Do you have weight problems? Do you want to stay healthy as you advance in age? Then one diet that you might be considering is the Paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet. You may have heard about how following a Paleo diet plan can do wonders for any adult, but it also has its share of disadvantages.
What is the Paleo Diet?
The diet was introduced by Loren Cordain, PhD in his book The Paleo Diet. The idea was that by eating like a caveman or our prehistoric ancestors, any adult will be able to lose pounds in a healthy manner. Moreover, the diet is believed to be effective in decreasing the risks of health problems like diabetes, heart ailments, cancer, and other ailments.
The name Paleo was derived from the Paleolithic era, or the Stone Age. During this time, the diet of the early humans was presumed to consist of foods from uncultivated plant source and wild animal sources such as vegetables, fruits, eggs, nuts, lean meat, and roots.
Read this post here: jenny craig vs nutrisystem
Cordain’s idea is that the early humans ate the right way. According to him, our ancestors consumed more fiber, protein, omega 3-fatty acids, unsaturated fat, vitamins and minerals than the typical American today. Plus, they ate less saturated fat and sodium.
Paleo diet focuses on foods such as fish, fruits, lean meats and vegetables. In case you follow this diet, you’re not only confined to those food choices as you are also allowed to eat nuts, eggs, seeds, and healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil.
But you can’t eat any type of processed food from burgers to soda to doughnuts. You’re also barred from eating foods with refined sugar, dairy, potatoes, salt, and those that have refined vegetable oils like canola.
Here are some of the advantages of following a Paleo diet meal plan:
Get More Proteins for Muscle Buildup and Weight Loss
The average diet in the Western world only consists of about 15 percent of protein. Keep in mind that protein is a very essential nutrient that is responsible for building and repairing tissues. It’s a vital component for muscle building as well. And it is needed for production of body chemicals like enzymes and hormones.
However, following the Palio plan can allow you to increase your protein intake by as much as 35 percent of your daily diet. Modern day Paleo diets consist of staple foods such as meat, seafood and other animal products.
By going Paleo, you can get the protein to build more muscles and lose more fats. And because protein satiates you longer, you don’t have to eat frequently if you follow a Paleo diet plan. As such, it becomes easy for people who follow the Paleo diet to lose weight and build muscles.
Higher Fiber Intake
The Paleo diet involves lots of fiber. Cordain says the best way to get fiber would be to eat non-starchy vegetables, which have up to 8 times more fiber compared to whole grains, and up to 31 times more than refined grains. He also recommends eating more fruits, since fruits have two times more fiber than whole grains and up to seven times more fiber than refined grains.
Having a higher fiber intake will result to a lot of health benefits. One is that it can aid in lowering bad cholesterol in the body, and improving heart health. It has also been proven that eating foods rich in fiber can decrease risks of various ailments like cancer, diabetes, and diverticular disease. Plus, low fiber intake can speed up weight loss because foods that are rich in insoluble fiber are able to add bulk without calories and increase a sense of fullness.
Higher Potassium Intake
The early humans who ate unprocessed foods were able to consume more potassium, a mineral that is important for the good overall function of the heart, kidneys, and other organs. In contrast, the average American these days consume more sodium that potassium, increasing his risks of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.
Better Absorption of Vitamins and Minerals
Having a diet that consists mainly of fruits and vegetables will enable you to get more vitamins and minerals. Eating whole grains just won’t be enough for your body, as foods such as bread and pasta lack vitamins A, C, and biotin that are needed by the body for various roles like protein metabolism, a well-functioning immune system, and energy metabolism.
It’s Easy to Follow
You don’t need to count calories when you follow the Paleo diet. There’s no need to order for packaged foods or meals. You won’t feel deprived too, because eating lean meat as well as fruits and vegetables will fill you up.
Moreover, you can ‘cheat’ especially at the beginning of your diet. You can eat what you want for three meals a week. These meals are referred to by Cordain as ‘open meals.’
In case you’re the one who dislikes exercising, you’ll be surprised to learn that the Paleo diet does not require you to work out in order to lose weight.
However, the diet also has limitations such as:
Since you’ll be eating a lot of fish and lean meats, your grocery bills could skyrocket. Fruits and vegetables can also be a bit expensive during certain times of the year.
Too much protein may also mean too little carbohydrates, which provide the energy you need to exercise. However, that may not be an issue at all if you elect not to exercise while on this diet.
It Can Be Tough to Follow the Diet on A Long-Term Basis
A lot of critics say that it is difficult to maintain this diet. They argue that it may be easy at first to refrain from eating processed foods or consuming whole grains, but a person following the diet would eventually go back to his old habits after a year or two.
So should you follow a Paleo diet plan? It’s all up to you, but basing on the pros and cons of this diet, there’s reason to believe that adapting this diet plan would do wonders to your health.