“Food is medicine, not medicine food”. All of us love to live healthy, stay away from hospitals and doctors. We believe that yoga, exercise and healthy food is the answer to it. Which is the ideal diet? Fads come and go. So it is important to analyse before we take the plunge into a new diet.
What’s the story behind paleo diet?
Paleolithtic diet is the diet which is of most interest now. This diet is the normal diet of man in the paleolithic era, where one used to eat what he could find. That’s why its also called the Hunters-gatherers diet. Although the world around us has evolved, our body remains the same. So according to the supporters of this diet, caveman’s diet is the best suited for man, and would protect him from diseases of the modern age.
What does the paleo diet include?
Caveman’s diet includes all meat, poultry, fish, egg, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Cereals, legumes and dairy products are not allowed. This poses a difficulty for all vegetarians.
What are the food components in the paleo diet?
Paleo diet is rich in protein, poly unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants.
Lean proteins support strong muscles, healthy bones and optimises immune function. Protein also makes you feel satisfied between meals.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that have been shown to decrease the likelihood of developing a number of degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes and neurological decline. Scientific research and epidemiological studies show that diets rich in Monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats dramatically reduce the instances of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline.
Does scientific research support the Paleo diet?
Its important to know the scientific evidence, the benefits and downfalls of this diet. Various studies have shown better control of diabetes (we call it “decreased insulin resistance”), weight loss, decreased systolic and diastolic BP, decreased waist circumference (WC directly correlates with incidence of diabetes, hypertension, fatty liver and heart disease) and decreased cholesterol and triglycerides.
Then why are we all not on the Paleo bandwagon?
Studies have also shown that although the benefits were huge, the effects waned off, At the end of 2 years the benefits were gone, even when the person continued the diet! Also, there was a decrease in calcium levels in one study. Since there is no milk products in the diet, calcium might have to be supplemented, else the person could go in for osteoporosis.