This study consisted of a comparison of the Paleolithic diet and a Mediterranean diet regarding satiety (satisfaction or fullness). The hormone leptin and the leptin receptors were studied in people on the two diets.
The patients tested were 29 males with type 2 diabetes and a waist circumference less than 94 cm. They were randomized to a Paleolithic diet or the Mediterranean diet. The Paleolithic diet provided lean meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, roots, eggs and nuts. The Mediterranean diet is based on whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruit, fish, oils and margarine.
During the study, the patients kept a record of the amount of food consumed at each meal and their feelings of satiety. Blood tests were done to determine leptin hormone and leptin receptor levels at intervals.
Testing shows that patients on the Paleolithic diet had just as strong feelings of satiety as those on the Mediterranean diet, but they consumed fewer calories. Leptin levels dropped 31% for those on the Paleolithic compared to 18% for those on the Mediterranean diet.
For the amount of food consumed, those on the Paleolithic diet felt more satisfied. The changes in leptin blood levels correlated with weight and waist circumference in the Paleolithic group.
CONCLUSION: The researchers found improved tolerance of blood sugar and fewer calories were required for energy on the Paleolithic diet in patients with ischemic heart disease. The diet resulted in improved sensitivity to satiety (satisfaction). This was in comparison with the Mediterranean diet.
NOTE: Leptin is a natural hormone which regulates hunger. Blood levels of leptin are proportional to the amount of fat in the body.
The Paleolithic diet was the diet of humans up until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture became common. Until then, people were hunter-gatherers and ate wild foods. Paleolithic people were healthier and taller. Agricultural societies had less food variety and began to hybridize plants in ways that made growing them easier, but did not necessarily improve their nutritional value.