Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet, The path to your future body starts with a step back in time—or so say true believers of the Paleo Diet. The program claims that sticking to a hunter-gatherer-style diet can help you look like less like Hagar the Horrible and more like Conan the Barbarian, and keep you healthier to boot.

Popularized in the ’70s, the Paleo Diet has regained traction of late thanks to an outpouring of books such as The New Evolution Diet, The Paleo Solution, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook...REPORTED

The Program: Modern Stone Age followers are allowed to eat meat, fish, fruits, veggies, roots, and nuts—essentially the present-day equivalents of foods that cavemen ate. Processed foods are out, and so are grains, dairy, and legumes. (Video: See how eating like a caveman helps you cut out sugars)

The Claim: Paleo proponents believe that our bodies are genetically adapted to best function on the same foods our prehistoric ancestors ate.

According to this theory, humans haven’t evolved much since prehistoric times, and eating like Fred Flintstone can help lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, and more. (You can eat to beat diabetes. Find out how when you pick up a copy of The Diabetes DTOUR Diet.)

The Facts: A 2009 study found that adhering to a Paleolithic diet may improve your blood pressure, increase your good cholesterol, and shave off a couple pounds. But experts aren’t entirely sold on going Paleo, nor do they buy into the idea that our bodies are genetically designed to best digest certain types of foods.

Sure, you’re more likely to get a sugar overload from a 12-oz can of Coke that contains 39 grams of sugar than from an apple with 19 grams. But to say we haven’t adapted enough to break down all processed foods is inaccurate.

Minimally processed foods such as low-fat dairy and whole grains have been shown to help your heart and strengthen your bones. Most Americans aren’t getting enough calcium or vitamin D as it is, and cutting out dairy eliminates a major source. (Search: Best calcium sources) This throwback approach to dining also cuts out beans, which are a great and inexpensive source of protein and fiber.

Any meal plan that prohibits eating entire food groups raises the question of how long you can stick with it. “Whenever you start to eliminate any specific food groups, as in the Paleo diet, there’s a chance of weight loss,” says Marisa Moore, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “But whether you can sustain it remains to be seen.”

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