What's A Paleo Diet? Benefits and Side Effects

What's A Paleo Diet? Benefits and Side Effects


Paleo Diet

   What's A Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet or Paleolithic diet based on eating foods available more than two million years ago during the Paleolithic period; People who follow this diet claim that the current genetic and anatomical composition of humans has not changed much since the Stone Age; Therefore, the foods available during that period must be eaten to promote good health.

Humans in that era used simple stone tools that were not advanced enough to grow and grow plants; So they resorted to hunting animals. And they did not suffer from modern-day diseases; Such as: diabetes, cancer, and heart disease due to a fixed diet that relies mainly on lean meat and plant foods along with a high level of physical activity associated with their extensive hunting practice.

Paleo diet steps

The paleo diet depends on the nature of the food options available; Meaning, it may depend on a high percentage of foods from animal sources that are low in carbohydrates, or on a high percentage of plant foods and carbohydrates the following is an explanation of general information to a healthy Paleo diet.

Foods to avoid on the paleo diet:

  • Sugars and high fructose corn syrup: These include soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, sweets, pastries, and ice cream.
  • Cereals: This includes bread, pasta, wheat and barley. Legumes, including beans, lentils, and others.
  • Dairy products include avoiding most low-fat dairy products.
  • Vegetable oils, which include soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape seed oil and safflower oil.
  • Trans fats: These are mostly found in margarine and various processed foods, referred to as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.
  • Artificial sweeteners: These include aspartame, sucralose, cyclamate, saccharin, and acesulfame of potassium.

What Can You Eat On A Paleo Diet:

  • Meat: which includes beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, and other meats.
  • Fish and Seafood: These include salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, and oysters.
  • Eggs: It is preferable to choose native eggs or eggs fortified with omega-3.
  • Vegetables: These include broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
  • Fruits: These include apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, grapes, and other fruits.
  • Tubers: including potatoes, sweet potatoes, and turnips.
  • Nuts and seeds: These include almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and other nuts.
  • Healthy fats and oils: These include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and other healthy oils.
  • Salt and spices: These include sea salt, garlic, turmeric, and rosemary.

Eat the following foods in small quantities:

  • Dark chocolate: Especially For those with 70% or higher cocoa content, high-quality dark chocolate is very nutritious and healthy.
  • Drinks to drink on the paleo diet: Water: It is one of the important fluids in this diet.
  • Tea:  green tea is very healthy; Because it contains antioxidants and various beneficial compounds.
  • Coffee: Many studies have shown that coffee has several benefits; Because it contains very high levels of antioxidants.

Benefits Of A Paleo Diet

There are many claims related to the benefits of this diet in losing weight, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and lowering blood pressure, and the most important evidence linking the Paleo diet to the previous cases:

Weight loss: Among the most important studies based on the relationship between the paleo diet and weight loss:

  1. A 2008 study in which 14 people volunteered for 3 weeks resulted in a weight loss of 2.3 kg.
  2. A 2009 study in which 13 people with type 2 diabetes participated, and the results were reduced weight and waist circumference.
  3. A 2014 study in which 70 obese women who crossed the menopausal age participated, and the results after 6 months of following the paleo diet were weight loss, but after two years, no weight loss occurred. In the end, research may suggest that the paleo diet may help with weight loss, but other diets that reduce calories may appear to be just as effective. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct research into the relationship between the paleo diet and weight loss.

Read more topics about weight management

Reducing complications of diabetes: Among the most important studies based on the relationship between the paleo diet and reducing the risk of diabetes:

  1. A study in 2015 in which people with type 2 diabetes participated and the results were improved insulin resistance and glycemic control.
  2. A 2009 study in which 9 volunteers did not suffer from obesity, and the results were to improve the body's sensitivity to insulin.

Ultimately, more studies are needed into the relationship between the paleo diet and diabetes.

Lowering blood pressure: Among the most important studies based on the relationship between the paleo diet and reducing the risk of lowering blood pressure are the following:

  1. A 2008 study in which 14 healthy volunteers followed a paleo diet for 3 weeks showed improvement in systolic blood pressure, lower weight, and body mass index (BMI), but the results were not conclusive.
  2. A 2014 study in which 34 patients with metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease, participated in, and the results were that following a paleo diet helped reduce blood pressure, which helps improve heart health.

In the end, preliminary studies have proven the importance of this diet in reducing blood pressure and improving heart health, but many more comprehensive studies must be conducted on the relationship of the yo diet and lowering blood pressure.

Paleo Diet side effects

If a person continues with this diet, the person may be at risk of losing important nutrients; Including calcium and vitamin D, which may increase the risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures or rickets; Because of the reduction in the intake of dairy products in this diet, and because the system focuses on eating meat and reducing plant foods, it may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in the case of eating proteins that contain saturated fats, which raise cholesterol levels in the blood, It increases the risk of heart disease.  

Can Everyone Follow The Paleo Diet?

This system may be of great help to many people with medical conditions; Such as: people with type 2 diabetes, but the doctor should be consulted in adopting any new diet, especially when it comes to diabetics who are treated with the hormone insulin, and because this system is low in calcium and vitamin D, this may pose a risk to certain groups; Such as:

  • those at risk of developing osteoporosis; For example: women over the age of fifty and suffering from underweight.
  • People with chronic medical conditions; Ex: heart disease.
  • Those with kidney disease, as excessive protein intake leads to stress on the kidneys; Which reduces its functions, and leads to kidney failure.