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A Comprehensive Guide To The Paleo Diet

Paleo is a diet plan that focuses on eating food with little or no treatment. This diet advocates the idea that there should be an eating plan like people followed in the Paleolithic period. It’s argued that by following this diet i.e. “Eating like a caveman” everyone can lose weight. This high protein and high fiber content diet system promises to lose weight without limiting calories.

The Basics

According to the principles of nutrition of the Paleo diet, you should stay away from processed foods and only prefer natural foods as much as possible. In this plan, there are food groups that should be consumed and not consumed. For example you can’t consume milk and dairy products and you should focus on proteins and meat products. At the same time, while the consumption of vegetables and fruits is encouraged, grain foods should be avoided. Salt, sugar and flour are also prohibited in the Paleo diet.

In order to adapt to this change when following the Paleo diet, there aren’t any food restrictions in 3 meals a week for a month and you can eat whatever you want in this period. In order to lose weight naturally and healthily this diet plan needs to be transformed into a lifestyle. If you can’t lose any more weight during this diet and you haven’t achieved your goal yet then regular exercise should be started.

Vegan individuals cannot apply this dietary system due to high consumption of meat and meat products. Also, it should be noted that preferring mostly meat products might make this program expensive to follow.

The Benefits

According to those who advocate the Paleo diet and write the books about this subject, this system has many benefits for our health.

It increases our insulin sensitivity. If we constantly take high levels of carbohydrates into our body,  our insulin sensitivity will be reduced and the body will begin to store more fat. By following this diet our insulin levels decrease and we can burn fats faster.

Strengthens our immune system. If we stop eating poor quality and processed foods and change our preferences towards high quality and natural foods our body will benefit greatly from it.

However, there is no long-term clinical study on the effects of this diet on human health.

Potential Risks

When feeding only on meat products and avoiding dairy products considered, there may be various health problems in the future. Lack of consumption of milk and dairy products can lead to a lack of calcium and vitamin D. And avoiding to consume grain group products might cause the deficiency of B group vitamins.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause many health problems such as bone diseases, tooth decay, liver fattening, fatigue, bad breath and digestive system problems.

Things To Know

Foods you should avoid:

  • Milk and dairy products such as cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, ice cream and milk powder.
  • Grain group products such as pasta, rice, bread, pancakes, oatmeal, lasagna and sandwich.
  • Potato, corn and corn syrup.
  • Fruit juices, energy drinks and alcohol.
  • Legumes such as red beans, lentil, soybeans, groundnut, peanut butter, dried beans and Mung bean.
  • Artificial sweeteners.
  • Oil products such as butter and margarine.
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise, french fries and extremely salty foods like pickles.
  • Pastries, biscuits, crackers and chips like snacks.
  • Charcuterie products such as processed sausages.

Foods you should prefer:

  • Meat products like chicken meat and beef.
  • Seafood like salmon, lobster, oyster, swordfish, trout, tuna, sardine, tuna, crab and shrimp.
  • Vegetables like asparagus, celery, artichoke, spinach, cabbage, pumpkin, broccoli, parsley, eggplant, green onion and avocado.
  • Starchy foods such as pumpkins, sweet potatoes and beets should be consumed in small amounts.
  • Olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil can be consumed.
  • Almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pine nuts can be consumed.
  • Apple, mango, plum, blueberry, grape, mandarin, orange, fig, pineapple, strawberry, lemon, banana, peach, raspberry, watermelon and melon are also should be preferred.

The weight loss given as a result of the diet system varies accordingly to the calorie of the meals and the metabolism of the person. Also the weight loss rate varies accordingly to the speed of a person’s metabolism, nutritional habits and physical activity. But it’s observed that those who follow the Paleo diet lose an average of 1-1.5 kg per week. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that quick weight loss can be taken back as quickly. So you should be patient when losing weight.

The diet program depends on the age, gender, height, weight and physical activity of the person. Because of too many restrictions on food groups, a person can’t consume from all groups in sufficient quantities. Therefore, each individual may not give positive results.

You don’t have to completely stop eating carbohydrates. In the Paleolithic Age people didn’t encounter enough carbohydrate-containing foods. Therefore, limited carbohydrate intake was mandatory for them. Even though in the Paleo diet, grain intake is forbidden, the root vegetables and fruits are still among the foods you should prefer.

Also you should be very careful when eating fruits. Because fructose in fruits can cause you to gain weight quickly.

Calcium is a very important mineral for your body. The deficiency of this mineral can cause many problems like muscles weakness and cramps to bone structure damage. So if you remove milk and milk products from your life you should pay attention to your calcium intake. But contrary to popular belief there are many foods in nature which are richer in terms of calcium than milk and milk products like spinach, cabbage and locust bean.

Example Meal Program

Breakfast:

  • 2 eggs.
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • 2 pieces of walnut.

Snacks:

  • 10 pieces of hazelnut.
  • 2 pieces of dried apricot.

Lunch:

  • 100-120 grams of grilled or stewed meat, chicken or fish.
  • Boiled vegetables.
  • A salad made with plenty of greens and with 1 tablespoon olive oil and lemon.

Snacks:

  • 1 serving of fruits.
  • 2 pieces of walnut.

Dinner:

  • Vegetables with olive oil.
  • Salad.
  • 1 serving of fruits.

 

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