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Is the Paleo Diet Healthy?


The increase in obesity has brought a wide variety of diets and weight-loss solutions. Some of these are healthy and responsible, while others are not. The Paleo Diet, also referred to as the Caveman Diet, is a fairly new dieting approach, though in other ways can be considered the very oldest of diets. It is based on the concept that the eating habits of our ancient ancestors were much healthier than our options today. It includes a diet of meats, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. There have been several studies on this particular diet, with generally positive but as with all things sometimes conflicting data, but on the whole many people can see the logic behind its principles. In weighing up any diet, one of the most important aspects is its health implications. Besides the possibility of weight-loss, the Paleo Diet can also provide a significant number of vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function properly and may also have a role in treating inflammatory diseases and provide several other health benefits.

The Health Benefits

In today’s society, people have become accustomed to the convenience of processed, previously prepared food. These ready-made meals may save time and money, but they are not always the healthiest option. The Paleo Diet conforms to the many different aspects of the nationally accepted dietary guidelines. Many Americans include way too much salt within their diet. High amounts of sodium can lead to high-blood pressure and an excess of fluid build-up, which causes painful swelling. This diet reduces these risks because ancient individuals did not have salt to season their food. Potassium is an extremely important nutrient for the body. Studies have shown that potassium reduces bone loss and improves kidney health. Bananas have an abundance of this nutrient. Another benefit to this diet is the availability to fiber. Fiber is a vital component for normal digestion. It sends signals to the brain that you are full, and also promotes the elimination of waste. The Paleo Diet provides the body with more than enough fiber due to the large amounts of fruits and vegetables it demands. Because soft drinks and juices were not available, ancient people drank lots of water. In fact, the body cannot survive without it. Water promotes the function of most systems within the body and prevents dehydration and drinking water is much much better for you than sodas and sugary juices.
Apart from the obvious nutritional benefits, by eliminating sugar intake, the paleolithic diet lowers the development of insulin resistance and the development of diabetes. This has wide reaching benefits with respect to weight loss and overall health.
By eliminating bread from your diet this also helps fight against the development of insulin resistance and helps individuals following the diet to lose weight, improve muscle tone and body shape and generally feel a whole lot healthier.
Indeed by avoiding sugar and refined wheat followers of the paleo diet also experience a reduction in intestinal yeast which results in reduced abdominal bloating and the possible resolution of a range of other health problems.
Some advocates also report improvement in the status of inflammatory diseases such as colitis and arthritis.

Possible Challenges

While there are many benefits to the Paleo Diet, there are particular characteristics that may be difficult to follow. This diet requires a great deal of protein. Proteins are found in meat, such as chicken, beef, and pork. However, these meats can also be full of extra fats. for this reason lean meats are a must, and advocates should be careful to purchase lean meats wherever possible. The Paleolithic Diet also involves eliminating grains and dairy products. These foods are high in nutrients that are necessary for some people. Those suffering from some form of vitamin D or calcium deficiency would have to find other ways to get what their body needs. Another potential challenge is the cost of committing to this type of diet. The price of groceries is at an all-time high in many countries. This is especially true for cuts of meat and fresh vegetables, which are an essential part of this diet.Indeed before attempting this or any other diet, it is important to discuss the benefits and risks with a trusted medical professional. There are features of the Paleo Diet that some people may struggle with and its important to check with your Doctor first before you decide if this is the right diet for you. The responsible thing to do is become educated on both the positive and negative sides of any new diet. Only then will you be able to make an informed decision.
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