The Paleo Diet has been trending in recent years, but how does this diet work and does it really help you lose weight? We take a closer look on this special diet with its pros and cons to help you find out whether it’s good for you and fits your lifestyle!
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is derived from the term Paleolithic – the so-called Paleolithic Age. This diet is based on the original diet of hunters and gatherers and relies on natural foods. The idea behind it: Our body has been adapted to this Stone Age food for 2.5 million years – so it can digest this food without any problems and utilize it optimally.
Paleo diet foods to enjoy and avoid
Many foods are allowed in this diet, and they all have to be natural. These include:
- Everything you could hunt: Fish, meat, game
- Everything you could collect: Fruit, vegetables, berries, mushrooms, eggs, nuts
- Animal fats: lard or tallow
No processed products or junk foods are allowed on the paleo diet. You also can’t eat food you’d have to farm, including grains, potatoes, and legumes. Cow’s milk is also taboo because Stone Age people did not keep farm animals, so they couldn’t get milk.
For many followers of the Paleo diet, the quality of the products is also particularly important. The meat should come from species-appropriate animals and fish from the wild – fruit and vegetables should be of organic quality.
For whom is the Paleo diet suitable?
The Paleo concept is suitable for anyone looking for a healthy nourishing way with much quality meat, but prepare to spend more money on good quality. Also, some allergy sufferers benefit from this form of nutrition, since you have to avoid gluten and dairy. Moreover, you don’t need great culinary skills to stay on the plan.
One great Paleo cookbook is “Well-Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Like to Eat,” by Mel Joulwan. Most of her recipes are compatible with Whole 30, which is one of the most popular forms of the Paleo diet. It’s a good jumpstart for people who want to try out the benefits of the plan for a short amount of time. It’s a stricter form of the Paleo diet. Many who start have great health results, but not everyone permanently sticks to the Paleo lifestyle.
The advantages of Paleo
Eating less junk food and processed foods is certainly a positive lifestyle change. Another positive aspect is that Paleo fans cook more themselves and they get a satisfying feeling from the food. Various studies also show that the diet has a number of advantages: The Journal of Diabetes Science Technology writes that it improves blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. The paleo diet is more satiating than the Mediterranean diet and therefore can prevent obesity.
The disadvantages of Paleo
But the diet has some disadvantages, too. The most important argument by critics is that people nowadays have a much lower energy requirement than our Stone Age ancestors. A person who sits in an office all day needs far fewer calories than a hunter-gatherer who spent his time mainly in motion. The high protein content, which the diet demands, can lead in the long run to health problems such as gout, kidney stones, and arteriosclerosis.
While the ban on processed foods has lots of health benefits, the avoidance of vegetable oil or legumes is not meaningful, however. Unless you have a problem with digestion, there’s no need to give up those foods.
Is the Paleo diet effective in weight loss?
Fresh food without junk food and sugar – that sounds promising. And indeed: A Paleo nutrition plan is usually low carb thanks to the high protein and fat content. A typical paleo meal, for example, is a steak with vegetables or a fish with salad. The usual carbohydrate supplements are then omitted accordingly. The largest carbohydrate source in the Paleo diet is the fruit sugar.
If you keep your fingers off the fruit in the evening, you can really boost your metabolism again and announce the fight to the unpleasant pounds. But if you want to achieve success quickly with Paleo, you can’t avoid the sweaty workout.
Have you tried the Paleo diet? Share your success and thoughts with loved ones on FamilyApp.