We hope you’ve enjoyed going nutters for nut butters over the past few weeks! While we will always remain Nut Butter Nutters at heart, it’s time to shift our focus a little bit, onto the wide and often confusing world of…diets!
Image source: www.gymchalo.com
That’s right, we’re zooming out to get a bird’s eye view of various diets that are touted as the end all and be all of healthy eating. Here at Amazin’ Graze, we believe in living a healthy lifestyle that is enjoyable, sustainable, and based on solid scientific fact. Thus, an ultimately balanced diet with some occasional good-for-you treats is and always will be our favourite way to go – however, it can be interesting and useful to take a look at the background and basics of other ‘hip’ diets out there and glean health wisdom where we can.
Today’s focus: The Paleo Diet.
Image source: thepaleodiet.com
In a world where technological advances are pretty much a daily occurrence, it is no wonder that our diets have also changed in leaps and bounds over the years. Our food today comes easily – for most, it’s been grown, gathered, processed into an edible form, packaged, and delivered within easy reach. However, it wasn’t always that way. The Paleo diet proposes that we go back to the way the earliest humans fed themselves – hunter-gatherer style. This is based on the idea that our bodies have changed very little in the history of mankind – and it is the evolution of our diets away from our original style of eating that is causing poor health.
Image source: theunboundedspirit.com
Back in the days of the caveman, there was no formal agriculture – and thus, everything eaten had to be caught (hunted) or scavenged (gathered) from nature. These foods are allowed in the Paleo diet:
- Grass-produced meats
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Oils – olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut
Image source: bretcontreras.com
On the other hand, food that has gradually come to be part of our daily intake due to advances in agriculture and technology is not allowed:
Foods Not Allowed:
- Cereal grains
- Legumes and peanuts
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- Refined vegetable oils
Image source: www.bariatriccookery.com
As a result, Paleo meals are often:
- Made up of very natural, fresh food
- Low in sodium
- Rich in protein and healthy fat
- Low in carbohydrates and sugars
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In theory, the basis of this diet seems to be very positive – fresh food, low glycemic load, good satiety (the feeling of fullness after eating), and low in bad fats and sodium (the mineral related to high blood pressure).
Only small studies have been done on the potential health effects of going on the Paleo diet, and thus the benefits claimed by this diet are difficult to verify. The small studies done have shown some benefit in terms of weight loss and controlling some risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease and Diabetes – however, it will take much more research before any concrete conclusion can be made.
Image source: www.highbloodpressurerelief.com
On the downside, the restrictive food list can pose quite a struggle, especially in an Asian country, where carbohydrates (rice, noodles) form the bulk of most meals. The elimination of all salt and processed food also means that most of the food needs to be prepared freshly at home, which takes significant time and effort, and may not be feasible for everyone. Lastly, there are some nutrients that could potentially be lacking in the Paleo diet, especially calcium, as all dairy and soy are not allowed.
Image source: www.dairylandfarmworld.com
So, our verdict? The Paleo diet has some really good principles (eating fresh, no salt, minimal processing) and could potentially show some good health benefits. However, it is not the most practical diet for the average person to follow, and appears to be a bit over-restrictive, which can result in an insufficient intake of some nutrients.
Instead, we suggest trying to adopt some Paleo principles into your current diet without going overboard. Reduce your processed food intake, eat more fruits and vegetables, use healthier oils, cut down on sugar, and so on – but still feel free to keep a good variety and balance in your diet.
Get started on your Paleo-inspired diet today and grab yourself a Paleo snack from Amazin’ Graze! Our Paleo granola is completely grain-free, and is chock-full of nutrient dense nuts, seeds, and 5 types of fruits. It is loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants, all while being 100% natural, and 100% delicious, as always.
And stay tuned – we’ll be talking about different diets over the next few weeks, and posting recipes you can try at home to add some excitement and good nutrition to your diet. Have a great week, Grazers!