What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet is unlike any other traditional slimming diets available today, for its purpose is not only focused on losing weight. 32 % of people have visited the Paleo Diet site for this purpose alone, whereas 28% visit intending to seek effective answers on the relationship between our diet and health while 22% wish to ameliorate their sports performances. In the next paragraph that follows, we can see how the Paleo diet can determine these three factors.
To lose weight naturally
Modern foods(bread, pastas, potatoes, pizzas, sweet products) that are rich in carbohydrates give rise to the accumulation of fats in the liver (fatty liver) and in the muscles; causing insulin resistance, diabetes and of course overweight.
The Paleo diet will allow you to reverse this current trend and hence lose your weight naturally to achieve your optimal weight without having to stay empty-stomach or exhaust yourself with too many efforts. A scientific study has shown that following the Paleo diet for no less than four weeks is sufficiently enough to remove the entire fat load deposited in your liver, besides losing your weight and considerably elevating your overall health.
Bear in mind that before losing weight, it is important for you to calculate your BMI. The body mass index (BMI) is an effective means of estimating the distribution of your weight depending on your height. Calculating it is simple: it refers to your weight divided by the square of your height. The resulting value estimates an adult’s stature, whether he is overweight or obese. You can also use the calculator file provided below.
Interpretation of the Body Mass Index
A normal BMI is identified to be between 18.5 and 25. Should it be below 18.5, the individual is then considered to be too thin. He is considered overweight if the value exceeds 25. From 30 and upwards, the person is said to be obese.
BMI < 18,5 kg/m² : underweight
18,5 < BMI < 24,9 : normal weight
25 < BMI < 29,9 : overweight
BMI > 30 : obese
Traditional recommendations to lose weight are often about eating less and increasing the level of physical activity. There is however a third method of increasing one’s protein consumption, which will consequently stimulate the thermogenesis food process.
Thermogenesis is the body mechanism that produces heat and maintains our temperature at 37°C. This heat is generated with the combustion of fatty acids from the fatty tissues; thus allowing to burn the excess fat.
And since protein thermogenesis requires two to three times more energy to increase your protein consumption than that of carbohydrates or lipids, it will help achieve your weight loss goals much easier and faster. Furthermore, protein consumption acts on your appetite and provides a faster and a lasting feeling of fullness than carbohydrates or lipids.
This is why more proteins are naturally consumed with the Paleo diet. Hence if your objective is to lose more weight, we recommend that you should increase your consumption on lean proteins (Eggs, meat, fish, seafood, lean meat) so as to accelerate your metabolism and burn more calories.
But be careful not to exceed over 35% of your calorie intake in proteins, and it would be an added value if you accompany this with some fruits and vegetables along with some good fats.
To prevent certain diseases
Chronic diseases, which are known to be rapidly developing by the day, have become an inevitable public health problem in modern western societies today. Scientific researches have made major progress and bad dietary habits have been often proved to be the reason behind this tragedy. Adopting a healthy and a natural Paleo diet will clearly help you narrow your symptoms while preventing any other potential health problems. Let us now take a look at the diseases related with modern food.
Metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance
An obese patient is certain to be suffering from an insulin resistance phase. Although the pancreas may still continue to secrete some insulin, this would still not be sufficient to show an equal effect on the receptors, which is known as the anaesthetisation phenomenon. Consequently, despite the insulin, a sufficient amount of glucose would not penetrate into the cells, which thus becomes malnourished and it gets accumulated into the blood and lymph circulation (increase of blood sugar). This increase thus stimulates an oversecretion of insulin from the pancreas. The pancreatic cells will hence wear out within a given number of years. This gives rise to a glucose intolerance and thus creates a type 2 diabetes condition.
In addition to the above, there are several other diseases related with the metabolic syndrome, namely arterial high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, dyslipidemias, breast, prostate and colon cancer.
The Paleo diet helps restore your insulin sensitivity and reduces the blood rate by decreasing your carbohydrate consumption and increasing that of proteins, food fibers and Omega-3 fatty acids.
First, what is cholesterol? It is a lipid molecule (“fat”) that is found in certain food types, mainly in animal source food. But did you know that there are both good and bad cholesterols? The HDL-cholesterol and the LDL-cholesterol. While bad cholesterols ( LDL) promote the obstruction of arteries, the good ( HDL) cholesterol plays a purifier role by ridding the arteries from low quality fat deposits.
The Paleo diet, which controls the carbohydrate intake (refined sugars, cereal and starchy foods), increases HDL rates making LDL molecules become less dense, thus limiting the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Autoimmune diseases are mainly caused due to the overactivity of the immune system against substances or tissues that are normally present in the body. The diseases differ depending on the organs or tissues that are being affected. If it’s the pancreas, the autoimmune disease that is developed will turn out to be type 1 diabetes. In the case of a nerve tissue attack, multiple sclerosis or neurological diseases will start to develop. And thus continues the list of autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, autoimmune thyroiditis, rheumatoid polyarthritis, stiffening spondylitis, Sjögren’s syndrome, Crohn disease, etc….
The common thread in all these diseases is that they are chronic. Once you begin developing them, they continue to evolve throughout your life by deteriorating your health more or less quickly. Their causes are not yet completely understood, however some of them are considered to be common diseases: a relationship between arthritis and obesity has been proved true, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that arthritis is more frequent in developed countries. It would seem that an unfavorable environment combined with an industrialized modern diet causes diseases in genetically predisposed individuals. Should aggravating factors such as stress be added to this, the ideal cocktail that can trigger an autoimmune disease is thus created.
The Paleo diet decreases the symptoms related with your autoimmune disease or gets rid of them completely. In order to achieve this entirely, it is advised to control your consumption of eggs, solanaceous crops (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, hot peppers, etc.) and all types of nuts and seeds (including some of the best choices such as cashew nuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts). Parallel to this, you should also add an increased consumption of fish fat ( 3 portions / week ), giblets (4 times / week giblets such as liver, heart, kidney and others) and vegetables to all your meals.
To find out more information on adopting the Paleo diet to autoimmune diseases, I recommend you the book, The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne.
To be in a better physical shape
By adopting the Paleo diet and by settling on healthier dietary habits, you’ll soon find yourself on the road to an improved overall well-being, the main benefits of which are:
- Sound sleep
- Better performances during workouts
- Clearer and healthier skin
- Healthier teeth
- Sense of well-being
All these effects are related to one another and start with the right diet. A better nutrition will improve the quality of your sleep, making you feel much better and healthier during your workouts to give you a better sense of well-being.