What is the Paleo Diet, anyway?

On the face of it, the Paleo Diet looks a lot like a low carb diet. This is because the Paleo Diet focuses on the consumption of foods that were available to the hunter-gathers of yore. In other words, what would a caveman (or woman) eat? Research has shown that hunter-gatherers ate lean meats (including those such as ostrich and bison!), organ meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, and fresh fruit and raw non-starchy vegetables. Not your typical American diet!

Our bodies likely developed the signal to store energy based on the food type that was least abundant – carbs. Even now when we eat carbs, our bodies hear “store energy”. If we follow the typical American diet of grains, sugar and fructose, we are storing a lot more than energy – We are storing fat! Dietary carbs are the primary source of a substance called glycerol-3-phosphate, which causes fat to become fixed in fat tissue. Then our high carb intake raises our insulin levels, which prevents fat from being released. We also set off a domino effect of chemical reactions that makes us hungry and craving sweets. In other words, when we eat a lot of grains, sugar and fructose, there is a good chance we are programming our body to become fat.

By adhering to a Paleo Diet we eat foods that are concordant with our genetic ancestry. We can avoid many of the diseases associated with our typical American diet, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that a Paleo Diet can be very effective for reducing blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The average person tends to see a 30 point drop in cholesterol in just two weeks. That’s better than any statin drug!

Following the Paleo idea, we can assume our bodies are also genetically wired to move like hunter-gatherers. This includes lots of walking with regular lifting, and short bursts of high-intensity movement, like running from the lions! Our hunter-gather ancestors did not run long distances without rest, like we might on a treadmill. Several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.

At Radiance, we offer a great selection of vitamins and supplements. Whole food powders are extremely beneficial to those who are just getting accustomed to a Paleo Diet. Radiance offers Designs for Health’s PaleoGreens Organic Powder and Designs for Health PaleoReds Strawberry Powder for a whole food boost.

Dr. Bob Stowe, a Functional Medicine Doctor has joined Radiance and is available for consultations. Functional medicine is the belief that we were designed to be healthy. When we exhibit symptoms, it is generally in response to something. Are you experiencing weight gain, irritability, insomnia, gas and bloating, headaches or other symptoms? Perhaps a fresh look from a new perspective will get you on the right path to wellness and vitality.

 

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