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Paleo Diet - your questions answered

Posted by Geoff Beaty on 26 June 2021
Paleo Diet - your questions answered
Everyone seems to have an opinion of the paleo diet at the moment some claim that it's bad news for your health whilst others espouse it's a cure all for everything.

There are, however, many variations on the paleo diet. Some plans are strict, some less so but ultimately, when it is tailored to suit your individual health needs and lifestyle, it can be life changing. At Vitawell, we gladly provide the appropriate diet with a personalised menu plan and shopping list. 

What ideas are the paleo diet based on?
The paleo diet, also known as the Palaeolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet, is based on foods similar to what might have been eaten during the Palaeolithic era, which dates from approximately 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago.

A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet typically limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains. 

Why a Paleo Diet?

The aim of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that's more like what early humans ate. We are genetically mismatched to our modern diet which emerged with farming practices.

Farming changed what people ate and established dairy, grains and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This relatively late and rapid change in diet outpaced the body's ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today. 

These foods, such as grains and processed dairy are the source of the most common triggers and intolerance's we see in clinic, even in those without Celiac disease.

Just what are the benefits of 'going Paleo'?
Combined with increased physical activity, a well-executed paleo diet is one way to focus on nutrient dense foods. It is associated with a number of health benefits including improved blood sugar and reduced inflammation which is the basis for many chronic diseases, including autoimmune disorders, cancers, and heart diseaseand promotes healthy aging. 

A Paleo diet helps increase your protein intake

One of the biggest issues with most diets today is the lack of protein. Protein plays a huge role in repairing and building muscle tissue, maintaining blood sugar levels, building muscle mass, and transferring messages to different cells.

 

A Paleo diet reduces inflammation

During cancer treatment, inflammation is high. This is a natural response from your body's immune system. It is a protective measure and a direct response to attempt to protect the body from foreign substances such as chemotherapy. When acute inflammation occurs in the body, white blood cells flood areas that are under siege and it effectively increases blood flow to the specific area. When you suffer from whole body inflammation, it can be classified as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation typically doesn't show the same symptoms as acute inflammation. Instead, it can go undetected and remain under-the-radar for long periods of time.

Diet can play an integral role in fighting inflammation. Studies have shown that highly processed foods and carbohydrates can promote whole-body inflammation by increasing the number of free radicals in the body. It has also been shown that healthy fats can play a critical role in decreasing the level of inflammation throughout the body.

The paleo diet is grain-fee and promotes the consumption of healthy fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acids, fruits, vegetables and healthy protein, all which have a beneficial impact on the body and its fight against whole-body inflammation.  The paleo diet cuts out all heavily processed and refined foods and prioritizes nutrient-dense foods. These foods are key as they provide a number of essential vitamins and minerals your diet might otherwise be lacking.

The Paleo diet helps regulate blood sugar levels

The paleo diet doesn't include many carbohydrates, restricting a number of different grains that play a role in high blood sugar levels. The paleo diet is mainly made up of protein and healthy fats which are both slowly digested, keeping blood sugar levels stable. This avoids the spike in blood sugar you would otherwise see in a meal full of grains.

 

Author:Geoff Beaty
Tags:NewsPrevention & RecoveryDiets & RecipesCancer

Associations

  • The Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Society for Integrative Oncology
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Australasian Integrative Medicine Association
  • Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia