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Is a Paleolithic Diet Right for You?

Should you be eating like a caveman? Today we're taking a look at the popular paleo diet. Keep reading to learn more.
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Living in a world full of processed foods loaded with preservatives, there is more than one argument our ancestors had it right when it came to their diet. The paleolithic diet aims to bring you back to a more ancient way of eating that is said to be better for weight management, inflammation, disease prevention and more.

But is it for everyone?

Origin of the Paleo Diet
The paleolithic diet goes by many names, including the Caveman Diet, Paleo Diet and Stone Age Diet. This "modern" diet for weight loss is based on the eating habits of humans during the paleolithic period, which occurred between 2.5 million and 20,000 years ago. This was a prehistoric period in human history when humans first developed simple tools made out of stone to make daily life and survival easier.

One of the most popular texts on this diet is The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain, which drew attention to the benefits of eating like a caveman. Over the past decade, this diet has become a favorite of athletes (particularly those who train in crossfit) as well as non-athletes who want to lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Paleo Basics
Put simply, the paleolithic diet is all about clean foods that are rich in protein and fiber and free of anything artificial. If your prehistoric ancestors would have access to it, you can eat it. You don't have to count calories but be prepared to cook. Here are some general guidelines:

Paleo Foods

  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy oils (coconut, olive, walnut, flaxseed, etc.)
  • Eggs
  • Herbs (dried or fresh)
  • Vinegar

Non-Paleo Foods

  • Dairy
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Refined sugar
  • Refined oils
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Processed foods
  • Artificial ingredients or added colors/flavors
  • Cereal grains

Reported Health Benefits of Going Paleo
Following the above guidelines is said to produce several beneficial results for those who "go paleo." Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Weight loss without extreme calorie cutting.
  2. Reduced risk for chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
  3. Better regulation of inflammatory responses.
  4. Improved sleep.
  5. Clear skin free of acne blemishes.
  6. Increased energy and improved athletic performance.

There have been clinical studies to back up the healthfulness of consuming a paleolithic diet. A study published in 2009 in the European journal of clinical nutrition showed participants who followed a paleolithic diet while being sedentary for 10 days experienced a decrease in blood pressure, improved glucose tolerance, increased insulin sensitivity and more. Another study from 2009 published in the medical journal Cardiovascular Diabetology found consuming a paleolithic diet for three months had several benefits for those with type 2 diabetes such as improved blood pressure, weight and hemoglobin A1C.

While these studies have shown positive results, larger study groups will need to be examined and for longer periods of time before the paleolithic diet can be recommended for any specific condition.

The Bottom Line
Overall, the paleolithic diet does seem like a smart way to fuel the body with nutritious foods instead of depriving it. But it's important to prepare foods properly and remember to exercise portion control for proteins. If you have a medical condition, especially diabetes or heart disease, it's always best to consult your doctor before beginning a new diet regimen. Don't stop taking any medications you're on before first speaking to your doctor, even if you notice changes in how you feel.

We carry lots of great food options if you're thinking of going paleo. Check out the eVitamins grocery category today!

 

Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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