The paleo diet is a favorite choice for millions of people. In 2013, it was the world’s most popular diet. A growing body of research supports its health benefits. Some people go paleo to slim down and eat healthier overall. Others are looking for a safe, natural way to prevent or cure medical conditions, such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease.
This dietary plan is based on the eating pattern of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It advocates the consumption of fish, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Sugar, hydrogenated fats, grains, and dairy are off limits. Those who follow these rules experience increased energy, weight loss, improved physical performance, and better health.
Compared to other diets, paleo doesn’t require calorie counting, ready-made meals, or supplements. The only rule is to eliminate processed foods, which are the culprit behind modern diseases that were non-existent thousands of years ago. The primary sources of carbs on paleo are vegetables and fruits. Protein can be obtained from meat, fish, and eggs. Avocado, salmon, coconut oil, olive oil, and nuts provide essential fats that fight inflammation and boost cardiovascular health.
The benefits of paleo go beyond a lean body. This eating pattern has been shown to enhance athletic performance, support muscle growth, and balance hormone levels. In the long run, it can help treat thyroid dysfunction, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, gout, and autoimmune disorders. Due to its high levels of omega3s, the paleo diet promotes brain health and slows down aging. Most foods allowed on this plan boast large amounts of protein, which helps increase metabolism and prevent muscle loss.
The paleo diet is not a cure-all, but it may help improve the symptoms associated with heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid disorders. By ditching food additives and chemicals, it restores gut flora and provides younger looking skin. Thousands of athletes have embraced the paleo diet for its ability to increase strength and stamina.
Studies have found that eating paleo style may lower blood glucose levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce high blood pressure. These factors play a key role in the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In a recent study, subjects who went paleo for 10 days reported a 22 percent decrease in bad cholesterol, a 16 percent decrease in total cholesterol, and a 35 percent decrease in triglycerides. Evidence also shows that eating like caveman can improve sleep, ward off depression, and reduce oxidative stress. When combined with exercise, its benefits are even greater.