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Whole Grain Benefits

9 Health Benefits of Eating Oats and Oatmeal



Oats are one of the healthiest grains on earth.

They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits.

These include weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease.

Here are 9 evidence-based health benefits of consuming oats and oatmeal.

What are oatmeal and oatmeal?

Oats are whole grain foods scientifically known as Avena sativa.

Oat groats, the most intact and complete form of oats, take a long time to cook. For this reason, most of the people prefer rolled oats, rolled oats, or steel cut oats.

Instant (fast) oats are the most processed variety. Although they take the shortest time to cook, the texture can be mushy.

Oats are often eaten for breakfast as oatmeal, which is made by boiling oats in water or milk. Oatmeal is often called porridge.

They’re also often found in muffins, granola bars, cookies, and other baked goods.

Bottom line:

Oats are whole grains that are often eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast.

1. Oats are incredibly nutritious

The nutritional composition of oats is balanced.

They’re a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan (1, 2, 3).

They also contain more protein and fat than most grains (4).

Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains (5):

  • Manganese: 191% of FDI
  • Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 34% of FDI
  • Copper: 24% of FDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 20% of the RDI
  • Folate: 11% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 39% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI
  • Lower amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

This comes with 51 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, and 8 grams of fiber, but only 303 calories.

This means that oats are among the most nutritious foods you can eat.

Bottom line:

Oats are high in carbohydrates and fiber, but also more protein and fat than most other grains. They are very rich in many vitamins and minerals.

2. Whole grain oats are high in antioxidants, including avenanthramides

Whole grain oats are rich in antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds called polyphenols. Most notable is a unique group of antioxidants called avenanthramides, found almost exclusively in oats (6).

Avenanthramides can help lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide. This gas molecule helps widen blood vessels and leads to better blood flow (7, 8, 9).

In addition, avenanthramides have anti-inflammatory and antipruritic properties (9).

Ferulic acid is also found in large quantities in oats. This is another antioxidant (10).

Bottom line:

Oats contain many powerful antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These compounds can help lower blood pressure and provide other benefits.

3. Oats contain a powerful soluble fiber called beta-glucan

Oats contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber.

Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the intestine.

Some of the health benefits of beta-glucan fiber include:

  • Reduced LDL and Total Cholesterol Levels (1)
  • Reduced blood sugar and insulin response (11)
  • Increased feeling of fullness (12)
  • Increased growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract (13)

Bottom line:

Oats are rich in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy intestinal bacteria and increases the feeling of satiety.

4. They can lower cholesterol and protect LDL cholesterol from damage

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. An important risk factor is high blood cholesterol.

Many studies have shown that the beta-glucan fiber in oats is effective at lowering both total and LDL cholesterol levels (1, 14).

Beta-glucan can increase the excretion of high-cholesterol bile, thereby lowering circulating cholesterol levels in the blood.

The oxidation of LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol, which occurs when LDL reacts with free radicals, is another critical step in the progression of heart disease.

It causes inflammation in the arteries, damages tissues, and can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

One study reports that antioxidants in oats work along with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation (15).

Bottom line:

Oats can lower the risk of heart disease by lowering both total and LDL cholesterol and by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation.

5. Oats can improve blood sugar control

Type 2 diabetes is a widespread disease that is characterized by significantly increased blood sugar levels. It usually results from a decreased sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

Oats can help lower blood sugar levels, especially in people who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes (16, 17, 18).

They can also improve insulin sensitivity (19).

These effects are mainly attributed to beta-glucan’s ability to form a thick gel that delays gastric emptying and the absorption of glucose into the blood (20).

Bottom line:

Due to the soluble fiber beta-glucan, oats can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.

6. Oatmeal is very filling and can help you lose weight

Oatmeal (porridge) is not only a delicious breakfast meal, but also very filling (21).

Eating filling foods can help you eat fewer calories and lose weight.

The beta-glucan in oatmeal can increase your feeling of fullness by delaying the time it takes your stomach to empty (12, 22).

Beta-glucan can also promote the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone made in the gut in response to food. This satiety hormone has been shown to reduce caloric intake and may reduce your risk of obesity (23, 24).

Bottom line:

Oatmeal can help you lose weight by making you feel full. It does this by slowing down gastric emptying and increasing the production of the satiety hormone PYY.

7. Finely ground oats can help with skin care

It is no accident that oats are found in many skin care products. Manufacturers of these products often list finely ground oats as “colloidal oatmeal”.

The FDA approved colloidal oatmeal as a skin protecting substance back in 2003. In fact, however, oats have long been used in the treatment of itching and irritation in various skin conditions (25, 26, 27).

For example, oat-based skin products can improve uncomfortable symptoms of eczema (28).

Note that skin care benefits apply only to oats applied to the skin, not what is eaten.

Bottom line:

Colloidal oatmeal (finely ground oats) has long been used to treat dry and itchy skin. It can help relieve the symptoms of various skin conditions, including eczema.

8. You can reduce the risk of childhood asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children (29).

It’s an inflammatory disease of the airways – the tubes that carry air to and from a person’s lungs.

While not all children have the same symptoms, many have recurrent coughs, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Many researchers believe that introducing solid foods early can increase a child’s risk of developing asthma and other allergic diseases (30).

However, studies suggest that this does not apply to all foods. For example, introducing oats early can actually be protective (31, 32).

One study reports that feeding oatmeal to infants before 6 months of age is linked to a reduced risk of asthma in children (33)

Bottom line:

Some research suggests that fed oats to young children may prevent asthma in children.

9. Oats can help relieve constipation

Older people often suffer from constipation with infrequent, irregular bowel movements that are difficult to pass.

Laxatives are often used to relieve constipation in the elderly. However, while effective, they have also been linked to weight loss and reduced quality of life (34).

Studies show that oat bran, the high-fiber outer layer of grain, can help relieve constipation in the elderly (35, 36).

One study found that the well-being improved in 30 elderly patients who consumed a soup or dessert made with oat bran every day for 12 weeks (37).

In addition, 59% of these patients were able to stop using the laxatives after the 3-month study, while the total laxative consumption in the control group increased by 8%.

Bottom line:

Studies suggest that oat bran can help reduce constipation in the elderly, greatly reducing the need to use laxatives.

Here’s how to incorporate oats into your diet

You can enjoy oats in a number of different ways.

The most popular way is simply to have oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast.

Here’s a very easy way to make oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water or milk
  • A pinch of salt

Put the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the oatmeal, stirring occasionally, until tender.

To make oatmeal tastier and even more nutritious, you can add cinnamon, fruits, nuts, seeds, and / or Greek yogurt.

Oats are also often found in baked goods, muesli, muesli and bread.

Although oats are naturally gluten-free, they are sometimes contaminated with gluten. That’s because they can be harvested and processed using the same equipment as other gluten-containing grains (38).

If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choose oat products that are certified gluten-free.

Bottom line:

Oats can be a good addition to a healthy diet. They can be eaten as oatmeal (porridge) for breakfast, added to baked goods, and more.

Oats are incredibly good for you

Oats are an incredibly nutritious food full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

In addition, they are high in fiber and protein compared to other grains.

Oats contain some unique components – notably the soluble fiber beta-glucan and antioxidants called avenanthramides.

Benefits include lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, protection against skin irritation, and reduced constipation.

In addition, they are very filling and have many properties that should make them a slimming friendly food.

At the end of the day, oats are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are there healthy and unhealthy carbs?



Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found naturally in plant foods, including peas and beans, nuts and seeds, grains, dairy and dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

The other two macronutrients are dietary fats and proteins.

Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient – meaning a person must ingest them through food – and the body needs them to function properly as they serve as the primary source of energy.

The word “carbohydrates” is an umbrella term that describes different types of sugary molecules found in foods.

In general, there are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber.

It is possible to further classify them into simple or complex carbohydrates, depending on the number and type of sugar molecules – like glucose – that each structure contains.

Simple carbohydrates

Also called “simple sugars”, “sugars” or “saccharides”, these carbohydrates contain between one and 10 sugar molecules and are found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Those with one or two sugar molecules are called monosaccharides and disaccharides, respectively, while those with up to 10 sugar molecules are called oligosaccharides.

Lactose – the main sugar in animal milk – is a disaccharide made up of the monosaccharides glucose and galactose.

However, oligosaccharides are medium-length prebiotic carbohydrates found in high-fiber foods and breast milk.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are made up of polysaccharides, which are longer, complicated chains of sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates include both starch and fiber.

Starches are the stored carbohydrates in peas and beans, grains and vegetables and provide the body with energy.

Fiber, or fiber, is the indigestible part of plants – found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and legumes like peas and beans – that supports good intestinal health.

Carbohydrates often have a bad rap for the association of their excessive consumption with weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

This phenomenon, referred to by some researchers as “carbotoxicity”, encourages the idea that excessive consumption of all types of carbohydrates promotes the development of chronic diseases.

Because of this, many low-carb diets are popular with people interested in losing weight or controlling blood sugar levels. They are popular even with seasoned athletes.

However, several other studies have shown that the quality of the carbohydrates people consume is just as important as the quantity.

This finding suggests that some health options are better than others, rather than “making all carbs equal”.

“Unhealthy” carbohydrates

Carbohydrates that people consider unhealthy because they are less nutritious include:

  • refined carbohydrates like polished rice and flour
  • sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas and juices
  • highly processed snacks including cookies and pastries

According to existing research, a diet high in these types of carbohydrates and fewer of the more nutritious options can increase markers of inflammation and maintain hormonal imbalances in people with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Excessive consumption of simply added sugars is also linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

However, studies differentiate that added sugars and simple sugars, which are naturally found in foods, may not have the same negative effects.

A 2018 study even suggests that natural sources of sugar like honey can be effective in lowering blood sugar levels and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

New research continues to shed light on the negative health effects of these so-called unhealthy carbohydrate foods.

Experts recommend a balanced diet that consists mainly of nutritious foods and that only contain these types of carbohydrates in moderation.

“Healthy” carbohydrates

Some of the more nutritious sources of carbohydrates that people typically consider healthy include:

  • Fruits like bananas, apples and berries
  • starch-free vegetables like spinach, carrots, and tomatoes
  • Whole grain products like whole wheat flour, brown rice, and quinoa
  • Peas and beans, such as black beans, lentil peas, or chickpeas
  • Dairy products and dairy products such as skimmed milk, yogurt, and cheese

Research has linked a diet high in these complex carbohydrates – like the Mediterranean diet – to anti-inflammatory benefits, lower insulin resistance, and reduced risk of chronic disease.

Researchers attribute many of these benefits to the fiber content of complex carbohydrates.

For example, the fiber in whole fruits improves long-term weight management and supports regular bowel movements and healthy aging.

Additionally, improving the quality of your diet by consuming more complex carbohydrates and fiber can improve some of the effects of PCOS, such as: B. Insulin resistance and increased androgens.

A 2020 review found that the fiber in whole grains offered several health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, bowel disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are two metrics that people have used to determine the quality of carbohydrate foods and classify them as “healthy” or “unhealthy”.

The GI is a measure of the blood sugar-increasing potential of a single carbohydrate-containing food compared to pure glucose.

Low GI foods, composed mostly of complex carbohydrates, have minimal effects on blood sugar levels. This includes whole grains and non-starchy vegetables. High GI foods include potatoes and foods with added sugar.

Likewise, people use GL to gauge how much a particular meal is likely to raise blood sugar levels.

Although people have used both the GI and GL for decades to guide meal planning and control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, the science is inconclusive.

Many studies suggest that increased intake of low GI foods improves health outcomes, but other studies show that differences in daily glucose tolerance and individual responses are responsible for blood sugar levels, rather than the GI of the foods themselves.

A food’s GI therefore cannot be a direct predictor of a person’s glycemic response.

Differences in glycemic response between individuals make it difficult to determine which carbohydrates are really the healthiest, as even whole grains may not be a consistent and reliable measure of GI and GL.

Despite the popularity of low-carb diets, they are not for everyone, and some populations still benefit from a high-carb diet.

For example, exercise endurance performance is compromised on a low-carb diet, and high carbohydrate intake remains the best-documented choice for elite athletes.

In members of the general population with high carbohydrate intake, there is a significant decrease in blood sugar levels – which may promote remission from prediabetes – when daily carbohydrate intake is reduced.

Therefore, experts recommend that populations who consume 65–75% of their daily calories from carbohydrates should reduce their carbohydrate calories to 50–55% of their daily intake and increase their protein intake.

A carbohydrate limit of 45% or less of daily calories is more effective for short-term blood sugar control, but may not be sustainable and will not provide better long-term results than a range of 50-55% of daily calories from carbohydrates.

Before making any changes to their diet, people should speak to a doctor or registered nutritionist to determine their specific carbohydrate needs in order to optimize their health outcomes.

Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient that provides the body with energy and fiber to support good health.

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

However, despite their bad reputation, carbohydrates offer many health benefits when a person consumes frequent sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber in favor of refined carbohydrates and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The ideal diet also varies from person to person. For example, a high-carbohydrate diet optimizes athletic performance.

Non-athletes who consume 65-75% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, however, see the greatest drop in blood sugar levels when they reduce their caloric intake from carbohydrates to 50-55% of their daily energy intake.

Carbohydrates aren’t bad when people control the amount and type of food they consume and tailor them to their specific needs.

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Whole Grain Benefits

‘I’m an RD, and Making This One Breakfast Swap Will Benefit Your Gut and Boost Your Longevity’



There are two universal grain truths. First it goes into the bowl before the milk. And second, starting the day with one of the super-processed, sugary grains – even though they’re delicious – is one of the most ineffective ways of feeling energized and nutritional throughout the morning, according to nutritionists.

“First off, I want to say that whole grain cereals can be a fantastic way to start the day. You can get fiber, vitamins and minerals in your bowl. So not all cereal is bad!” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutritionist and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. “But yes, some of them are very high in added sugar, so you’re getting 12-17 grams or more of sugar per serving.”

a bowl of food on a plate: Food Smoothie Bowl

© Photo: Stocksy / Nadine Greeff
Eating smoothie bowl

The added sugar problem is a (big) deal, but Largeman-Roth says the main disadvantage of having sweet cereal for breakfast – especially if you eat it daily – is that you are missing out on an important opportunity to pack more nutrient-rich foods into your diet . “Breakfast is the best time to get lots of fiber, protein and antioxidants, as well as calcium and other vitamins and minerals,” she explains. One simple, healthy breakfast swap you can make to take advantage of this opportunity is to choose a fresh smoothie instead.

Benefits for the heart, intestines and longevity by exchanging sugary breakfast cereals for smoothies

“When you swap out your sugary granola and replace it with a plant-based smoothie, you have a great opportunity to both leave the added sugar behind and pack in multiple servings of disease-fighting fruits and vegetables, plus protein, healthy fats, and tons of fiber,” says tons of fiber Largeman-Roth. “The fiber is beneficial for gut and heart health, while the fruits and vegetables provide nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, folic acid, niacin, and calcium, all of which support heart health.” And since most Americans are far from reaching their recommended fiber intake, this opportunity to consume more of it (in the form of fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or even avocado) can literally add years to your life.

Your bones thank you too: Largeman-Roth says that using cow’s milk in your smoothie gives you 30 percent of your daily recommended calcium, but you can also get calcium by using a fortified plant-based milk like sesame milk or flaxseed milk. Almonds, chia seeds, yogurt, and leafy greens are other excellent sources of calcium that are delicious in smoothies.

The fresh fruits and vegetables in your breakfast smoothie are also high in polyphenols, also known as powerful antioxidants that you can’t get from sugary grains, says LA-based cardiologist Dr. Alejandro Junge, MD, Founder and Medical Director of the Clean Program. “These are the compounds plants make for a variety of reasons, such as color, fragrance, defense … when they’re in our bloodstream and available to cells, they have powerful benefits,” he explains. “For example, blue fruits and vegetables contain polyphenols that protect the brain. The full beneficial effects of these compounds cannot be reproduced by isolating each polyphenol and taking it as a dietary supplement. “

Antioxidants have been shown to fight inflammation and free radicals, both of which destabilize the cells in your body. “Over time, this can lead to oxidative stress, which accelerates the aging process and damages cell DNA,” Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD previously told Well + Good. “Ultimately, this can promote cancer and other health conditions. I like to think of cell damage as a chair with four legs – if one of the legs is broken, the chair is unstable. Foods high in antioxidants help repair this damage so your cells remain stable. This maintains your cellular health and protects you from cancer and other diseases. “

All fruits contain antioxidants, so choose what suits the flavor profile of your smoothie. We’re especially fond of this high-protein recipe that features blueberries and leafy greens:

How often does the nutritionist recommend doing this healthy breakfast swap?

Largeman-Roth says that this healthy breakfast swap can be very beneficial to your health even just two to three times a week. And that doesn’t mean you can never eat lucky charms again; it just means that you should consider a protein-rich smoothie with it. “It’s perfectly fine to have an occasional bowl of sweetened granola, but try to view breakfast each day as a great opportunity to improve your well-being,” she says. “That helps me stay on course!” You can also go for one of these high protein breakfast cereals that have captured the heart of a registered dietitian.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Everything You Need to Know About a Paleo Vegan Diet



There are not many aspects of Neanderthal life that are compatible with our modern conveniences. (Rub two sticks together to start a fire? No, thanks.) There is one notable exception, however: the Paleo Diet, a popular diet made up of foods eaten by our prehistoric ancestors. But, with its meat-heavy reputation, is it possible to go on a paleo-vegan diet?

“Paleo” refers to the Paleolithic, which occurred 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. During this time, people mainly ate food that could be hunted, gathered, or gathered. Hence, the Paleo Diet is sometimes referred to as the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet. Whatever you call it, diet “centers on the idea that, like our original ancestors, food is in tune with our genetics and therefore optimal for good health,” explains UC Davis Health.

If you prefer a herbal paleo diet, there are a number of benefits that you will find. The paleo-vegan diet is low in sugar, sodium, and simple carbohydrates, and avoiding dairy products means it is low in saturated fats. A plant-based paleo diet even has a name: the pegan diet!

First, let’s cover the basics of the Paleo Diet. According to the principles of the diet, you can eat lean meat, including game or grass-fed animals; Fish and seafood; Vegetables; Fruit; Nuts; and seeds.

Dairy products are excluded from the Paleo diet. Likewise grains like wheat or barley; Legumes such as edamame, chickpeas, peanuts, beans, and lentils; or processed potatoes, such as mashed potatoes or fries. That’s because these foods came on the market about 12,000 years ago during or after the Agricultural Revolution or the Neolithic, according to National Geographic. At this time in history, many people switched from hunting, gathering, and foraging to farming.

Processed foods like hot dogs or soda are also excluded. In addition, quinoa is not part of a paleo diet. And soy-based foods like tofu and tempeh are also excluded from the paleo diet, since soybeans are legumes and legumes were grown in the Neolithic.

There is a misconception that the paleo diet means eating mostly meat, especially red meat. Unfortunately, this myth is based on popular images of Neanderthals, not historical records. According to Alex Nella, a nutritionist at UC Davis, prehistoric people ate whatever was most plentiful in their area, which means the diet varies. Some people would mainly eat fish and seafood if they lived near water, while others who lived in the forest would mainly consume plants, nuts and seeds. In the Paleolithic, people ate game and grass-fed animals, but certainly not only meat.

In the paleo-vegan diet, all animal foods are eliminated. | Xsandra / Getty

What do paleo vegans eat?

In the paleo-vegan diet, all animal foods are eliminated. This leaves the following foods:

  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • nuts
  • seed
  • Oils (olive, coconut, avocado and almond oil)

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, who is credited with coining the term “pegan”, should eat 75 percent plants and get the rest of your food intake from nuts and seeds.

For drinks on the paleo-vegan diet, watch out for water, tea, and fermented drinks like kombucha. (Coffee, soft drinks, and fruit juices are not paleo.) Paleo vegans can also drink nut milk such as almond milk or macadam milk.

Vegetable salad bowl in woman hands.  Fresh kale and baked pumpkin salad.  Healthy eating conceptThe foods you will be eating on the paleo vegan diet all have numerous health benefits. | ivandzyuba / Getty

Benefits of the paleo-vegan diet

The foods you will be eating on the paleo vegan diet all have numerous health benefits.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. When you eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables as recommended by nutritionists, you get a variety of nutritional benefits. Fruits and vegetables are also low in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol.

Seeds and nuts are both high in protein and fiber. According to the Cleveland Clinic, seeds are also good sources of iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

And about these nuts: Although up to 80 percent of a nut consists of fat, the Mayo Clinic assures us that nuts contain “good” fats or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. While you should still be eating nuts in moderation, these little calorie bombs aren’t as potentially unhealthy as they sound. Nutritionists believe that the “good” fats in nuts outweigh the “bad” fats and help lower the “bad” cholesterol. Nuts are also filling because of their small size.

Other health benefits of the paleo vegan diet

It’s dairy free

Dairy products are not part of a vegan diet. So if you are on a paleo-vegan diet, don’t eat milk, butter, eggs, cheese, or yogurt either. Eliminating dairy products can also be good for your health, provided you get your protein and vitamin D elsewhere. Dairy products, including butter and whole milk, are sources of saturated fat, which can raise your “bad” cholesterol. Too much “bad” cholesterol can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, many people have milk sensitivities, including lactose intolerance, which can lead to gas, gas, abdominal pain, cramps, and diarrhea.

It is low in sugar

Added sugars, usually found in processed foods, can cause chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and increase your risk of heart disease.

It’s low in sodium

Eating a diet high in sodium has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

It is low in simple carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide our body with energy. There are two types of carbohydrates that provide different types of fuel. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and nuts provide long-term energy. Meanwhile, simple carbohydrates (sometimes called “bad carbs”) are quickly broken down into sugars in your system. The paleo-vegan diet is low in simple carbohydrates, so you mainly consume the “good” fuel.

Dried fruits on a pastel backgroundWalnuts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and are paleo-vegan-friendly. | Javier Zayas Photography / Getty

Are there disadvantages to a paleo-vegan diet?

The paleo-vegan diet is not for everyone. There are a few disadvantages to be aware of before making the switch.

You need to find other sources of omega-3 fatty acids

Your body needs omega-3 fatty acids. These are called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). On the Paleo diet, eating fish would provide you with these omega-3 fatty acids. Fortunately, other good sources of omega-3s that are paleo-vegan-friendly are flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and walnuts.

You won’t have legumes as a source of protein

With the paleo-vegan diet, you do not eat legumes and whole grains. Hence, you need to replace the fiber and other nutrients that you would have gotten from these two foods. Whole grain products like brown rice and barley are sources of fiber and B vitamins. You should get these nutrients from seeds, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. If you are on a paleo-vegan diet, you will need to get your protein from other foods. (More on this below.)

It could get expensive

There is an economic aspect of the paleo-vegan diet to consider. Legumes tend to be one of the cheapest foods anyone can eat. When eliminating legumes from the paleo-vegan diet, budget should be taken into account that your new sources of protein may be more expensive.

How to get enough protein on the paleo-vegan diet

Protein is an essential part of our nutritional wellbeing; It is a source of energy and builds muscles and bones.

Vegetable sources of protein include legumes like beans and lentils. However, the vegan paleo diet does not use pulses as an option. How do you get enough protein as a paleo vegan?

Bowl of roasted red potatoesPotatoes are high in protein. | Robynmac / Getty

High protein herbal options

  • Asparagus (4.32 grams of protein per cup)
  • Almonds (6 grams of protein per ounce)
  • Avocado (4 grams per avocado)
  • Broccoli (4.28 grams per stem)
  • Brussels sprouts (5.6 grams of protein per cup)
  • Chia seeds (4.69 grams of protein per ounce)
  • Coconut (3 grams of protein per cup of raw meat)
  • Hemp seeds (5 grams of protein per tablespoon)
  • Kale (2 grams of protein per cup)
  • Mushrooms (3 grams of protein per 5 medium sized mushrooms)
  • Pistachios (6 grams of protein per ounce)
  • Potatoes (7 grams of protein per one large unprocessed potato)
  • Yellow sweet corn (4.689 grams of protein per ear, raw)

Another option to make sure you’re getting enough protein is with a paleo-vegan protein powder. A product like Peak Performance Grain Free Complete Plant Protein can be added to smoothies or non-dairy milk to help absorb your protein.

That being said, the American Dietetic Association recommends eating whole foods instead of supplements.

How to start the paleo vegan diet

Before starting any diet, consult a nutritionist who can help you achieve your health goals. When starting a vegan paleo diet, learn about the foods you need to eat to get the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals.

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