In 1985, however, Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, of Emory University, published an article in The New England Journal of Medicine that did gain a great deal of attention in both the media and the public. Their paper was a study of Paleolithic nutrition that led to the 1988 release of their book, The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living. This book became the foundation for today’s many variations of the Paleo Diet.
In the book, the authors explained the components and benefits of the Paleolithic Era diet, although their recommendation was to reproduce the pattern and macronutrient content of the diet using modern foods, rather than excluding any foods that would not have been available to people of the Stone Age. This book was quickly followed by their second book, The Stone Age Health Programme, which presented more research about the health benefits of eating the way our ancestors ate.
A More Feasible Plan for Modern Folks
Because this approach to the Paleo Diet was more moderate and more feasible than excluding many groups of modern foods, it was a good deal more popular than Dr. Voegtlin’s method. As a result, these two books can pretty much be credited as being the forerunners of the many variations of the Paleo Diet that we see on shelves and websites today.
Although the Paleo Diet has gained a lot of loyalty from followers who adopted the diet in order to lose or maintain weight, the diet began as a way of preventing many modern diseases and illnesses. Although weight loss is certainly a wonderful side benefit of the Paleo Diet, the possible benefits to your health are much more important.
Many people choose to follow the Paleo Diet because they want a safe, effective and pleasant way to lose weight. However, the Paleo Diet is much more than a weight loss diet; it’s a new approach to nutrition and eating that can provide enormous benefits to your health. Similar to this diet is also a low carb diet. If you like sweets you have to check low carb desserts.
The Paleo Diet and Heart Health
The Paleo Diet’s impact on heart or cardiovascular health is responsible for much of the attention that’s been focused on the diet. It’s easy to understand the confusion that some people have over claims that a diet high in animal protein can actually make your heart healthier. We’ve been conditioned to think that animal protein equals fat and fat equals bad for your heart.
The truth is that we now know that the animal protein eaten by our Paleolithic ancestors was much, much lower in saturated fat than the animal protein we consume today. It was also much higher in heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, which we know are incredibly beneficial not only to our hearts, but also our brain function and immune systems. A diet high in these healthy fats will also aid considerably in weight loss, particularly abdominal fat loss. Abdomen fat and a thick waistline are known to be markers of future heart disease.
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The Paleo Diet is based on animal proteins that are low in saturated fats yet high in Omega 3 fatty acids — these are grass-fed livestock animals, free range or wild poultry and pork, wild game animals and birds and fish, shellfish and mollusks.
This menu of animal proteins is much lower in saturated fats and much higher in healthy fats, which reduces abdominal fat, can prevent, reduce or reverse arterial disease, and lowers unhealthy LDL cholesterol while raising healthier HDL cholesterol.
The Paleo Diet and Diabetes, Pre-Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the US and other Western cultures. The predominance of processed foods, white flour and sugar in our daily diets is being blamed for much of the type 2 diabetes we’re suffering in this country, as well as for the millions of people who are diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (the predecessor of diabetes).