Paleo diet, also known as the Palaeolithic diet, stone age diet, caveman diet or hunter-gatherer diet is a modern day fad diet that includes foods that have been thought to be eaten during the Palaeolithic era that dates back to 2.5 million years ago .
The foods that are eaten in a paleo diet are similar to what early human hunter-gatherers ate in different parts of the world. The paleo diet is basically a modern interpretation of the diet that hunter-gatherers ate during the Palaeolithic era.
Benefits Of The Paleo Diet
1. Aids in weight loss
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that healthy volunteers who were on a paleo diet for three weeks had a decrease in body weight and waist circumference .
Another 2014 study showed that obese postmenopausal women who followed a paleo diet lost weight after six months as compared to a diet that adheres to Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR).
These kinds of fad diets will help you lose weight in the short-term. However, further research is needed before doctors recommend the paleo diet for weight loss.
2. Decreases diabetes risk
According to a study, people with type 2 diabetes who were on paleo diet for short-term had a significant improvement in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance compared to a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association which consisted of moderate salt intake, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy .
Another study pointed out that patients with type 2 diabetes who followed a paleo diet showed a remarkable improvement in controlling blood glucose levels and lowering the risk factors for heart disease .
However, more research studies are needed to show the association between paleo diet and diabetes.
3. Lowers heart disease risk
Following a paleo diet can lower the risk of heart disease according to a study. The study revealed that paleo diet significantly lowered blood pressure and increased HDL (good) cholesterol and decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol, which are major risk factors for heart disease. However, more research studies are still needed in this aspect.
4. Reduces blood pressure
High blood pressure elevates the risk of heart disease. A 2008 study showed that 14 healthy participants who were on a paleo diet for three weeks improved their systolic blood pressure levels .
Another study also found that paleo diet reduced systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure along with an increase in HDL cholesterol.
Foods To Eat On A Paleo Diet
Fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, avocados, strawberries.
Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, kale, etc.
Seafood like fish, shrimp, shellfish, etc.
Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, to name a few.
Tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams.
Healthy fats and oil such as olive oil, avocado oil and others.
Herbs and spices .
Foods To Avoid On A Paleo Diet
Legumes such as beans, lentils and peas.
Cereal grains like wheat, barley, spelt, rye, etc.