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Proponents of the Paleo Diet emphasize all of its health benefits, whether you’re trying to lose weight or just live a healthier life. Five key benefits of the Paleo Diet will be considered :
- No Processed Foods
- Healthy Fat Intake
- Healthy Carbohydrate Intake
- Ample Vitamins & Minerals
- Just The Right Amount Of Protein
- Exercising On Paleo
- Final Thoughts
No Processed Foods
Probably the best thing about the Paleo Diet is that where most diets out there hold that fat or carbohydrates – both essential parts of a healthy diet – are the problem, the Paleo Diet is built on the premise that processed and artificial foods are the problem.
By removing processed foods rather than fats or carbs, the Paleo Diet lets you get all of the essential nutrients that other diets would have you go without, while encouraging you to skip unhealthy foods that other diets might allow.
Some persons who have food borne allergies may need to follow the stricter Auto Immune Protocol diet also known as The AIP diet. The AIP diet aims to reduce inflammation, pain and other symptoms associated by autoimmune diseases.
Healthy Fat Intake
Some low-fat diets encourage the removal of fat from your diet despite the fact that your body needs fat to survive. It’s a part of every cell in your body, especially in your nervous system. Fat is also needed for your body to use certain vitamins.
By encouraging the consumption of fat from healthy sources like plant oils and discouraging the consumption of fat from unhealthy sources like processed foods, the Paleo Diet helps you get this essential nutrient without all of the modifications and extra sugars that often come with it.
Healthy Carbohydrate Intake
Carbohydrates , like fats , are often vilified by diets despite the fact that your body needs carbohydrates for energy.
The Paleo Diet doesn’t restrict carbohydrates, which can come from healthy sources like fruits and vegetables but does restrict foods that have lots of carbohydrates and little else. These foods, often called “Energy rich and nutrient poor” foods, include sodas and many processed baked goods that we all should stay away from whether we’re trying to lose weight or not.
Ample Vitamins And Minerals
Many diets will restrict the eating of fruit and vegetables as a way of reducing carbohydrates.
A diet without fruits and vegetables leaves basically nothing but meat. While meat is a healthy dietary element, there are many nutrients, especially vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, that it just doesn’t deliver. Because the Paleo Diet focuses on removing unhealthy sources of carbohydrates, it leaves healthy sources of carbohydrates alone, giving you a much more varied diet.
Just The Right Amount Of Protein
Just like many low carb diets try to get rid of carbohydrates by getting rid of fruits and vegetables and so get rid of all of the other healthy nutrients contained in produce, many low-fat diets try to get rid of fat by getting rid of meat and so lose a valuable source of protein.
Protein is used by your body to build muscles, which is important if you plan on exercising during your diet – which you should. Exercise is good for you whether you are trying to lose weight or not, but if you are trying to lose weight it is especially important.
You gain weight when the energy that you consume exceeds the energy that you use. Dieting without exercises decreases the energy that you consume, but you can do twice as much good by increasing the energy that your body uses, which is best done through exercise. Exercise is difficult without enough protein.
The Paleo Diet also avoids the dangers of using protein as a fuel, which is the basis of some low carb diets like the Atkins Diet. Your body can break down protein for use as fuel, but it leaves behind extra acids that aren’t good for your body and can be especially harmful if you’re trying to exercise on what becomes basically an all-meat diet.
Exercising On The Paleo Diet
If you’re dieting to lose weight but you aren’t exercising you may still see results, but they won’t be nearly as obvious if you were also working out. You lose weight when your body uses more energy than it takes in so taking in less energy.
The diet that you choose can change your experience exercising, however, as your body needs things like proteins and carbohydrates to work while a lot of diets cut out those nutrients. So, what is life like exercising on the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet And Carbs
The body prefers to break down carbohydrates for energy, though it can also break down fats and proteins if it has to. While you want to decrease the amount of carbohydrates that you eat and increase the amount of exercising you do, cutting out carbohydrates completely can really alter your body chemistry. This happens because your diet would force your body to break down chemicals that it normally wouldn’t.
For example, some low carb diets leave you eating virtually nothing but meat, which means that your body burns all of that extra protein for energy. When your body breaks down proteins it leaves behind acid as a byproduct. If you are exercising on a low carb diet your body’s acidity level changes and it may leave you feeling sick.
The Paleo Diet And Protein
While low carb diets can have you eating little other than meat, low fat diets can drastically reduce the amount of red meat and even nuts and seeds that you are eating.
All of these foods can be a high source of unhealthy fats, especially if you aren’t careful enough about buying lean meat or if the nuts and seeds that you buy are over seasoned or prepared in unhealthy ways. The red meat and nuts and seeds are also a great source of protein as well as iron and other vitamins and minerals.
It was mentioned that your body would rather not break down proteins for fuel, proteins are still important for exercise because your body needs them to build and repair muscle. If you are exercising on a diet that doesn’t allow you to get enough protein, it can be hard to grow larger muscles or for your muscles to recover after an exercise.
The Paleo Diet, however, encourages you to eat meat from a variety of sources, as well as nuts and seeds, meaning that you will have enough protein and minerals to build muscle and recover quickly after your workouts.
The Paleo Diet And Calcium
One place where the Paleo Diet doesn’t do so well in the exercise nutrients department is calcium.
Calcium is usually thought of as a mineral that makes bones stronger. While it has many other roles like making your muscles work by conveying nerve impulses, it does contribute to strong bones.
Because your muscles exert force on your bones to make your body move when you exercise, you need the right nutrients for healthy bones and muscles. Calcium is the right nutrient for the strengthening of the bones and muscles.
Some of the most readily available sources of calcium are dairy products like milk and cheese, which aren’t allowed in the Paleo Diet.
There are other places to get calcium, but they aren’t places that people normally think to look. Dark green leafy vegetables are often a pretty good source of calcium and some even have some protein. To get adequate calcium you have to keep your vegetable options open .
The five key benefits of the Paleo Diet is no processed food, with healthy amounts of fat, protein , carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Exercising on the Paleo diet seems to be better on the body than a lot of diets out there, but there are also some areas where it falls short. Hopefully the information presented has helped you to understand the biology of eating and exercising on the Paleo Diet so that you can make the best choices for your body.