Alex from WellnessCaptain.com, a blog about how people can optimize their body, feel great and look better, shared with Healthy Lombard that right now, Paleo is one of the most popular diets worldwide – and for good reason. It’s simple, versatile and it can be adopted by mostly everyone regardless of age or gender. But what are the real benefits of this diet and how can you actually implement it into your lifestyle?
What is the Paleo diet?
To understand the philosophy behind this diet, let’s think of our ancestors: the cavemen. They hunted for meat and ate whatever fruits and vegetables they could gather. Almost every meal they ate was raw and dairy, grains or legumes didn’t exist yet (as farming only appeared 10,000 years ago).
The Paleo diet, or Stone Age diet, claims that people would be much healthier if they returned to the very beginning of humanity and its eating habits. A theory known as discordance hypothesis suggests that we aren’t genetically made to eat processed meals or foods resulted through farming (dairy, grains, and legumes). Recently, more and more studies proved that these foods may contribute to today’s most common physical conditions: diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Most of the times, a paleo diet should come with an active lifestyle; once again, think of our ancestors who put in plenty of effort to hunt, build shelters and travel. Aside from this reason, practicing sports is particularly important because paleo diets may be high in calories (depending on how you design yours).
What are its benefits?
There’s no doubt that the biggest advantage of a Paleo diet is its versatility. Naturally, our ancestors fed on whatever was within their reach, so their ‘meal plans’ varied drastically depending on location, weather conditions, and other factors.
In other words, you may shape a Paleo diet to contain more animal foods and fewer carbs or more plants, which also means extra carbs. You can have more meat of all kinds or stick to salads – it all depends on your personal preferences. This freedom of choice is rarely found in today’s diets and it helps you truly embrace a healthier lifestyle.
However, these other benefits provided by a Paleo diet are equally important:
One of the most notable factors that contribute to obesity is processed foods. These meals contain ‘empty’ calories that make your body retain fat without offering actual vitamins or energy. The number one rule in Paleo diets is to avoid processed foods and eat everything in its purest, natural form. This, along with avoiding foods high in carbs, leads to losing fat mass and reducing long-term risks of obesity.
(Re)gained physical health
Right now, heart disease is the number one cause of death worldwide – and what we eat every day determines how well our body will function. Sure, it’s almost impossible to avoid every unhealthy substance out there, but a Paleo diet might help you stay away from the most dangerous additives and chemicals. Curious for more info? See below.
More energy & satiety
Remember the term ‘empty calories?’ That’s the reason why you aren’t feeling full even though you ate more food than you’d need. The Paleo diet is focused on giving your body as many nutrients as possible in their purest form, hence you’ll gain more energy and feel fuller while still eating the same quantity of food daily (or even less!).