The Paleo Diet (aka Paleolithic Diet; Caveman Diet; Hunter-Gatherer Diet) has been gaining popularity in recent years. This diet is a return to our ancestral diet and tries to match the way humans ate thousands of years ago. Since humans evolved while eating this way, it’s thought that the Paleo Diet may be the most compatible diet for our genetic code.
The Paleo Diet focuses on eating whole, unprocessed, and nutrient-dense foods that our ancestors would have eaten. This includes meats, seafoods, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. This diet eliminates processed, high-sugar, and carbohydrate-rich foods that our ancestors would not have eaten such as sugars, grains, dairy, legumes, and alcohol.
I have used the Paleo Diet with many patients over the years, and I’ve noticed that it can have many health benefits. Here is a list of the top 7 reasons to try a Paleo Diet:
1. It Eliminates Processed Food
The Paleo Diet emphasizes whole foods that are unprocessed and discourages packaged, refined, and processed foods. This diet is quite healthy simply because it contains much less chemicals and additives in your foods.
2. A Focus On Nutrient-Dense Foods
Since you are excluding sugars, grains, and dairy, there will be no ’empty calories’ on this diet. This diet emphasizes plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, which will ensure you’re getting lots of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals), antioxidants, and healthy fats in your diet.
3. Better Blood Sugar Control
Sugars, grains, and dairy are the foods that are most likely to raise your blood sugar levels. By excluding these, you will be focusing on foods with lower carbohydrate content, less sugars, and more nutrients. This will prevent high spikes in your insulin and will keep your blood sugar levels under control.
4. Reduced Inflammation
When I test food sensitivities for my patients, I find that sugars, grains, and dairy products are the most likely to be highly reactive. These foods trigger immune reactions and create high levels of inflammation in the body. A Paleo Diet excludes these foods, so it is very useful for reducing chronic inflammation. When I perform blood tests for my patients, we often notice reduced inflammatory markers when they are following this diet.
5. Improved Gut Health
Patients with intestinal health concerns or symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are most likely to have an intolerance or sensitivity to sugars, dairy products, and grains. The Paleo Diet excludes foods that can be the most challenging to digest and the most likely to create inflammation; thus, patients will often report much less bloating, belching, gas, heartburn, and cramping while following this diet.
6. Lower Cholesterol Levels
High levels of cholesterol are thought to be another marker of high inflammation in the body. The Paleo Diet can reduce cholesterol levels because it is an anti-inflammatory diet. This diet also lowers blood sugar and insulin spikes, which then lowers our internal cholesterol production. When I test my patients’ cholesterol levels after following the Paleo Diet, I find their cholesterol levels will often decline substantially.
7. Weight Loss
The Paleo Diet eliminates high-sugar foods, junk foods, and other empty calories. This diet includes a higher protein intake, which is great for preserving your metabolism and lean mass. Insulin is a key hormone that promotes fat storage. Since this diet is low in carbohydrates, it controls blood sugar and insulin levels, making it easier for you to burn fat and lose weight.
If you would like to try this diet, schedule an appointment now to discuss how you can get started. We can make adjustments to tailor this diet and your treatment plan to your health goals.
Dr. Michael Morsillo, H.B.Sc., N.D.
Newmarket Naturopathic Doctor
16655 Yonge St., Newmarket, ON
905-898-1844 ext. 135