6 Benefits of the Paleo Diet: Your Ultimate Guide to Success
By Dr. Chad Walding, DPT
June 14th, 2019
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve been asking yourself questions like:
If you’re just beginning the Paleo Diet, I understand how overwhelming all the advice out there can be.
I’m Dr. Chad, and I’m here to help. I am going to take you through all of the sought-after answers and give you a solid foundation to start, execute, and succeed in making the Paleo Diet work for you.
What Are Some Benefits of the Paleo Diet?
The benefits of the Paleo Diet seem endless! The Paleo Diet aims to take the modifications out of our modern diet and instead eat more like how our ancestors did 2,000 years ago.
By removing all processed foods, you are drastically lowering your risk for:
High Blood Pressure - The high amounts of sodium in processed foods cause an excess of water in your bloodstream and extra strain on your blood vessels leading to your kidneys, which results in higher blood pressure.2
Heart Disease - Research has shown that the Paleo Diet can increase your IL-10, a signaling molecule, by 35%. Lower IL-10 levels have been linked to increased risks in heart attacks and inflammation, whereas high IL-10 levels appear to counteract inflammation.3
Diabetes - Processed food is all too often high in calories but low in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. This causes your body to break down these processed foods too quickly, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar.4
Obesity - Studies have indicated that our brains have a reward system. Processed foods that contain high levels of sugars, salts, and fats are so rewarding to our brains that food manufacturing companies spend a large number of resources in making their products as enticing as possible, leading to overconsumption and obesity.5Depression - Many studies have proven that those who eat a diet rich in processed foods are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, whereas those who eat a diet containing large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fish have lower rates of depression.6
So, What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet focuses on the food that our ancestors ate in the Prehistoric Era. This is sometimes referred to as the Stone-Age Diet, Paleolithic Diet, Caveman Diet, or the Hunter-Gatherer Diet.7
When I began questioning how I could improve the health of myself, my family, and my patients, I found that it all started with our ancestors. They didn’t have all the processed foods we have now. Our ancestors relied on fruits, vegetables, and fresh meat 8 – all of which were free from the chemicals, preservatives, and hormones we find in our foods today.
Our ways of eating completely and rapidly changed once farming was introduced. Things like dairy, grains, and legumes are now staples in the human diet.9 Subsequently, humans began to develop heart disease, obesity, and diabetes among other illnesses.
The Paleo Diet aims to replace the processed and preserved foods we’ve become accustomed to with the food choices of our ancestors.
A Paleo Diet Food List for Beginners
Now, let’s take a look at the foods eaten on the Paleo Diet, keeping in mind what our ancestors ate 2,000 years ago:
- Aim for those that are lean, pasture-raised, grass-fed, free of hormones and antibiotics.
- Eat wild-caught fish.
- Shop at local Farmers Markets, and ask the farmers what they feed their livestock.
- Buy organic.
- Avoid pesticides and herbicides.
- Soak your nuts to get rid of gut-irritating enzyme inhibitors.10
- Dry soaked nuts in a dehydrator or by using your oven’s lowest temperature.
- Don’t eat too many nuts if you are trying to lose weight or have digestive issues.
- Drink raw milk from grass-fed animals.
- Eat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir.
- But it’s highly recommended to cut out dairy completely.
- Buy raw, unheated, local honey.
- Use Stevia as an alternative sweetener.
- Use figs and dates for baking.
- Avoid aspartame, such as NutraSweet® and Equal® (these are harmful neurotoxins).
- Eat permitted sweets in moderation.
- Use raw, unfiltered, and organic flax oil.
- Eat avocados, olives, and some nuts & seeds
- Drink organic coconut milk.
- Use organic, extra virgin, or unrefined coconut oil.
- Use organic or raw whole butter from grass-fed animals.
- Cook with ghee, tallow, and lard
- Use the organic, unrefined, and extra virgin form of the following oils:
- Macadamia nut
Now that you know the foods you should be eating on the Paleo Diet, let’s look for some of the food items and toxic chemicals that may be in your house or pantry that you should be getting rid of.
Items to throw away:
- All foods that are packaged, in a can, or have labels
- Crackers, cookies, and candy
- Frozen dinners
- Soy foods
- Pasteurized milk
- Sugar and sugary drinks
- Nitrates and nitrites
- Artificial flavors and colors
- Protein powders
- Trans fats
- Soy protein isolate
- Vegetable oils
- White flour
Can You Use the Paleo Diet for Weight Loss?
In fact, let’s take a look at how the Paleo Diet helps you to lose weight:11
- High in protein
- Low in carbohydrates
- Low in calories
- Free of processed foods and sugars
By following your Paleo Diet meal plans consistently, not only should your appetite decrease, but your metabolism will increase!
And, if you would like to give your metabolism even more of a boost, you can pair your Paleo Diet with our grass-fed NativePath Collagen. It’s Paleo-approved!
How Can I Be Successful on the Paleo Diet?
I get it— starting a new diet can be intimidating, simply because it’s a change of lifestyle and a change of mindset. We, humans, are creatures of habit who have a hard time letting go of routine.
I want to share with you some tips that can help you make the Paleo Diet successful for you:12
The Paleo Diet is incredibly simple. Your mindset plays a huge role in its simplicity. Remember, our ancestors didn’t have fancy food options or cook gourmet meals. Today’s temptations are everywhere! Stick with your lean meats, root vegetables, and fruits. If you’re having a hard time satisfying your palate, you can find many great Paleo recipes on our site in the Native Body Reset section.
One great thing about the Paleo Diet is that there are no counting calories! One of the most special things about the Paleo Diet, when compared to others, is that it is more satiating per calorie than other diets. This helps you to feel full, while still eating less. Don’t starve yourself. Eat until you’re satisfied!
This is one of the hardest parts of any diet or lifestyle change. It is so much harder to do it on your own! Find a friend who can do this with you, cheer you on, and hold you accountable.