Palaeolithic diet has been around for decades. Today there are tens of thousands of followers taking on the lifestyle that has been created around the ideology low carb diets. The idea of taking on the diet of the caveman is revolutionary, and has been a subject of criticism by mainstream scientists. However, after suffering from acute asthma and auto-immune illnesses, I decided to give the new approach a go about two months ago.
My experiences are in line with the claims of the literature; which all tend to emphasise 5 main benefits of the diet plan.
As paleo diet contains loads of fresh green vegetables and meat, the body has to take less time to digest food. This increases the metabolic rate and weight loss will be faster and more persistent. It is usually carbohydrates that slow down one’s metabolism; eliminating crisps, chips and white bread, as well as refined sugar would help the body process the minerals and vitamins faster.
Low Carb Intake
Low carb diets are not new in the health literature, but almost completely eliminating refined sugar and grains is a more dramatic approach. The idea of getting rid of refined grain products is based on the fact that these foods have a high GI (glycemic index). This means that consuming them would quickly increase blood sugar levels and eventually result in diabetes or other auto-immune conditions. Diabetes and even Crohn’s Disease can be prevented by avoiding these foods, acting as a trigger for leaky gut syndrome.
Consuming fresh fruit and vegetables would increase metabolism and help the body get all the vitamins it needs to regenerate itself. The supporters of the paleo diet also state that people who are vegan and vegetarian do lose out on Omega 3 and the essential Omega 6. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be Alkaline-yielding foods, balancing the dietary acid in the body and can reduce asthma symptoms. Vitamins A, B12 and C present in bread and grains cannot be fully absorbed by the body.
Because the body does not “crave” sugar after a while as blood sugar level is balanced out due to the low carb diet, binge eating disorder and other similar diet problems can easily be avoided. Also, with the high fibre content of the diet, increased metabolism does help losing weight. However, my experience shows that the diet is more beneficial for losing inches than pounds. It is easier to build muscles due to the protein taken in with food, and – as most of us know – muscles are much heavier than fat.
According to Mark Sisson, former triathlete, now 60, his ageing is slowed down because he chose the paleo diet years back. He has also published a book about his experiences: The Primal Blueprint, in which he describes the health and lifestyle benefits of the caveman diet. The claim is that the paleo diet positively affects the SIR gene (Silence Information Regulator) which is responsible for ageing.
My Personal verdict of the Paleo Diet
Apart from getting rid of asthma symptoms (couldn’t walk more than 100 yards without wheezing before), I feel more energetic, less stressed and even my skin looks better.
Have you ever tried the paleo diet? What about any others? Share your personal stories below.