October 5, 2018

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet buzz started years back and it took the world by storm – it managed to change the way people looked at eating and dieting. Becoming healthy can be a struggle and it can also be costly and that’s why people looked for quick and easy ways to get healthy.

The Paleo diet appealed and still appeals to millions of people because basically, it’s not really a diet, it’s a lifestyle of eating that the first Paleolithic people on earth used to eat – the way nature intended.

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The Paleo Diet includes meats, berries, and nuts – eating what our ancestors did in the Paleolithic era and what they found in nature. When agriculture started, and foods started becoming processed and ‘unhealthy’, that’s when all our health problems started. 

The Paleo Diet basically says to stay away from all the unnatural modern foods of today, in their processed and refined preparations. That’s why the diet is called ‘Paleo’ because it means ‘old’ or ‘ancient’ – going back to those ancient ways of eating.

People living in ancient times were healthy, eating only what nature provided and what they could eat from their hunting. Years later, people wanted to improve on these ancient ways and that’s when agriculture started to evolve.

The more civilized people became, the more they wanted to find quick and easy solutions for everything. They started producing food that was much easy to prepare and cook and which become instantly available to them on the markets, kind of becoming ‘lazier’ – meantime, this is when all the health problems and all the eating disorders started to begin and to multiply rapidly.

Once people realized they were becoming sick and they were eager to find ways to be healthy again and that is where the Paleo diet came into being. 

A study was carried out by Walter Voegtlin, a gastroenterologist and he wrote his findings in his book, the “Stone Age Diet” back in 1975. It suggested that people eat more proteins, avoiding diets that were plant-based. His studies formed the backdrop of the ‘Paleolithic Nutritional Diet’ of two men, namely Melvin Konner and Stanley Boyd Eaton.

Their findings suddenly became very popular in Loren Cordain’s book The Paleo Diet (2002). Even though he published many books specializing in exercise and nutrition, his Paleo diet book was the most prominent, still being extremely popular right up to 2013 and still ranking high in Google searches as well.

Paleo Diet Basic Blueprint

The basics of the Paleo diet are simple; eat plenty of fish, meat, eggs, fruits, nuts, vegetables, spices, herbs, healthy oils, and fats.  You need to avoid all the processed and ‘fake’ foodstuffs such as soft drinks, sugar, grains, and a lot of dairy products, artificial sweeteners, legumes, vegetable oil, trans-fats and margarine. 

In case you are not sure, trans-fats are types of fat found in many foods and are considered bad because they increase cholesterol levels in the blood. They decrease the good levels of cholesterol in your blood too.

That means if you are eager to follow the Paleo Diet, you will have to say goodbye to the cereals, the pasta and the sweets and chocolates. Think about your caveman ancestors – none of these foods were around in their day and they were the healthier for it.

If you are eating the caveman type of diet, you don’t really need to count calories either because removing sugar, processed and refined foods from your diets makes you healthy and lean in any case – the caveman never had unnatural sugars and fatty hamburgers and refined and processed foods to contend with back in the day – he didn’t have to count calories!

Why then do people quit the Paleo Diet after a couple of days?

There are people who find the Paleo Diet restrictive, they feel that they can’t keep such a diet up for too long. Here are the reasons why people quit this diet – read it before you start it in case you feel the same:

1. Too hard to follow in special holiday times

2. Not sufficient support from family and friends in social situations

3. Did not see results quick enough

4. Difficult transitioning into the new lifestyle

5. Time consuming and boring

6. Too many restrictions

When you look at the above, it can be seen that you need to go into this diet for the right reasons – it is more than just wanting to see yourself lose weight. 

Some people think that because they don’t have to count calories they can buy truckloads of Paleo foods from their grocer and wolf it down like it’s going out of fashion. 

No, you need to control the portions to see the results.

You need the right mindset, focusing on the right foods and structuring your life so you are not tempted to give in.

How does Paleo work?

To many, the Paleo diet sounds like just another fad, another marketing tool – but you should realize that it is not really a diet – it’s a way of life – thousands of years ago, our ancestors thrived on the way they lived, naturally; eating the foods that were provided for them through hunting and what Nature offered. 

Today, over all these thousands of years, the genetic makeup of humans has not changed one little bit – the shape of the body has though. The original human species back then were agile, athletic, muscular and versatile.

Today we are shapeless, we are stressed, we are unhappy, we are fat and too big from all the hormones in our modern foods – we can’t even fall asleep naturally anymore – and we are suffering today because of it.

As agriculture started taking off, humans advanced from being hunters to being farmers, and over time, started to consume things that made life easier and quicker. As time passed by, humans started loading up with other things over good meat, in-season fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds and herbs, and spices – these things that kept the body in tip top condition now were replaced with bread, grains, corn, rice, pasta.

Today we can see the results – we are fatter, unhealthier, and lethargic – with no signs of abating. We know that something is not right, but we are not doing anything to fix it.

That’s why the Paleo diet came into being, to try and encourage people to go back to those ancient times and to start living once again, full of energy, bright and happy. 

Back in ancient times, grains never were part of a caveman’s diet.

Today, we can’t do without grains which are just composed of carbohydrates which later turns into sugar which gets used as energy or stored as fat.

What’s in grains?

Things called lectins and glutens.

What’s wrong with them?

Well let’s look at gluten's first:

Glutens are proteins that you find in your wheat, rye, and barley. These days you must have heard heaps and heaps of people talking about being gluten intolerant, meaning your body battles to digest them and causes inflammation (that’s why you see so many products in our stores that say gluten-free).

Lectins are natural toxins that are to be found in grains to keep them from being eaten by humans (almost like a defense mechanism). When you consume lectins, you are actually not doing your gastrointestinal tract any good; your gut battles to protect itself again wear and tear because of damage that lectins cause. To put it very simply, the human body can’t digest grains very well

If you decide to start the Paleo diet, you will cut out sugar almost entirely out of your diet; the bad sugar. Sugars from natural fruits you will still be getting, but you need to forget about any other sugars which causes energy spikes, and which also convert to fat in your body unless it is used up immediately. 

Bottom line is this – the staple ingredients of the Paleo Diet simply put is:

NO SUGAR

NO PROCESSED FOODS 

NO GRAINS!

Where will your energy come from then?

All those sugars and pasta that you were eating and which were giving you energy spikes – where will you get your energy from now? 

Did you know that the body was made to operate on much lower amounts of carbs than what we are used to eating? When you start to cut out carbs, your body will then start to take all the stored fat and start to burn it for its energy. This process is called ketogenesis,

This means with fewer carbohydrates in your body, your body will need to start burning fat for its fuel and energy sources – with decreased fat storage, you should start to be looking and feeling pretty good.

Let’s get this straight – are carbs so bad then?

Actually not – they do serve their purpose in our bodies and diets.

Carbohydrates are available to your body in the form of healthy veggies, fruit and sweet potato – the good carbs. 

Why are they good?

Because they are natural foods that occur in wild nature, not needing to be processed in any way, unlike grains, which need to be processed in order to be eaten. What is so fantastic about vegetables is that they are packed to capacity with nutrients and yet do not make the body fat.

Look at broccoli, for instance, six servings of broccoli contain a mere 180 calories whilst just one serving up of pasta, and hardly anybody only eats one serving, will set you back 200 calories just in one serving.

The Paleo diet is not the ketogenic way of eating which means no carbs or even eating a low carb diet. In the Paleo diet, however, it is recommended that you eat carbs, but to keep your carbs low.

It’s one of the pitfalls of the Paleo diet, trying to keep the carbs down. It’s true, to follow this quite restrictive kind of diet when you are surrounded by modern coffee shops with cakes and cookies and pancakes and hot pasta and bread – it can be pretty difficult!

Sometimes when people do cut out carbs, they kind of go through such yearnings for carbs, they give up on the diet before it can make lasting changes in their life.

Where does dairy fit into the Paleo diet?

Dairy can be tough because thousands of us love our milk in our coffee and tea, in our milkshakes, in our cereals and yet huge amounts of us are lactose intolerant. But humans have these “problems” with milk simply because we are the only ones in the animal kingdoms who go on drinking milk beyond the baby years. 

In ancient times a baby would drink milk and then it was over.

Try to find raw milk from grass-fed cattle pasture-raised cattle if you still want to have milk.

See what you think.

Take away the grains and the dairy – what have you got left?

Right, cutting out the grains, cutting out all processed foods, cutting out dairy – you must be wondering what’s left for you to eat on the Paleo diet?

Let’s look:

Grass-fed meat, and NOT grain fed meat because grains cause the same health problems in animals as in humans

Poultry, i.e. duck, chicken, turkey, hen

Fish (wild fish). Farmed fish very often contains toxins and chemicals

Eggs – try and find the omega-3 enriched free-range eggs

Veggies – not deep-fried vegetables, eat raw and as much as you want

Oil – coconut, olive, or avocado

Fruit – get your natural sugar from fruits, but limited if you are trying to lose weight

Nuts – high in calories so try and not eat heaps and heaps.

Tubers - such as yams and sweet potatoes

Won’t I get fat?

Eating a huge plate of veggies with a medium portion of meat can keep you feeling satisfied for ages. If you ate a heavy carb plate of food, you would soon start feeling the need to eat again. 

There are many people who attest to the fact that before they go on holiday, for instance, they go on the Paleo diet 100%, they include in that time some running and strength training.

In that time, they drop plenty of fat. If you want to try this and see results too, you need to follow the Paleo diet fully when doing it.

You can’t do it your way, like eating only nuts and fruits and forgetting about the other parts of the diet – it doesn’t work like that. Because in theory, you then could still be eating heaps of calories and sugar so to speak.

It takes guts to give up the pasta, pizza, and bagels for instance

Absolutely true, and who wouldn’t – who doesn’t love hot bread, smeared with butter and jam? Of course, we love chocolate, candies, hot pies and gravy too - not forgetting that these delightful things were designed to be appealing to the eye, to be simply delicious so as not to be able to resist!

But unfortunately, they do not have a place on your Paleo diet plate, so it’s really up to you – do you want to be healthy, lean, toned and attractive or does it not worry you? 

It’s your call.

You might be happy the way you look because you seem to have the energy to keep going all day – therefore you see no room to improve – then nobody can tell you what to do for your health and your appearance.

But if you are struggling, you do not have energy, you keep on reaching for the coffee to supply your energy, you loathe the thought of counting calories and you really are desperate to turn your life around – then the Paleo diet is worth a shot – why not give it a try for a month or so?

It would be fair to say that after that month or a bit more, if you did not notice a definite improvement in the way you feel and look, then it would be fair to say go on with the pasta and the bagels.

But if you are serious, it is important to give yourself that month, so your body can at least start adjusting from the high carbohydrates and sugar intake to burning up the stored fat for its energy – and this can take a couple of weeks.

The biggest problem Paleo diet people experience is actually sticking with it.

Where does eating fats come into this diet?

There are researchers who’ve said in the past that low-fat intake is the path to good health. This reasoning seems to have come more to the fore as we have seen the obesity epidemic ballooning out of control. 

This obesity epidemic which began around the 1980's coincided as well with horrible diseases such as Type-2 diabetes. New research proves however that diets that are low in fat have turned out to be failures.

The American people in the past forty years have given up smoking more, they have decreased their cholesterol levels more, but yet, heart disease has not abated at all because of all these improvements in their lifestyles.

What does that suggest?

While smoking rates have been falling, the population who are overweight or obese has risen. And if these trends continue, obesity looks set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer at some point in the future.

Something is not working.

It has to be concluded therefore that healthy fats are necessary for our health and welfare. Low-fat diets were designed with the thinking that you eat fat, you make fat, right?

When companies make low-fat foods, they actually take out the fat, replacing fat and fat flavoring with something else, and guess what that something else is?

It is sugar – and sugar is what converts into fat in our bodies.

It’s not fat that is the enemy here.

The enemies are sugars and carbs – which brings us back to the Paleo Diet where fat forms part of your diet.

How often must I eat on the Paleo Diet?

The best way to follow the Paleo diet is to eat when you’re hungry and don’t eat when you are not hungry. Think about those cavemen, they didn’t have the luxury of popping over to vending machines to drink or eat at leisure when the whim overtook them. 

They might have gone hours, even a couple of days without finding good food and it’s in these situations where our bodies were designed to take care of that – the excess fat stores are used as energy in these types of occasions.

Start on your Paleo diet lifestyle today – it’s worth a try, and especially when you think how it helps even with health issues such as

  • Reducing belly fat
  • Reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Reducing risk of heart disease
  • Reducing inflammation

Hungry to get started?

Hippocrates was right when he said,

 “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food

The Paleo Diet can do just that for you.

Hey, guys, it's Anita Tee from FactsvsFitness.com.

Today I'm going to be doing a really quick video on the basic differences between the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, and a Ketogenic diet, and I figured I'd do this video because I got this question earlier, and I realized it never really occurred to me as a nutritionist, but I realize now that that's probably something that's pretty confusing because the diets seem really similar at first glance.

So, I'll give you guys a little bit of a brief background.

Basically, for a Ketogenic diet, to understand it, you guys probably must know a bit about nutritional ketosis. Nutritional ketosis is a state in the body where your body has converted from burning glucose to burning ketone bodies and utilizing ketone bodies for energy.

Basically, ketone bodies are produced from fat, so your body is essentially burning fat, converting it into ketone bodies and using those ketone bodies for energy.

There's a whole bunch of benefits to burning ketones, but I won't get into so many of them during this video because honestly, I could make a whole video on nutritional ketosis.

Honestly, there's just so much to talk about and so many benefits; the diet was originally invented because it was noticed that these high-fat intakes were really helping epilepsy, and they were helping to stop seizures.

Basically just to highlight one of the things,

that's why many of these diets, like the bulletproof diet, and all these brain functioning diets rely pretty heavily on fat because a high consumption of fat and burning ketones are actually able to basically push their way into the brain for energy, and they really energize the brain and give you guys a lot of brain power, which is awesome!

Anyways, that is basically what happens you enter nutritional ketosis, along with a whole bunch of other things that, as I said, I'll do a video on later, if you guys want.

So, the Ketogenic diet obviously involves being in nutritional ketosis, constantly, and there are such things called cyclical diets, or cyclical ketogenic diets where you're not in it so constantly, but with a basic ketogenic diet, you are consistently utilizing ketones as your main energy source, NOT glucose.

So, the way that's different from a Paleo diet and an Atkins diet are that a Paleo diet can be a ketogenic diet, you can make it into a ketogenic diet, but it really doesn't have to be, and it's the same with an Atkins diet.

So essentially the difference lies in carbohydrate intake. That's the big thing that I want to highlight to you guys here because basically with a ketogenic diet you have only 5% percent of your calories as carbohydrate intake.

That's it. Sixty to eighty percent is fat, the remainder is protein, and then five percent is carbohydrates.

And that's what pushes your body into nutritional ketosis.

Five percent keep in mind that one gram of carbohydrates is equal to about four calories, so if you're on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, that means you have 25 grams of carbs. That's it.

So essentially you're on a really low carb intake per day, and the reason for that is once your body burns up its glucose, when you're first switching into a keto diet, your body will use whatever glucose it has left, it will go to its glycogen stores and burn all that, and then after that it really doesn't have enough fuel from carbohydrates.

So, it kind of starts to learn and switch over to burning fat, and that's when you start burning fat, that's when you go into nutritional ketosis, and that's what everything sort of accelerates.

But when the process is happening that you're switching, you do still have glycogen stores, your body is still running on glucose as a fuel,

so a lot of people feel crappy for a few days going into the keto diet until their body sort of learns to start burning ketones. Once you're in it for a while, if you come out of it and go back into it, then it's a lot more simple and your body kind of knows what's it's doing, but at first you can definitely feel a little bit crappy, so don't confuse that initial poor feeling with "Oh God, the ketogenic diet's not working!" That's sort of to be expected because your body is going through a major shift.

So, that's the keto diet!

Like I said, five percent of intake is carbohydrates, consistently like that, and the body's burning ketones.

So what about Atkins, what about Paleo?

As I said, it all depends on carb intake.

With Atkins, when you start off in Atkins, the first phase lets you take in 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

So, you can start out, especially depending on how long you stay in the first phase, you can actually start out in ketosis and push your body into ketosis, but the issue with this is you don't remain there.

By the end of the Atkins diet, you can be consuming up to a hundred grams of carbs per day, of course, you can stay in this really low carb state if you want to, but again, by the end, you are allowed about 100 grams of carbs a day, depending on your goals, and so you are at that point no longer in a state of ketosis.

I'm not the biggest fan of these types of diets just because, if you're not putting your body into ketosis and your body is still relying on glucose and your glycogen stores and you're giving it really low access to carbs, then you may end up feeling lethargic; some people have complained, on the Atkins diet, that they feel like their energy is pretty low, or they don't feel so great.

I just feel that when you're in that state you are still getting some benefits of being on a low carb diet, of course, there are again loads and loads of benefits.

But if you're going to push your body to be utilizing low carbohydrates, in my opinion as a scientist, a ketogenic diet is just unbeatable in that sense.

So, thirdly is the Paleo diet, and the Paleo diet is the most generous with its carbohydrates because the Paleo diet is a diet based around health, you can use it for weight loss, but you can also just use it for health purposes.

And basically, you can have up to 150 grams of carbs if you want on the Paleo diet, it totally depends on what your goals are, whether it's health, weight loss, maintenance, athletics.

If you are an athlete you can increase your carb intake even more than that, which is great if you're not in a keto state, and so the most generous carbohydrate intake will come from the Paleo diet.

And really, by following the Paleo diet you can still eat certain fruits and vegetables that, definitely, would not be allowed on the Atkins diet or on a Ketogenic diet, due to their high carbohydrate content, however, they are still very nutritious.

So, as I said, that's the basic difference: it's the carbohydrate intake, it's the carbohydrate difference.

All of them can turn into a keto diet if you really want to turn all these into a Keto diet and apply those rules of the Keto diet. But the Ketogenic diet is unbeatable when it comes to health benefits.

I find that the one with the most carb intake, which is the Paleo diet, I find that to be sort of the most sustainable, the easiest for when you're in social situations.

A ketogenic diet, I did one for maybe a year and a half, it was great! I actually did it during my Master's degree, and I did amazing, I would eat lunch and right after that I'd be writing my thesis, and I'd be so like brain-focused, there was no food coma or anything like that,

I was just skyrocketing with the work, and I did really well, and it was just amazing, I experienced so many health benefits; I am a big fan of testing myself, because I am a scientist, so I do you want to see what's going on the whole way through, and it actually improved a lot of health conditions I had, and that I wasn't even trying to improve or aiming at.

Which were things like, all my life I had very low iron, during the Keto diet my iron went up quite a bit and it's continuing to increase, now it's fantastic! But for a while when I started the Keto diet, when I was not feeling so great, and it really did a lot of benefits.

But, it was super unsustainable for me. Some people find it very easy and have no problem sustaining a Keto diet;

I was watching a lecture by this doctor and he was just saying he goes out for sushi, for example, and he just gets sashimi, which is great, he's not tempted by cake or chocolate, or anything like that.

I have a major sweet tooth so that didn't help, but I mean I stuck to it, I gave it a good go for a year and a half, it has huge benefits and if you guys can do one of the three diets, again, it will vary depending on the person and depending on your goals, but if you guys can do a Keto diet, it's really amazing, and the benefits are really great.

So, like I said, it's a balance between your personal goals, how sustainable you find the diet, and also how you're feeling on a diet.

Pay attention to how your body feels, because the same diet isn't applicable for every single person, and you should listen to your body and go with how you feel.

So that's the basic difference, and I hope you guys enjoyed this video!

If you guys want a scientist on your side to give you the facts about health and nutrition, then subscribe to my channel below and give this video a thumbs up!

And hope you guys have a great day, love you all, see you next time.

tony

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