Paleo diet(Paleolithic diet or caveman die) is a revolutionary diet. The belief that health benefits of Paleo diet only include weight loss and sleek body is not true. Paleo diet is important in improving the health of your heart, normal functioning of thyroid, alleviating allergies, providing a way to manage diabetes and curing insomnia and autoimmune disorders. But what makes Paleo diet so special and how this diet regime works? All of this is explained in the text to follow.
Principles of Paleo diet
Paleo diet is a diet of our ancestors. The history of this diet goes back thousands of years. All the diet was acquired naturally which helped the people of that era to keep sleek and healthy bodies. Paleo diet has following important nutrients:
Proteins are the source of amino acids which are required for building up the muscles of our body and also serve as a source of energy. Paleo diet use chicken, beans, peas and fish instead of beef and mutton as a source of protein. Mutton and beef, although are a very good source of proteins, also contain high content of harmful saturated fats and cholesterol.
Paleo diet also puts great stress on complex carbs (carbohydrates) and not simple carbs. This is because simple carbs have a simple structure. When such carbs are consumed, they’re absorbed as such and leads to increased sugar levels in blood. Our body produces increased amounts of a hormone called “Insulin” in response to this high sugar level which coverts it into glycogen. But if the sugar is superfluous, insulin starts converting sugars into fats. High levels of fats then causes weight gain, poor health of heart and various other complications.
What is the role of complex carbs then? Complex carbs have a complicated structure. They need to be converted into simple sugars by the enzymes in our gut before they can be absorbed. It takes some time for their conversion and hence are released slowly into the blood. The levels of Insulin remain low and fats are not formed.
There is a common belief that fats are bad for health. This is not entirely true. They are bad for health to some extent and the bad fats are the saturated fats. These fats accumulate in the body and cause increased body weight. These fats, along with cholesterol, also get deposited on the inner surface of the blood vessels leading to heart attack. On the other hand, unsaturated fats have health benefits. Paleo diet is rich in unsaturated fats. These fats act as anti-oxidants and help lower the level of unhealthy saturated fats in our body.
Paleo diet is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It provides important vitamins like vitamin A, B, C and E. The important minerals include iron, copper, zinc and selenium, but puts a restriction on sodium because it increases blood pressure.
Advantages of Paleo diet
Many scientific studies have shown that this diet of our ancestors has been the key that they never had chronic illness and diseases that are now common, including:
- Diabetes type 2
- Cardiovascular diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.
- Osteoporosis (brittle bones liable to fracture)
- Autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)