This Is Why You Should Try A Paleo Challenge!
Eating a nutrient-rich diet is more powerful than any drug when I t comes to decreasing risk of disease and as an added bonus, there are no side effects.
The purpose of us participating in the paleo challenge was to optimize our nutrient intake and reset our bodies so that they can function optimally, train harder, and feel better.
Here are the main benefits of following a paleo diet stem from the following features:
- Whole Foods
The paleo diet only includes whole foods that come from the earth or from an animal. That means no boxed foods with long ingredient lists, no sugar-filled baked goods, no foods with artificial dyes and colors, and no fast food. Even eating fast food or junk food occasionally can increase risk of disease. Research shows that eating just one fast food meal per week contributes to a 20% increased risk of dying from heart disease. Going back to the basics is the best approach.
Whether you are vegan, paleo, pegan, flexitarian, etc. the basis of any healthy diet is eating mostly plants. As Michael Pollan says, “it if comes from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t”. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber, colorful phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, and water that help keep us nourished. Regardless of what diet philosophy you follow, the research consistently demonstrates that a diet that including 7+ servings of fruits and vegetables per day can keep the doctor away.
- No Added Sugar
More and more research is showing that sugar is extremely inflammatory and it happens to be in basically every food. Research has shown a strong correlation between added sugar consumption and an increased risk of excessive adiposity, obesity, childhood obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease and tooth decay. A 2013 study estimated that 180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sugar-sweetened beverage intake alone. One of the many problems with sugar is that the more that you have, the more that you crave. The key is to work on cutting out sugar for a period of time to help rewire your taste buds and reduce cravings overtime.
- Low Glycemic
Eating a low glycemic diet means that the foods you eat have a low impact on your blood sugar levels, which helps decrease your body’s production of the pro-inflammatory, fat-storing hormone called insulin. The key to a low glycemic diet is pairing lean sources of protein with healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates at every meal and snack. More than 40 clinical trials have shown low carbohydrate diets are beneficial for decreasing blood glucose levels in people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes but there may be additional health benefits. One study from 2011 found that four weeks of following a low glycemic diet was associated with reduced markers for Alzheimer’s Disease in elderly adults (?-amyloid (A?) peptide) and lower levels of oxidative stress and insulin.
Despite what I learned in my undergraduate dietetic classes, you don’t necessarily have to have celiac disease to benefit from a gluten-free diet. After being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance twelve years ago, I’ve followed a gluten-free diet because of the positive impact that removing gluten has had on my own health. A recent study found that individuals diagnosed with a wheat sensitivity, who tested negative for celiac disease, can experience a profound improvement in their health. Those that had a wheat sensitivity (even without celiac disease) had elevated markers of epithelial cell damage that were correlated with an immune response to microbial products after eating gluten.
Source: Being Brigid