The Paleolithic diet improves blood sugar control and cardiovascular risk factors in diabetes patients compared to a group fed the normal diabetes diet. The evidence is that human metabolism has not changed fast enough to keep up with the changes that have been made in the modern food supply, hence the benefit of the Paleolithic diet. The common diets of today are believed to have resulted in modern chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes.
The Paleolithic diet (hunter-gatherer diet) was the diet prior to 10,000 years ago. The diet consisted of “wild animals, lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, roots, eggs, and nuts”. Excluded were “grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils…” The main dietary factors which are deficient in the Paleolithic diet are calcium and vitamin D. (Today, eating more fish would result in more calcium and vitamin D, but could result in more environmental toxins in the diet.)
The diabetes diet studied had large amounts of vegetables, fiber, whole-grains, fruits, berries and increased unsaturated fats. Salt intake was under 6 g/day. The Paleolithic diet of the study included lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, leafy greens, grapeseed, olive oil and wine. The Paleolithic diet, as compared to the diabetes diet, resulted in improvements in triglycerides, blood pressure, weight, and large improvements in fasting blood sugars ) although HDL-cholesterol levels were higher).
Another study comparing the Paleolithic diet to the Mediterranean Diet showed that the Paleolithic diet resulted in superior improvement of cardiovascular risk factors. People on the Paleolithic diet ate fewer calories and found the diet more satisfying than those on the diabetic diet. These patients had greater reductions in weight and waist circumference while the Paleolithic diet provided more protein and improves the metabolic syndrome.
CONCLUSION: People on the ordinary Western diet who have sedentary lifestyles develop “diseases of civilization”. Today, people should increase vegetables and fruits, while decreasing animal fats and domesticated grains.
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