Is Eating like a Caveman Good for your Health?
Dust off your world history text books that cover the Paleolithic Era, and you'll dive into the lifestyle and nomadic habits of early humans who lived about 2.6 million years ago. They survived on a largely plant-based diet, supplemented by fishing and hunting wild animals. And their early eating patterns are what today's popular Paleo Diet are modeled after. But what is Paleo Diet and is it healthy?
This diet mainly consists of eating berries, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, eggs, healthy fats found in avocados and olive oil, and some fish and red meat. Absent are whole grains and sugar, legumes, sodium, potatoes, and dairy products, along with fast food, sugar-sweetened beverages, and most of the food that makes up the typical American diet.
If you're trying to lose weight following a Paleo-style diet can help. In a recent study published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people lost an average of 13 pounds and slimmed their waistline by 4 inches in a six month period by following the Paleo Diet. They also found that Paleo Diet helped lower triglyceride levels. Good news if you're trying to lose weight and lower other risk factors to improve your health.
But researchers also discovered a downside to the Paleo Diet. Because of its restrictive nature that doesn't include whole grains or legumes (these foods could not be eaten during the Paleo Era without extensive preparation), the Paleo eating plan did not help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar levels in the study. In other words, it's not a bad eating plan to follow to jumpstart your weight loss, but it's incomplete without including whole grains and legumes in your diet.
And we've got you covered. Once you've finished the diet and can include whole grains and legumes again, check out our healthy dishes like Whole Wheat French Toast with Sausage and Diced Peaches, Chicken Paprika with Brown Rice and Green Beans, or Cod with Miso Ginger, Black Beans and Carrots. Just heat and enjoy (no need to go hunting or build a fire).