A Paleo Diet Treasure Trove

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In researching for the previous post on the meal options offered by Atlantic Seafood, I came upon a term that I’ve heard tossed around a lot lately – the Paleo diet. As I noted in that post “Atlantic Seafood is … a source of a variety of foods for those following a Paleo diet”.  But what actually is the Paleo diet? How does it relate to Atlantic Seafood? My curiosity led me to dig deeper into the concept of the Paleo diet to learn its origins, rules, and results – as well as that Atlantic Seafood can be a treasure trove of Paleo diet resources.

What is the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet was originated by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., through his book, The Paleo Diet and his other books that followed. Dr. Cordain is a professor who is a world authority on the nutrients consumed in the stone age4.

The name Paleo diet comes from “Paleolithic Era” or the period of human existence before the development of farming (the earliest part of the stone age). The diet has this name because its goal is to align one’s diet as closely as possible with that of Paleolithic humans.  The diet is also known as the Paleolithic diet, the Stone Age diet, the Hunter – Gatherer diet, and Cave Man diet3.

So why would you want to eat like a cave man? The answer is believed to lie in your genetics. Farming began about 10,000 years ago. As it developed it changed the foods available to humans – and hence the nutrients that a human took in –  quickly and drastically. As this change in what humans ate happened so quickly, evolution of the human body lagged behind . Consequently, it is believed that our bodies are still meant to consume the  hunter – gatherer diet of the stone age. It is thought that modern humans pay the price for eating the wrong foods with inflated rates of Heart Disease, obesity, and Diabetes. Many maladies have been attributed to lack of exercise and low water consumption (also major parts of life for our stone age ancestors).  The Paleo diet therefore also encourages physical activity and drinking enough water 3.

 

Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid

Imagine that you are living in the early stone age. There are no stores, no vehicles, and not even any farms to produce the mere beginnings of what we use to make bread. Your only chance for survival would be to hunt wild animals and gather edible  plants. The foods that you would get through this are the same foods that the Paleo diet prescribes3.

These foods include:

  • seeds and nuts
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • oils from nuts and fruits
  • lean meats, especially of wild animals or those that eat grass
  • seafood 3

Conversely, the Paleo diet discourages foods that have been popularized with the advent of farming. These include:

  • legumes (such as beans, peas, peanuts, and lentils)
  • dairy
  • grains
  • salt
  • very processed foods
  • potatoes
  • refined sugar3

 

Results of the Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is not designed specifically to cause weight loss, but rather to be a new style of eating that betters health and lengthens lifespan. This diet is, however, known for causing weight loss – and so many who embark on it do so with this goal in mind1.

Rate of weight loss during the Paleo diet fluctuates over time. During the first week of the diet you can normally expect to see an impressive change because you will be losing five to ten pounds! This initial drop is mostly due to a loss of water weight, and happens because every gram of glucose (a carbohydrate) in the body is bound to three to four grams of water. The Paleo diet, in lowering one’s intake of carbohydrates, therefore also decreases the amount of water in the body1.

The initial weight loss that most see on the Paleo diet is a quick plunge in water weight.

Although dramatic weight loss early on in the diet is the norm, realize that you will not necessarily see it in your own case for various reasons. People starting the Paleo diet who were previously on some other low carbohydrate diet, for example, will already lack the water weight to be lost by people who were not1.

The general trend of Paleo diet weight loss.

After the steep weight loss of week one on the diet, the rate of your weight loss will slow but stabilize. This is not a bad thing, but simply occurs because the water weight loss is complete. In general you will now lose one to two pounds per week, but some weeks you may lose more and other weeks you may even gain weight. The overall trend in weight over time, however, is downward1.

Studies carried out on the Paleo diet have shown it to cause greater weight loss, lower levels of triglycerides, better ability to manage appetite, and better glucose tolerance than were found in subjects not on the diet. We still, however, do not fully understand the benefits of the Paleo diet long – term3.

 

Atlantic Seafood and the Paleo Diet

Though we already know that Atlantic Seafood carries foods meant for the Paleo diet, the store’s usefulness should you decide to set off on this journey goes far beyond that. Atlantic Seafood’s necessity to anyone on the Paleo diet is shown right in its name! Seafood is one of the main foods that the Paleo diet encourages3. At Atlantic Seafood, foods that aren’t allowed by this diet are probably rarer than foods that are! This can’t be said for most supermarkets or convenience stores.

The best seafoods to eat on the Paleo diet are those with high fat content such as tuna, herring, and sardines. Such fish are ideal sources of omega  3  fatty acids and Vitamin D5. If you come to Atlantic Seafood in search of foods for the Paleo diet, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Someone will be happy to guide you to the best of the many, many options.

 

Works Cited

1. Paleo Leap, LLC. “Paleo Weight Loss:
What to Expect”.

Paleo Leap,  2018, paleoleap.com/paleo-weight-loss.expect/.

2. Eenfeldt, Andreas M.D. “Long – Term Study on the Paleo Diet: The Results”.
Diet Doctor, 10 Feb. 2014, www.dietdoctor.com/long-term-study-paleo-diet.

3. Mayo Clinic Staff. “Paleo diet: What is it and why is it so popular?”.
Mayo Clinic, 8 Aug. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/paleo-diet/art-20111182.

4.”Dr. Loren Cordain”.
The Paleo Diet, 2018, thepaleodiet.com/dr-loren-cordain/.
Retrieved on 12 Jan. 2018.

5. “Foods to Eat on the Paleo Diet”.
Health and Style.com, 2016, healthandstyle.com/diet/paleo-diet-food-list/.
Retrieved on 12 Jan. 2018.

6. Merriam – Webster, Inc. “Paleolithic”.
Merriam – Webster, 2018, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Paleolithic.
Retrieved 16 Jan. 2018.

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