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The Paleo Diet: Why it Works

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

With thousands of diet programs, websites, books, weight loss organizations, blogs, social media pages, advertisements, chefs, nutritionists and food experts saturating this planet, how on Earth do you choose a diet that works for you, resonates with your body, mind and lifestyle and effectively and safely makes your body healthier, stronger and revitalized?  

If you’ve been to see me as a patient, you may likely already know that I’m a consistent advocate for The Paleo Diet. Even if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can still follow many of the dietary recommendations within the Paleo Diet (minus the animal based foods).  

So what does The Paleo Diet involve? 

I’ll discuss what types of foods are encouraged along with those foods that you should moderate, limit or avoid. Next, I’ll share the abundance of health and lifestyle advantages to this amazing diet.   

The Paleo Diet, also know as the Paleolithic Diet or the Caveman Diet, promotes that when we eat similarly (yet modernly) as our prehistoric hunter gatherer ancestors, we will have less risk of chronic illnesses and diseases, live healthier and longer lives, lose weight and/or maintain a healthy body fat percentage.  

Created and pioneered by Loren Cordain, a PhD professor, author, speaker in Nutrition, Health and Exercise Physiology, this ambitious expert has done extensive research over many years on this practice of eating for optimal health.  His book, “The Paleo Diet” has been read by millions of people since it was first published in 2001 and has followed with a continually updated, informative, science based and culinary infused website –  

Contrary to what many presume, The Paleo Diet does not promote heavy consumption of animal protein like the Atkins diet back in the 80’s and 90’s.  

Instead this well studied diet favors mostly a plant based approach to nutrition and food enjoyment. This includes:   

  1. Fiber rich, non-starchy vegetables: green vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, purple/green cabbage, carrots, peppers, radishes and much more: rainbow color of vegetables

  2. Low glycemic (lower sugar and less spike of blood glucose): apples, berries, peaches, pears, nectarines, grapefruit, oranges, cherries and more

  3. Healthy sources of animal protein: wild seafood, grass fed beef, organically fed poultry, cage free organic eggs, organic pork and other animal based protein

  4. Mostly plant (and some animal) based fats with a balanced Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids: unrefined organic oils – olive, grapeseed, coconut, sunflower, avocados, seeds, nuts, flax seeds/oils, chia seeds, fish oil (EPA and DHA) and more

  5. Simple: Carbohydrates, protein and fat.

**Limitation** of less healthy, less nutritious, more refined, processed, more inflammatory provoking foods:

  1. Grains in general (especially gluten grains)

  2. Starchy (less fiber) vegetables: potatoes, squashes, corn, peas, etc

  3. High glycemic (sugar) fruits: dried fruits, bananas, melons

  4. Refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour, white rice, potatoes, candy, soda, desserts, etc.

  5. Dairy – milk, cheese, cream, ice cream, yogurt, sour cream, etc.

Now for the informative and exciting part! Here’s a list of health and lifestyle benefits to the Paleo Diet:  

Lifestyle benefits: 

  1. Freedom of choice: You get to select the foods at your local grocery store, farmer’s market or your own garden.

  2. Wholesome foods – no pre-packed or processed foods

  3. Natural lifestyle of daily eating vs trendy or fad or short term diet

  4. Uncomplicated, straightforward once you learn about it

  5. Emphasizes the 85/15 rule: Follow this 85% of the time; 15% of the time, you can eat the “other” foods. 🙂

  6. No starvation or hunger pains

  7. No calorie counting

  8. No medications, pills, injections or prescriptions required

  9. Cost effective – you buy the foods as would normally would at grocery stores

  10. No costly special diet or weight loss programs

  11. You can still eat the Paleo Diet at many restaurants

  12. Easy to share meals with *most* family members and friends

Health benefits:

  1. Reduced blood glucose and insulin (protein that lowers glucose)

  2. Lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides

  3. Reduced excess inflammation

  4. Lowered blood pressure

  5. Weight loss, fat loss and easier to maintain weight

  6. Healthier gut microbiome & increased stool regularity

  7. Increased neurotransmitters produced by gut bacteria

  8. Increased nutritional status: better absorption of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from plants

  9. Less dependence (or discontinuation) of Prescription Medications

  10. Greater energy

  11. Better mood

  12. Increased absorption of protein for repair, production of hormones, enzymes

  13. Increased absorption of iron for better energy and oxygen transport

  14. Vibrant, clear, less inflamed skin (i.e acne, eczema)

  15. Lowered risk or elimination of auto-immune disorders

  16. Increased body repair from injuries (and in general)

  17. Enhanced production of immune supporting cells

  18. Less inflamed muscle and joints

  19. Stronger bones

  20. Clearer respiratory system – lungs and upper airways

  21. Sharper cognitive function

  22. Better sleep when your body can rest and repair

  23. Healthier Liver for better detoxification

Guess what else happens to the rest of our body and our organ systems when we are in great health because the Paleo Diet? Hormone levels for both women and men are in better balance. What does this mean?  

For women: 

  1. Less PMS symptoms

  2. Less estrogen dominance (more estrogen relative to progesterone)

  3. Less heavy menstrual bleeding

  4. Less risk of uterine fibroids

  5. Less risk of cystic ovaries

  6. Less risk of fibrocystic breasts

  7. Less menstrual cramping and pain

  8. Less risk of menstrual migraines

  9. Less severe peri and post menopausal symptoms

  10. More regular menstrual cycles

  11. Better mood around your menstrual period

  12. Better libido

For men:

  1. Better ability to build muscles

  2. Increased production of testosterone

  3. Better libido

  4. Better stamina

  5. Greater energy

  6. Better ambition

  7. Better erectile function

  8. Better mood

  9. Deeper sleep

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~ Benjamin Franklin 

The Paleo Diet is easy, effective, rooted in science, nourishing, down to earth and so flavorful. The implementation into your daily lives is well worth the time and investment towards your health. If you are already eating this way, good work! If you are not, start gradually and make small changes every week until you reach that 85/15 rule.  

Looking for help with your weight, diet, hormone testing and support, gut health, sleep, stress, anxiety and depression and so much more? 

Reach out and schedule a 15 minute free Discovery Call, Follow up Appointment or New Patient Appointment.

Click here to schedule:

Be well and healthy,  

Dr. Kristi