All foods have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, it comes down to what your body likes and what suits you the best. Just like the other diets, which focus on eliminating or including a particular food type, the paleo diet is based on the consumption of only the foods that were available to the humans during the Paleolithic era.
This diet includes lean meats, seafood, fruits, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, eggs, seeds, and plant-based oils while eliminating grains, processed foods and sugar, gluten, and dairy. This low-carb diet can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of several diseases by keeping your meals nutrient-rich, stabilizing your blood sugar, and reduce cravings.
Here are 5 ways you can enhance the benefits of a paleo diet.
1. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is not only important for digestion but also your heart health, skin health, immune system, and weight management.1 The absence of grains in a paleo diet makes it a low-carb diet.
Low carbohydrate intake paired with insufficient fiber can increase the risk of constipation, making it important for the people on a paleo diet to bring in more fiber into their meals. On a grain-free diet, you can incorporate spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli, cabbage, berries, yams, coconut, or sweet potatoes to meet the daily fiber needs.
2. Eat Organic Foods
Organic foods are grown without pesticides or fertilizers. Studies have shown that organic foods contain higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus than the non-organic foods.2 Despite being a healthier alternative to non-organic food, they might be more expensive.
3. Avoid Paleo Processed Foods
Although paleo processed foods may be your comfort foods, they must be consumed in moderation. These foods, although delicious, usually contain artificial flavors and sweeteners that can have negative effects on your health just like the regular processed foods. Instead, focus on nutritious, healthy, and unprocessed food to benefit from the paleo diet.
On the other hand, don’t overdo the healthy foods. Eating healthy foods in excess can do more harm than good to your overall health. Maintaining a nutrient balance is essential in a paleo diet to avoid deficiency of a particular vitamin or mineral, which may result in serious health problems.
4. Eat Legumes And Dairy
Irrespective of your dedication to following the paleo diet, it is sometimes important to eat what is best for you. Deviate from the paleo foods and include legumes and dairy in your meal for a nutrient boost. However, you must eat dairy foods only if you can tolerate them.
5. Buy Quality Meat
Similar to organic and non-organic foods, grass-fed meat and grain-fed meat differ in their nutrient profile. Grass-fed meat is superior to the latter as it contains the right amount of fats, fatty acids, nutrients, and has a better flavor. Studies suggest that there is a change in meat composition when the cattle are fed with grain.3
If you are a strict follower of the paleo diet, think of the hunters and gatherers. The meat they ate did not have hormones or antibiotics, then why should you compromise? Go for organic meat to get the best out of what you eat.
You may not notice immediate results. Allow your body to get accustomed to the changes you make in your diet.
|↑1||Why is fibre important?. National Health Services UK.|
|↑2||Crinnion, Walter J. “Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer.” Alternative Medicine Review 15, no. 1 (2010): 4-13.|
|↑3||Ponnampalam, Eric N., Neil J. Mann, and Andrew J. Sinclair. “Effect of feeding systems on omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and trans fatty acids in Australian beef cuts: potential impact on human health.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 15, no. 1 (2006): 21.|