What Exactly Are the Benefits of the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet contends that the diet of our hunting and gathering ancestors, which consisted of fatty meats, vegetables and a little fruit, enabled them to live a healthier lifestyle. Although the evidence that the Paleo diet is actually a healthier lifestyle is a little sketchy, some health professionals believe the diet has positive benefits.
Loren Cordain, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University, believes the Paleo diet has several benefits. Cordain told Health.com the diet can lower the body's glycemic load, contribute to a healthy ratio of saturated-to-unsaturated fatty acids, increase the body's consumption of vitamins and nutrients and provide a healthy balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
"By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being," Cordain, who also authored The Paleo Diet, told Health.com.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the Paleo diet may or may not help you lose weight. "If you build a 'calorie deficit' into your Paleo plan — eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max, or burning off extra by exercising — you should shed some pounds," U.S. News reported. "How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you."
Other supporters of the Paleo diet believe that changing your lifestyle to model your evolutionary ancestors will lower your risk for obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other ailments. Athletes also find the Paleo diet to be a great way to add protein to their strict eating behaviors.
The Paleo diet includes positive concepts that dieters would be wise to adopt, according to registered dietitian Chelsey Lindahl. A "decreased consumption of processed foods and added sugars, and increased emphasis on a whole-foods based diet" are great takeaways from the Paleo diet, Lindhal wrote for the Kent Reporter.