As the world of biotechnology and healthcare continue to merge, it is always important to examine what is currently available and “trending” amongst the majority of the population.
And our topic of discussion for today is something surely all of our beloved readers and visitors know a thing or two about, The Paleo Diet believed to be derived from our primitive caveman ancestors.
Let’s touch on a few key points about the origins and history of the Paleo foods and why so many people are clinging to this diet type over all the others.
The Paleo Diet Re-examined, Again
Why do people want to revert back to their ancient selves? Someone should have asked Mr. Weston A. Price back in the 1930s.
There’s a recent growing popularity of a diet called the Paleo diet otherwise known as the Paleolithic diet. The central argument for the use of this diet is that humanity isn’t really that biologically different from the era of ancient humans.
It is believed that by using the Paleo diet that you’ll obtain optimal health benefits because you are eating what your ancestors date.
An expert on nutrition and disease named Dr. Loren said that eating food that our body wasn’t prepared to eat at all can cause significant problems for the human body and even make us sick. (Ex: Human bodies are not really equipped to eat meat. Humans are herbivores not omnivores.)
After, many years of scientific study and research on nutrition Dr. Loren made his biggest breakthrough when he released his book about the Paleolithic diet.
Because of his scientific research and book the Paleo diet is one of the most popular diets out there in the world. It’s remarkable what man can do to change the world. Ever since then there are many people from every aspect of life that decided to stick to their guns and keep on using this diet.
And, they may have a good reason for doing so.
Dr. Loren’s philosophy with his diet is that it shouldn’t be a diet at all. It shouldn’t be something that you do temporarily. In fact it’s supposed to be a lifestyle diet that you should permanently implement. He reasons that the biggest reason why you should implement his diet is that you can reduce the risk of disease and be healthy as healthy can be. (1)
The diet emphasizes eating meats, fruits, and vegetables. It’s a pretty simple list if you think about it. However, the do not eat list is what makes the Paleo diet remarkable. The do not list to eat list being:
- No sugar
- No processed foods
- No potatoes
- No legumes
- No dairy products
So, Paleolithic diet supporters cannot eat anything that has milk, butter, cheese, grains (rice is out of the question), and peanut butter. All of that is gone from the diet. (2)
This diet can be quite difficult to implement as many people have issue with implementing the do not eat list. There has to be reason for cutting away all these yummy foods. In fact there are reasons for doing so.
Improving health is the biggest reason is why people consider doing the paleo diet. You avoid all sorts of illnesses that one can get if you continue to eat from the do not eat list. For some, living longer is an effective motivator for cutting back on those foods.
Approximately, 1500 people died of cancer as of 2014. Roughly, about 5% of the population is dealing with cancer since the 90s. (3) The diet purports that it can reduce the risk of cancer significantly.
Another, cause of concern is the increasing heart problems that people are facing in around the world. The number one reasons why people are dying in the world are heart problems. That’s a shocker. According, to the World Health Organization many of the people who died from heart problems could have been easily avoided if people implemented lifestyle + diet changes.
So, here is a motivator for you. Do, the paleo diet or you die quicker. That would be what paleo diet supporters would say to you. Is there any truth to it?
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research that has been done on the paleo. So, there is nothing definite on that matter. However, there are some studies that are promising and can shed some light to whether the paleo diet is legitimate or not – especially for long term use.
Studies Regarding Paleo
There was a medical study that was conducted on 14 students that lasted a period of three weeks. By implementing the Paleolithic diet on average the subjects lost about 5 pounds of weight and experienced reduced body weight. Their blood pressure levels dropped which dropped their risk of high blood pressure. (4) It’s important to note that this study has an extremely small sample size and may not be an accurate indicator of how the paleo diet might do with a larger sample. It’s just a promising study that shows that more research needs to be done.
Another study was conducted that lasted for three months. This study is much more interesting as it was performed on people with heart disease and diabetes. The paleo diet was implemented on these men. The results were that the men lost a significant amount of weight, and improved their diabetes greatly. Again, it’s important to note that this is a very small sample size and has no bearing of what the paleo diet will do to a larger much of sample. Still, this is another study that shows some promise for the paleo diet.
There’s similar test that was also conducted for a three month period. The results are identical to the second study. People lost weight and the ability to process sugar in the body improved.
There’s a medical term called metabolic syndrome that is used to explain a group of conditions that together can create a lasting damaging effect. These group of conditions that unfortunately work well together are: high blood pressure, excess weight, too much cholesterol and so much more. These symptoms are directly related to the various heart conditions out there. Many wonder if even helps with overall brain health as well.
A tiny medical study was conducted on ten morbidly obese females who were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome. The women were given the paleo diet for the course of one month.
Everything improved after that period of time. The women lost weight, blood sugar went down, high blood pressure went down, and as well as mood. Their general health improved drastically upon the implementation of the paleo diet. (5)
All of these studies had people with small sizes so it isn’t 100% confirmed that the paleo diet has the variety of health benefits that it say it does. Still, the popularity will live on and more research will be conducted in the future. We’ll see if the paleo diet supporters will be proven right or not.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to try the paleo diet. There’s big potential to improve your health and live longer. Who doesn’t want that?