutrition plan if you’re trying to become more paleo-friendly.
The Effect of The Paleo Diet on Cardiovascular Disease
Another quite prevalent issue that people have when opting for the Paleo diet is cardiovascular disease. This is quite important to address because people who opt for this type of diet often have elevated cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure. There are more than 300 studies that have been conducted on this subject and they all point to the fact that the Paleo diet can contribute to cardiovascular health issues. One of the primary reasons for this is due to the large quantities of meat that are being eaten. This leads to increased levels of cholesterol and saturated fat in the blood. The cholesterol in the blood can clog up tiny blood vessels, which can lead to serious trouble. This is the reason why you should be aware of the effects that the Paleo diet can have on your health, especially if you’re someone who already has cardiovascular issues. The good news is there are ways to help prevent and treat this condition. For example, you can try adding more vegan foods to your diet or taking an antioxidant supplement. Both of these options have been found to be quite effective in mitigating the effects that the carnivorous diet has on cardiovascular health.
The Effect of The Paleo Diet on Cancer
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally, so it’s quite important to address this issue. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) states that there is compelling evidence that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fibre can reduce the risk of cancer. If you’re looking to lose weight and feel better, you should definitely try the Paleo diet. However, if you’re suffering from cancer, you need to consume a diet that is high in fiber and low in carbs because these are the foods that your body needs to grow. In this case, you should try the MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean, Irish, and Nordic diets. These dietary patterns have been found to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon, breast, and prostate cancers. According to the AICR, there is also evidence that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well. This is quite a broad spectrum of conditions that can be helped by this specific diet.
Overall Effect Of The Paleo Diet
As you might imagine, there are quite a few pros and cons to the Paleo diet. Most people who try this diet have success in losing weight and feel that their health has improved as a result. Some people even lose a significant amount of weight and are able to keep it off for years, which is quite an amazing feat. This is why it’s always better to look at the evidence supporting both sides of an argument rather than jumping to conclusions based on one or two studies, especially since there are so many conflicting studies. The one piece of advice that we can give you is to try and eat as clean a diet as possible, which is quite easy to do when you’re following the Paleo diet. You should always try to eat foods that are as natural and unprocessed as possible because, as we mentioned above, most people don’t have the time to prepare food the way that they want to nowadays. This is why convenience foods and pre-made dishes are quite popular, but even they contain a lot of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients that someone with a busy lifestyle might not want to consume.
Now let’s take a quick look at the cons of the Paleo diet. There are quite a few issues that people have when trying this diet, which is quite odd since it’s been found to be quite effective at helping people lose weight and improve their health. One of the primary issues that people have is that it’s quite difficult to prepare food the way that they want to. Since most people don’t have the time to cook, they opt for ready-made foods and pre-made dishes, which are quite easy to consume. This doesn’t mean that these foods are bad necessarily; it just points out the fact that this is how most people eat these days and it would be quite difficult to get all of your food from scratch if you’re on a busy schedule. Another quite prevalent issue that people have when trying the Paleo diet is osteoporosis. This is quite relevant because a lot of the foods that are part of this diet are quite high in calcium, which is quite important for strong bones. However, if you’re already dealing with osteoporosis, it might be difficult to follow this particular diet and maintain a healthy weight. This is why you need to consult with your doctor before trying this diet and suggesting it to your patients.
At this point, you might be wondering if there’s any evidence that you should even be considering the Paleo diet at all. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most significant studies that have examined the effects of this diet.