Monday

The Paleo Diet

Last week we had a question about the Paleo Diet. As I was doing some research on this diet I found some really interesting information that I would like to share with you.  There are principles in this diet that are worth applying and have health benefits that will improve your quality of life. We will discuss the basics of this diet, the benefits, and what you may want to skip.


Paleo Diet: What it is All About-
  • Eat large amounts of "healthy" fats, moderate protein intake, and low to moderate carbohydrate intake. 
  • You want to eat large amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil, grass fed butter, lard, grass-fed beef tallow, and duck fat. Olive oil, avocados, and macadamia oils are all very beneficial but should not be used in cooking as this denatures the oils and actually ruins their health benefits. 
  • Eat all different sources of proteins including red meat, poultry, pork, whole eggs, wild fish, and organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.).  All proteins should be high quality. They should be organic, grass-fed, and come from sustainable farms whenever available. 
  • Carbohydrates should include fresh organic vegetables and starches like yams. Eat small amounts of fruits and nuts. Avoid legumes and grains like peanuts, beans, rice, soy, barley, wheat, rye, etc. 
  • Eliminate sugar and dairy. 
  • Eat whenever you are hungry, don't count calories or watch your portions, eat as many or as little meals as you feel. 
  • Exercise should be short intense exercise sessions 3 times/week. Don't over exercise.
  • Eliminate external stress. 
  • Get plenty of sunshine and enjoy life. 
  • Supplement with vitamin D and probiotics.
Paleo Diet: PLF's Take
  • Eating high quality foods is absolutely important- You are what you eat. You also are what your food has eaten prior to you consuming it. Beef, poultry, and pork should be organic, grass-fed if possible, and exposed to sunshine and exercise. Organ meats are highly beneficial, but once again, should be from organically raised animals. Your fish should be wild, not farm-raised. Your produce is only as good as the soil it is grown in. Organic produce has more vitamins and minerals than conventional. It also is not exposed to pesticides and herbicides. Eat organic whenever possible.
  • Organic extra virgin coconut oil and fat from organic grass fed animals for cooking are proven to have very essential health benefits and may help to balance your hormones and increase your metabolism. Using olive, avocado, and macadamia oil is better eaten raw, rather than cooking with it, as it helps keep the delicate oil from being damaged from high heat.
  • Carbohydrate intake should be heavy on the vegetables. Veggies are amazing and have so many benefits, plus they are low in calories. Foods like yams and quinoa are also very good for you. Fruit intake should be moderate because it can be high in sugar, however it is still a great source of vitamins. Grains should be low, we as Americans eat far too many grains and not enough carbohydrates like vegetables, quinoa, and yams. Even though the diet says to avoid legumes, I believe they are healthy and part of a balanced diet.
  • Eliminating sugar and dairy would be great, but can you do it? If we eliminate sugar and dairy, we would all feel amazing and our waistlines would be thanking us. The problem happens when we fall off the bandwagon and start eating every sugary snack we can get our hands on. I recommend limiting your sugar intake to 5 grams of sugar per meal. Moderation is such an important discipline to learn.
  • Eating only when you are hungry is good in theory, but most people who do this wait until their blood sugar dips so low that they have a hard time making smart food choices and end up grabbing a sugary snack. I recommend eating small meals spaced evenly throughout the day to keep your blood sugar at stable levels. Portion control is also important. The Paleo diet recommends eating unlimited amounts of coconut oil, when 3 tsp is an appropriate amount of coconut oil per day. You should eat until you are satisfied, but not stuffed. I am not a calorie counter, I think it is misleading at times, but I'm big on filling half of my plate with dark green veggies, a quarter high quality protein, a quarter high quality grains, a yam, or something like quinoa, with 1-2 teaspoons healthy fat.
  • Exercise with high intensity intervals and with a short duration, studies have shown, is an effective way to a healthy heart and weight loss. Over exercising can be a concern and I agree with them on their point with this. When you over exercise it can cause your hormones to be out of balance and it can cause you to store body fat. I, however, disagree with high intensity, short durations exercise is all that you need. Walking, Pilates, Yoga, Cycling, and other forms of exercise are very important to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Stress should be kept to a minimum as it causes a variety of health problems.
  • Sunlight exposure is important! That is where we get vitamin D. Sun exposure can help lower blood pressure, fight M.S., and even fight cancer.
  • Probiotics are very beneficial. You should supplement your diet with them. I know it may sound gross, but your bowel movements are a marker of how healthy you are. Take care of your gut, go to a health food store, and buy a good probiotic. A vitamin D supplement is good as well especially when you are not able to be exposed to much sunlight.
Overall the Paleo diet is very beneficial. However, the word "diet" always seems to have the meaning of something you begin, complete, and than end. Don't bite off more than you can chew. If you add just one principle a month and make each one a lifestyle change, you will see your health greatly improve.




2 comments:

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  2. I don’t suppose many of websites give this kind of information.
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