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What Is The Paleo Diet? – Forbes Health



The Paleo Diet is based on the assumption that the simple foods of our Stone Age ancestors are healthier than today’s diets, which generally include highly processed foods. The paleo diet emphasizes lean meat, fish, and unprocessed, fresh foods. It also severely restricts carbohydrates, sugar, and salt. This type of eating can lead to weight loss and other health benefits, research has shown, but it is not without its risks.

What’s the Paleo diet?

Fans of the Paleo Diet believe that our bodies are better suited to eating foods that were consumed by early humans in the Paleolithic. These foods tend to include lean meats and plants rather than the highly processed and high carbohydrate foods that many people eat today.

Walter L. Voegtlin, MD, first introduced the paleo-way of eating as a means of improving health in his 1975 book The Stone Age Diet. It later became popular in the 2002 book The Paleo Diet by researcher and exercise physiologist Loren Cordain.

Paleo’s diet-friendly foods include lean unprocessed meat, seafood, leafy greens, fresh fruits, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils. Meanwhile, the diet doesn’t allow grains, milk, cheese, potatoes, legumes, processed foods, added sugar or salt, and refined vegetable oils.

According to a 2015 review, the paleo diet has been shown to have health benefits such as reduced waist size, lower levels of triglycerides (blood lipids associated with heart disease, diabetes, and liver disease), and drop in blood pressure, according to studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Skipping important nutrients is a risk, however – and many of the health benefits paleo-recruiters have may be due to the weight loss that comes from diet as opposed to diet itself.

Types of Paleo Diets

The Paleo Diet can be tailored to meet individual food needs. “I often help people adjust it, especially athletes and active people who need more carbohydrates than fuel,” says Heather Mangieri of Pittsburgh, a registered nutritionist, certified sports diet specialist, and author of Fueling Young Athletes. “Including some more complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, potatoes, and other whole grains helps provide the extra fuel required for activity while following a healthy diet plan and achieving personal goals. The key is to eat what you need and not to overdo it. “

“In my experience, most people who claim to be on the Paleo Diet are actually following a modified form of it,” she adds. “That’s okay, because a strict paleo diet isn’t necessary to lose weight.”

The Autoimmune Paleo Diet

Variations in the paleo diet have appeared over the years. One adaptation is the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. This is an elimination diet that requires a person to remove foods from their diet one at a time to determine which foods are specifically causing symptoms related to autoimmune diseases. Here, eliminated foods are those that paleo-diet advocates say are common offenders, like cereals and processed foods.

While research evaluating the effects of the paleo diet on autoimmune diseases has been limited, there is scattered evidence of its benefits. Such was the case with Sarah Ballantyne, who has a PhD in Medical Biophysics and is the author of the Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Healing Your Body. She found that following the Paleo Diet significantly eliminated symptoms she had for years, such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, anxiety, migraines, and eczema. After switching to the paleo way of eating, she also lost weight and slept better, she says.

Paleo Diet Foods

The Paleo Diet prioritizes certain unprocessed foods with no added sugar or salt and restricts others. Permitted foods are:

  • Fish and seafood. These provide protein and omega-3 fat.
  • Lean, grass-fed meat. This provides protein with low levels of saturated fat, vitamins (B12) and minerals (zinc, iron).
  • Fresh fruit. This provides antioxidants, phytochemicals, and fiber.
  • Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cucumber, and pumpkin. These provide vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals, but are low in calories.
  • Sweet potatoes. These root vegetables are touted by paleo proponents for their nutritional benefits.
  • Eggs. These contain omega-3 fat (in omega-3 enriched eggs) and protein, as well as vitamin A and choline from the egg yolk.
  • nuts (Except peanuts, which are legumes). These contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
  • Olive oil. This is recommended for health reasons and contains monounsaturated fat and phytonutrients.

Foods Not Allowed on a Paleo Diet

The paleo diet contains fewer carbohydrates. Restricted foods include:

  • Cereal products, like pasta and cereals. Refined grains have a high glycemic index – which means your blood sugar levels can rise quickly and trigger the release of insulin, a fat storage hormone. Although whole grains have health benefits, the paleo diet limits all grains (not just refined grains).
  • Legumes, like beans, soy, and peanuts. Beans in particular have a moderate glycemic index.
  • Milk, cheese and yogurt. These are Not allowed because paleo proponents say they often have hormones and have been linked to gastrointestinal problems as many people do not ingest the sugar in dairy products.

A paleo diet meal plan

The Paleo Diet includes a wide variety of foods so with a little culinary creativity, daily meals don’t have to be boring. Based on the recommended and restricted foods listed on the Paleo website created by Cordain, a week of meals could look like this, even for someone who is not a skilled cook.

Benefits of Eating Paleo

The Paleo Diet offers a number of health benefits, including:

Weight loss

Weight loss is a major benefit of the paleo diet, research shows, although calorie counting and portion measurement are not required. For overweight or obese people, shedding extra pounds can be beneficial for their health.

Glucose control

Consuming less sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates (processed carbohydrates with no fiber) may be a must for people with diabetes, according to a small study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco. The Paleo Diet can help improve glucose control. “Eliminating sugar and limiting salt is by far the greatest benefit of a paleo diet,” says Mangieri. “In fact, most people can achieve weight loss success if they focus on reducing these nutrients on their own.”

Improved body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol levels

The Paleo Diet can help manage weight and waist size, as well as treat some chronic diseases. This comes from a 2019 review of the studies in the Nutrition Journal.

A small 2015 study found that after four months of consuming paleo foods, people with high cholesterol showed improvements in their cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are vital in preventing heart disease.

In addition, the paleo-way of eating resulted in short-term improvements in waist circumference, triglyceride levels, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels compared to other diets. This was found in another review of randomized trials in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Risks of the Paleo Diet

There are risks associated with a paleo diet, such as:

  • Eating too much saturated fat. “A real paleo diet is rich in vegetables, berries, sweet potatoes, nuts, and seeds. If you eat enough of it, you can get enough fiber, ”says Mangieri. “The problem is, most people don’t. Many people take what they want from the diet, like eating all the meats they want, rather than focusing on the vegetables. That can definitely lead to a diet high in saturated fat. “
  • Not getting enough vitamins. “Since the paleo diet does not allow dairy products, you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium [is] Definitely a problem, ”says Mangieri. Additionally, with so many foods on the not-to-eat list, some people may find it just too difficult to maintain this eating pattern.

Pro tips to maximize a paleo diet

As with many diets, how you put a paleo diet into practice is important.

Get your omega-3 fatty acids.

The Paleo Diet recommends eating lots of fish and lean meat, largely because of their omega-3 fatty acid content – for good reason. According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Replace junk food with healthy goodies.

The Paleo way of eating offers many alternatives to sugary and salty foods. Try eating a few dates instead of sweets. Instead of salty french fries, try a mixture of nuts and seeds flavored with spices like garlic powder and cumin.


Voegtlin, Walter L., MD, FACP The Stone Age Diet. New York / Washington / Atlanta / Hollywood: Vantage Press, Inc .; 1975.

Cordain, Loren, Ph.D. The Paleo Diet. Revised edition. Hoboken, New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2002, 2010.

What to and shouldn’t eat on the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet. Accessed on 03/04/2021.

Manheimer EW, van Zuuren EJ, Fedorowicz Z., Pilj H. et al. Paleolithic diet for the metabolic syndrome: systematic review and meta-analysis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015; 102 (4): 922-932.

The Autoimmune Paleo Diet. Mindd Foundation. Accessed on 03/04/2021.

Melberg C., Sanberg S., Ryberg M. et al. Long-term effects of a Paleolithic diet in obese postmenopausal women: a 2-year randomized study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014; 68: 350-357.

Magkos F., Fratterigo G., Yoshino J. et al. Effects of moderate and subsequent progressive weight loss on metabolic function and adipose tissue biology in people with obesity. Cell metabolism. 2016; 23 (4): 591-601.

Masharani U., Sherchan P., Schloetter M. et al. Metabolic and physiological effects of eating a hunter-gatherer diet (Paleolithic) in type 2 diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015; 69944-948.

de Menezes EV, Sampaioi H., Carioca A. et al. Influence of Paleolithic Diet on Anthropometric Markers in Chronic Disease: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrition journal. 2019.

Pastore RL, Brooks JT, Carbone, JW. The Paleolithic diet improves plasma lipid concentrations in hypercholesterolemic adults more than traditional heart-healthy diets. Nutritional research. 2015; 35 (6): 474- 479.

Genoni A., Christophersen, CT, Lo J. et al. A Paleolithic long-term diet is associated with a lower intake of resistant starch, a different composition of the intestinal microbiota and increased TMAO concentrations in the serum. European Journal of Nutrition. 2020.

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Whole Grains Health

Micronutrients are essential for you; here’s why



Nutrients and supplements are the most underrated terms when it comes to healthy eating. In the age of Instagram where it’s common to flaunt everything you eat and switch between the latest diet fashion trends, we tend to ignore the true science of nutrition. “There is an endless pool of content on the Internet on this subject. However, it is also the main reason behind the various myths and misconceptions that people fall prey to. Food with high cholesterol is unhealthy, only people with high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake, dietary supplements are a waste of money; These are just some of the misleading statements that need to be corrected, ”said Dr. Manoj Chadha, Consulting Endocrinologist in Mumbai.

One area of ​​nutrition that has suddenly caught interest and is relatively ambiguous for most people is the role of micronutrients in our overall immune response and wellbeing. As the pandemic emphasizes the need to build a strong immune system more than ever, it is important to really understand the types of micronutrients that are readily available and how they affect the body. For a long time the focus was on vitamins A, C and D. However, the order of importance for preserving these micronutrients remains Z, A, C, D – zinc, vitamins A, C and D.


“Before the pandemic, zinc was one of the most underrated micronutrients. Doctors stuck to prescribing the usual vitamins A, C, and D, and people were happy to put cod liver oil and oranges in the cart while supposedly soaking up all of the vitamin D from the sun! However, there is enough evidence now to suggest that zinc is also a critical element in building immunity. It is an important part of antiviral drugs and antibiotics. It is also known to act as a preventive and therapeutic agency by complementing prescribed treatment for Covid-19. It is possible that zinc deficiency may be a potential additional factor that predisposes people to infection and the harmful progression of Covid-19, ”she told

While natural foods such as legumes, nuts, dairy products, eggs, meat, and whole grains are accessible sources of zinc, it is also advisable to ensure that your body is getting the necessary amounts with the help of additional dietary supplements.

Vitamins A, C and D

The sun is the greatest source of vitamin D. (Source: Getty Images / Thinkstock)

According to a study by the International Journal of Research and Orthopedics, of 4,624 people surveyed in the country, almost 77 percent were vitamin D deficient. Most people are known to have one or more of these deficiencies, some of which are so severe that they cannot be detected in the system. So our bodies clearly need more amounts of these micronutrients and the natural sources are unable to meet these needs. Let’s start by briefly understanding why vitamins A, C, and D should be included in our considerations.

Vitamin A plays an important role in the regulation of innate immunity and its deficiency can lead to an increased susceptibility to various pathogens in the eye, in the respiratory tract and in the gastrointestinal tract. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, can reduce susceptibility to viral respiratory infections and pneumonia. The lack of vitamin D, found in tiny amounts in foods like dairy products, grains, and oily fish, has been linked to a higher incidence of acute respiratory infections. Clear studies of the effects these micronutrients have on the body have shown that they can help in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“In summary, it can be said that nutrition is a very broad term and requires more attention than ever. The micronutrients mentioned above are in no way exhaustive and are the only means of achieving good immunity. Understanding the role they play in our overall wellbeing and making sure we add them to our diet, however, is a good starting point for this journey to healthy living, ”concluded Dr. Chadha.

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Whole Grains Health

Eating starchy snacks associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease: Study



Consumption of Starchy Snacks at Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Study | Photo credit: Pixabay

Washington: Can Starchy Snacks Harm Heart Health? A new study suggests they could! The new study found that eating starchy snacks high in white potatoes or other starches after a meal was linked to at least a 50 percent increased risk of death and a 44 to 57 percent increased risk of cardiovascular death. Conversely, eating fruits, vegetables, or dairy products with certain meals is associated with a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“People are increasingly concerned about what they eat and when they eat,” said Ying Li, PhD, lead study author and professor in the Nutrition and Food Hygiene Department at Harbin Medical University School of Public Health in Harbin, China.

“Our team tried to better understand the effects of different foods when consumed with certain meals,” added Li.

Li and colleagues analyzed the results of 21,503 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2014 in the United States to assess eating patterns at all meals. In the study population, 51 percent of the participants were women and all participants were 30 years or older at the start of the study. To determine patient outcomes, researchers used the National Death Index from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to record participants who died of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes by December 31, 2015. The researchers categorized the participants’ eating patterns by analyzing what types of foods they ate with different meals. For main meals, three main morning meal nutritional patterns were identified: western breakfast, starchy breakfast and fruit breakfast.

Western lunch, vegetable and fruit lunch have been identified as the most important eating patterns for lunch. Western dinner, vegetables and fruits have been identified as the main eating patterns for dinner. For snacks, grain snacks, starchy snacks, fruit snacks and milk snacks were identified as the main snack patterns between meals. In addition, participants who did not fit into certain eating patterns were analyzed as a reference group. The researchers found that the Western eating pattern was higher in fat and protein, which is similar to many North American meals.

The participants in the western lunch group consumed most of the servings of refined grains, solid fats, cheese, added sugars, and sausages. The participants in the fruit lunch group consumed most of the servings of whole grains, fruit, yogurt and nuts. The participants in the vegetable-based dinner group ate most of the servings of dark vegetables, red and orange vegetables, tomatoes, other vegetables, and legumes. Participants who consumed starchy snacks consumed most servings of white potatoes.

According to their findings:

  1. Eating a western lunch (which usually includes refined grains, cheese, charcuterie) was linked to a 44 percent increased risk of CVD deaths.
  2. Eating a fruit-based lunch was linked to a 34 percent reduced risk of CVD death.
  3. Eating a vegetable-based dinner was associated with a 23 percent and 31 percent reduction in CVD and overall mortality, respectively.
  4. Eating a high starch snack after a meal was associated with a 50-52 percent increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 44-57 percent increased risk of CVD-related mortality.

“Our results showed that the amount and time of ingestion of different types of foods are equally critical to maintaining optimal health,” said Li.

Li added, “Future dietary guidelines and intervention strategies could incorporate optimal consumption times for food throughout the day.”

One of the limitations of this study is that the nutritional data was provided by the participants themselves, which can lead to memory bias. And although the researchers checked for potential confounders, other unmeasured confounders cannot be ruled out.

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Whole Grains Health

Tips on how to raise a healthy child on a vegan diet



Parents often wonder if children are getting enough protein on a plant-based diet. This is understandable given the importance of protein to a growing child. If you have decided to start a vegan diet for a child, here are some things you should know.

How Much Protein is Enough?

The recommended intake for a healthy adult is 46 grams of protein per day for women and 56 grams for men. But the average adult in developed countries eats far more protein than they actually need. In fact, they are eating roughly double the recommended amount! It is therefore easy to get enough protein simply by consuming a variety of plant-based foods, including beans, legumes, nuts, broccoli, and whole grains.

Vegetable proteins

Did you know that plant-based foods contain more vitamins and minerals, contain fiber, and contain far less sodium, saturated fats and cholesterol than their meat and milk-based counterparts? They also don’t contain antibiotics and other scary medicines commonly found in meat and dairy products. Here are a few other herbal facts:

  • Soy protein provides the same protein quality as meat and contains all of the essential amino acids.
  • Non-heme iron is found in a wide variety of plant foods, including leafy vegetables, beans and grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Omega-3, which is also a common problem, can be easily replicated in a plant-based diet of flaxseed, hempseed, and chia seeds, to name a few.

The benefits of the plant-based diet

With increasing awareness of the benefits of the plant-based diet, there is now a wider variety of kid-friendly plant-based meals on the market. It’s so much easier these days to replicate foods that kids eat and enjoy in plant-based versions these days.

The challenges of vegan parenting

Being a parent has its challenges. But raising vegan kids in a non-vegan world is really tough.

Here are a few ideas to help you out.

  • Remember, your child is not you. It is up to you to teach them the values ​​that you have as a family unit. You are there to guide and inspire them. If, as you get older, they make different decisions than you do, don’t take it personally or as a sign that you have failed.
  • Keep meals exciting. Get creative in the kitchen with your kids. Try to make food art with the vegetables. Think Rainbow Wraps, Noughts and Crosses (winner eats everything) and become a master of disguise (hide the vegetables they don’t normally eat).
  • Talk about the food you prepared. Educate your children about the health benefits. Raising yourself and your children will benefit you all greatly. Discuss how you prepared the food and where it came from (e.g. if it is grown by yourself, from a nearby farm). Talking about where animal products came from can also help the rest of the family understand your point of view. Keep emotions out of these discussions – be open, honest, and logical.
  • Realize that everyone is on their own path. You cannot impose your own feelings on others. Listen to their point of view, be kind, and give your own thoughts in a non-confrontational way. Plant seeds. Do not judge. Be compassionate.
  • Be prepared for events. School events, fundraisers, get-togethers, and children’s parties usually involve animal products. Pack some options for your kids.
  • Connect with animals. Go to a farm together and spend time with the rescued animals. Make sure your kids have a real connection with animals.
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