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Whole Grains Health

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.

Whole Grains Health

Protein Variety and Heart Health Are Linked, Study Finds



We’ve all found ourselves in the habit of eating the same three things over and over (…and over) again. When life gets busy, falling back on simple dishes that satisfy your tastebuds is the natural thing to do. But if you’re cooking up the same couple proteins on the regular, a new study published in the the journal Hypertension suggests that it may be time to introduce a few new varieties into your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

The study pulled existing data from over 12,000 participants who took part in a minimum of two rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey. Researchers sought to explore the relationship between hypertension—or high blood pressure—and the variety and quantity of proteins from eight major dietary sources consumed by participants. (Study participants were an average age of 41 years old.)

Researchers measured protein intake by looking at three consecutive days of eating, scoring each round based on the number of protein varieties consumed (including legumes, fish, eggs, whole grains, refined grains, processed and unprocessed red meat, and poultry).

The results? “Among ‘just the right amount’ consumers of protein, those eating the greatest variety of protein had a the lowest blood pressure,” explains John Higgins, MD, a sports cardiologist with McGovern Medical School at the UT Health Science Center at Houston. Notably, those who ate the least and the most amount of protein were at the greatest risk for developing high blood pressure, while those who ate the greatest variety of protein were 66 percent less likely to end up developing hypertension between the rounds of the survey .

“The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure.” — Xianhui Qin, MD, study author

Although the survey results sound complicated—and, hey, they were—the takeaway is simple: “The heart health message is that consuming a balanced diet with proteins from various different sources, rather than focusing on a single source of dietary protein, may help to prevent the development of high blood pressure,” Xianhui Qin, MD, the study author, said in a press release. In other words: Mix it up! Spin the protein wheel of fortune and try something new.

Related Stories

If you’re not quite sure where to start with upping your protein game, Dr. Higgins recommends looking at your consumption on a daily basis. “The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than about 5.5 ounces of protein daily, about one to two servings, from healthy sources such as plants, seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and some lean meats and poultry,” he says. “The best proteins are lean proteins including beans, soy or tofu, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid proteins that say ‘hydrogenated’ on label or contain high levels of trans fats or saturated fats. “

Of course, there’s always room in your eating plan for less nutritional proteins, too—just try to incorporate these lean sources when you can, and ask your doctor if you have questions about what dietary habits are right for your particular health status and family history .

A delicious way to eat more varied proteins? This delicious quiche recipe:

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Whole Grains Health

The 10 Best Diet Books in 2022



Staff, Courtesy of Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky

The word “diet” has earned itself an undeniably negative reputation, often leading people to think of unsustainable restriction and unhealthy fads. However, if you’re looking to adjust your way of eating, whether you want to feel better, lose weight, or hit a new personal record, there are tons of great diet books out there that can help educate you on ways to improve your nutrition and get you feeling better than ever.

While the diets of the past have focused on restriction, newer ways of eating encouragement consuming more good-for-you foods to crowd out less healthy choices, leaving you feeling satisfied, not deprived. These diet books are also super educational, teaching you why you should eat certain foods, what they can do for your health, and the best ways to make them delicious. To help you on your nutrition journey, we’ve gathered the best diet books and healthy cookbooks available today.

Best Diet Books

    How to Choose a Diet Book

    If you’re looking to switch up your diet, the first thing you should ask yourself is why. What exactly do you want out of a diet?

    Second, consider your lifestyle. Do you need meals that are quick and easy? Do you like to take an hour or two to cook for yourself every night? How often can you grocery shop for fresh ingredients?

    Finally, consider whether you’re looking specifically for a cookbook or one that will provide you education on a particular way of eating without necessarily giving you recipes. While many cookbooks will have some content that discusses the origins of food and their nutritional benefits, these books are unlikely to go as in-depth regarding nutrition as less recipe-focused ones.

    How We Selected

    To find the best diet books among the many options on the market, we researched the most popular books available and considered their content, credibility, design, digestibility, and organization. We then looked at both expert reviews and more than 105,000 customer ratings, written by people who’ve bought these books on Amazon, to settle on the diet books you’ll find below.

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    Best vegetarian

    How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    This is a great all-around cookbook, but it’s an especially great buy if you’re trying to lay off meat. This book contains everything from specific meal recipes to instructions for steaming veggies, truly teaching you how to cook from start to finish. There are recipes for every meal, as well as snacks and desserts, and it includes instructions for so many different dishes you could easily cook from only this book for an entire year and not get bored.


    Best for Longevity

    The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

    This cookbook highlights recipes from specific areas across the globe—called blue zones—where people live the longest. While some of their longevity surely comes from other lifestyle factors, there’s no discounting the role diet plays in their long-lasting health and wellbeing. These recipes not only focus on ingredients, but the ways in which foods are prepared and how that relates to their overall nutritional value.

    The goal of the book is to increase longevity and quality of life while creating delicious recipes that you’ll want to eat time and time again.


    Best Mediterranean

    The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook

    The Mediterranean diet is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It’s full of lean proteins, healthy fats, and tons of vegetables, providing a well-rounded, nutritious way of eating.

    This cookbook not only has 500 great Mediterranean recipes, but it also helps you learn which ingredients you should make staples in your grocery list. It also uses only ingredients that you can easily find at standard grocery stores, which makes the Mediterranean diet more accessible.


    Best for Runners

    run fast eat slow

    You’ve probably heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”—and to some degree, the same holds true for personal records. While nutritious food won’t necessarily knock 30 seconds off your mile time, it can help you fuel your workouts so you get the most out of your training.

    This book was designed by Olympian Shalane Flanagan and is packed with recipes designed to help runners fuel their toughest workouts and recover after. As a bonus, the recipes included in this book just so happen to be delicious, too.


    Best Vegan

    The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook

    When first going vegan, it can be difficult to figure out how to make food that is both delicious and nutritious. This book has 500 recipes ranging from meals to snacks to desserts that use entirely plant-based ingredients. These recipes also offer alternate ingredient options, like eggs and dairy, which is great if you want to add more plant-based recipes into your diet, but aren’t ready to dive headfirst into veganism.


    Best for a full reset

    The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom

    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    If you’ve been diet-hopping in hopes of finding a meal plan that can help you commit to a healthier lifestyle and enjoy some weight loss, Whole 30 is a great choice. It has you cut out sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, and some other specific foods for 30 days. The idea behind the diet is that it helps jumpstart weight loss while simultaneously getting you to reassess how you think about what you are eating to reach a place of freedom with your food.


    Best for weight loss

    The Obesity Code – Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss

    If weight loss is your goal, and you have struggled to find lasting success, this book could be a game-changer. It dives into the science of weight loss, helping you understand hormones, insulin resistance, and other reasons for weight gain. The book recommends intermittent fasting and a low-carb diet, and guides you on how to do them correctly, efficiently, and in the long term.


    Best for Learning about Food

    How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease

    A lot of eating plans focus on what you should eliminate from your diet, but this book places more importance on what you should be adding to your diet and why.

    It discusses foods that are scientifically proven to help you live a longer, healthier life, and the many ways in which food can help prevent disease. It focuses on whole body health—including both mental and physical health—and teaches you to focus on more than just weight and physical appearance when it comes to your food.


    Best for Anti-Dieters

    Not a Diet Book: Take Control. Gain Confidence. ChangeYourLife.

    The rise of anti-diet culture gave inspiration to this book, which helps you improve your relationship with food, tackle weight loss, and debunk fad diets to find a simple and easy way to lose weight and create habits that will keep the pounds from coming back. This book will help you build skills that enable you to live a happier, healthier life without focusing too closely on calories or numbers on a scale.


    Best for fasting

    Complete Guide to Fasting

    Fasting has gained popularity over the last decade and can be a great way to boost your metabolism, clear your mind, and promote weight loss. There are, however, rules you should follow while fasting so that you improve your health rather than endangering it. This book will guide you through intermittent, alternate-day, and extended fasting to ensure you choose the style that will work best for you and do it correctly.

    Before joining Runner’s World as an Editor in 2019, Gabrielle Hondorp spent 6 years in running retail (she has tested top gear from shoes, to watches, to rain jackets which has expanded her expertise—and her closets); she specializes in health and wellness, and is an expert on running gear from head-to-toe.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at

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Whole Grains Health

Eating different kinds of protein protects against hypertension: New study



Despite all this talk that more Australians are toying with vegetarianism, and despite the endless drum-beating about red meat giving you cancer and a dodgy heart, we continue to have one of the world’s highest levels of meat consumption.

Analysis published in December found Australians eat about 95 kilograms of meat per capita every year. The global average is 35 kilograms.

The article, ‘The Evolution of Urban Australian Meat-Eating Practices’, argues our meat-eating habits are driven by a blocky culture, an association with social status, a perception that plant-based diets are inadequate and lame, and ignorance about cooking legumes and tofu.

On the other hand, the authors point to a survey that found almost 20 per cent of those sampled “identified as meat-reducers”.

Furthermore, the authors say, 87 percent “of the meat reducer segment reported consuming a meat-free dish as their main meal at least once a week”.

They point to another survey that found almost 20 per cent described themselves as “flexitarian”, which is cool.

But it may not translate to more lentils, nuts, whole grains, fish and dairy hitting the dinner table as new favorite sources of protein.

A new study found why we need variety

Chinese researchers found that “eating protein from a greater variety of sources is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood pressure”.

Good to know because blood pressure is literally out of control in Australia.

One in three adults – more than six million Australians – has high blood pressure.

Of those afflicted, only 32 per cent have their hypertension under control. That leaves about four million Australians as ticking time bombs.

In December, in the Medical Journal of Australia, Professor Alta Schutte, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at UNSW Sydney, called for a national taskforce to tackle the issue.

By improving the control of hypertension, the risks of coronary heart disease, dementia and cerebrovascular disease will be substantially reduced.

The Chinese study suggests changing your diet will go some way to solving the problem.

the study

“Nutrition may be an easily accessible and effective measure to fight against hypertension. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is one of the three basic macronutrients,” said study author Dr Xianhui Qin, of the National Clinical Research Center for Kidney Disease at Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

The study authors analyzed health information for nearly 12,200 adults (average age 41), who had taken part in multiple rounds of the China Health and Nutrition Survey from 1997 to 2015.

Over three days in the same week, participants shared what they had eaten.

They were given a protein “variety score” based on the different sources of protein they’d eaten: whole grains, refined grains, processed red meat, unprocessed red meat, poultry, fish, egg and legumes.

One point was given for each source of protein, with a maximum variety score of 8. The researchers then evaluated the association for new onset hypertension in relation to the protein variety score.

New-onset hypertension was defined as blood pressure greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg/90 mm Hg, the use of blood pressure-lowering medicine, or self-reporting that a physician had diagnosed high blood pressure.

The average follow-up time was six years.

The results

More than 35 per cent of the participants developed new-onset high hypertension during the follow-up.

Compared to participants with the lowest variety score for protein intake (1), those with the highest variety score (4 or higher) had a 66 per cent lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

The amount of protein eaten was also a factor. Consumption was divided into five categories, from least to most intake.

The researchers found that “people who ate the least amount of total protein and those who ate most protein had the highest risk for new onset of hypertension”.

The researchers didn’t ask why a variety of proteins was more healthy. But nutritionists, doctors and health writers have banged on about it for years.

Lean red meat is high in quality protein but provides no fiber or healthy fats. Processed meats are high in saturated fats and salt and are the worst.

Fish is high in long-chain fatty acids, which are good for the brain. Lentils and whole grains are high in fibre.

Hand on heart, a bit of each during the week might stop you from carking it in the street. Which is just undignified and unmanly.

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