Paleo diet - the benefits

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Gains Behind The Caveman Plate

In the world where fad diets are popping up and fading into oblivion every month, few nutrition patterns can take pride in science-backed health benefits, weight maintenance efficiency, and long-term viability. A while ago, Paleo joined the curated dietary bandwagon, and even though nutritionists seem to be at a crossroads in terms of its suitability and sustainability in the 21st century, the caveman plate does in fact have a wide range of positive effects on human well-being. But is Paleo a good option for everyone looking for a dietary change, and what does it entail?

Essentially, Paleo advocates maintain that following in the lifestyle footsteps of our Paleolithic ancestors (including their dietary choices) is much healthier than pursuing the fast-paced, all-instant 21st-century way of life. In terms of nutrition, this means eating organic, locally sourced foods, including meat from pasture-raised, grass-fed animals, eggs from free-range poultry, fish and seafood, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils (such as olive, flaxseed, avocado, and coconut oil). The Paleolithic humanoid was a hunter and gatherer by nature and he did not cultivate land or breed cattle, so grains, legumes, potatoes, dairy, refined vegetable oils, sugar, salt, and processed foods are not on the Paleo menu. But is such an eating regime really healthy?

According to Paleo aficionados, the gains of the caveman menu overweigh by far its downsides. Here we will list only a few positive effects of this dietary regime on physical and mental health.

• Healthy balance of fats is a given with Paleo, as processed foods rich in trans and saturated fats are off the caveman dining table. The focus on foods rich in healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acid also entails healthier cells and improved neurological functioning, as well as lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.

• Modern dietary ingredients consisting of highly refined carbs trigger increased cytokine levels, thus promoting the development of intestinal tract inflammations which have been linked to higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and chronic metabolic disorders (e.g. leaky gut syndrome and IBS). Removing heavily processed foods from the menu thus entails; improved digestive health and better nutrient absorption.

• Rich in healthy fats and proteins, the Paleo diet can improve cognitive functions, heart health, focus, and eyesight, and it can also reduce fatigue and risk of brain fog, allergies, asthma, and Alzheimer’s triggered by a diet centered on processed foods containing gluten and allergens, refined salt and sugar, and artificial additives, sweeteners, and flavorings.

• Many an experienced personal trainer has endorsed the Paleo regime because it has the potential to improve muscle-to-fat ratio. Combined with regular training, the Paleo menu can significantly accelerate metabolic rate, enhance weight loss, and speed up muscle mass increase.

• Free of added sugars and simple carbs, the Paleo diet promotes insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of extra weight, diabetes type 2, elevated blood pressure, and obesity.

• Stable energy levels and improved mood have also been listed as positive effects of the Paleo diet. The caveman menu revolves around clean, unprocessed foods rich in fiber, complex carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals, which translates as seamless gastrointestinal tract function and reduced bloating and gasses.

• Most of the ingredients on the caveman plate have a low glycemic index, which results in reduced hunger and cravings, stable blood glucose, and a slow yet steady energy release.

One of the biggest problems with Paleo is that some people may find it too restrictive for long-term following. Though it has shown outstanding effects for celiac patients and people with food allergies and sensitivities, the caveman diet does require certain foodie sacrifices, so if you cannot imagine your day without dairy or wholegrains, you may find Paleo too scant a plate to stick to in the long run.

If you think that skipping the proverbial glass of milk before bedtime or swapping your morning cereals for a Paleo breakfast is a small price to pay for improved immune system function, clear complexion, better sleep, mood boost, and increased energy, Paleo is a perfect nutritional system for you. After all, clean eating is healthier (and tastier) than a plateful of junk food, no discussion there. What have you got to lose, except a bit of fat and a chance to go down with a chronic disease?


About the author:

Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogospere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter at or in a tea shop. She blogs over at
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