Paleo diets have had a bit of a bad rap over the past few years. But understanding the philosophies the behind a Paleo (or Paleolithic) diet – and even introducing them into your eating habits – might actually be super beneficial for your
health. Let us explain.
A return to real food
At its most basic, a Paleo diet is designed to mimic what our hunter/gatherer ancestors might have eaten when they first roamed the planet thousands of years ago.
That means a focus on more whole foods and less processed foods, combined with increased daily physical activity (gazelle-chasing optional).
The Purpose of Paleo
Proponents of Paleo reason that our current eating habits – those established after the agricultural revolution – are totally at odds with what our bodies have naturally evolved to need – this is known as the discordance hypothesis.
This hypothesis argues that the emergence of farming practices changed how and what we ate so rapidly and so radically, our bodies simply weren’t able to keep up genetically.
As a result, our modern-day intake of grains, legumes, dairy and huge amounts of
processed, high-sugar, high-sodium foods, is a key contributing factor to the increasing prevalence of contemporary lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
What does the science say?
While scientists agree more research is needed, initial studies seem to back up much of the Paleo philosophy. A 2015 review of four studies concluded that a Paleo diet showed better short-term improvements in chronic disease risk factors (including waist circumference, blood pressure and HDL cholesterol) than other guideline-based control diets.
Whatever side of the fence you land on when it comes to Paleo, it’s hard to argue that a diet encouraging more wholefoods, less processed nasties and more exercise could be anything but good for you.
That said, we always suggest talking to a doctor before making any major changes to your diet.
Interested? Watch out for our next post when we show you exactly how to incorporate Paleo practices into your diet.