Just got an e-mail today from the Smithson Clinic that mentioned the Paleo Diet. The clinic owners are on a 30-day regimen, and are about two weeks in. Another friend and colleague has been on the diet for many months now as a way to combat digestive issues and has found considerable success.
So what exactly is the Paleo Diet and why do folks gravitate toward it? Well, simply put, the diet basically follows what our ancestors ate. According to proponents, this is what we are genetically wired to consume and digest. Grains and processed foods are eliminated in favor of grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught fish, vegetables, some fruit, and high-quality fats like coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
“We are almost two weeks into the challenge and what most impresses me is that it has been fairly effortless to stick to the diet,” says Melanie Smithson, co-owner of Smithson Clinic with her husband Gail. “The biggest motivation for us to follow this program is to decrease inflammation in the body, which helps with moods, weight loss, joint pain, and more.”
Dr. Loren Cordain, the godfather of the Paleo Diet and author of a book by the same name, has done a ton of research into the health benefits of Stone Age diets for contemporary people. Cordain, a professor in the Department of Health and Exercise at Colorado State University, reveres the diet as a means to attain lifelong health, increased energy, better sleep, lower stress and weight loss.
As far as diets go, this one makes more sense than most. You’re basically asked to eat real food as it was eaten for millennia and shun the processed foods that have become prevalent in our western diet.
From Courdain’s website: “These foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood) are high in the beneficial nutrients (soluble fiber, antioxidant vitamins, phytochemicals, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats, and low glycemic carbohydrates) that promote good health and are low in the foods and nutrients (refined sugars and grains, saturated and trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods) that frequently may cause weight gain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and numerous other health problems.“
Makes sense, right? The site goes on to say that this particular diet was not designed by diet doctors, faddists, or nutritionists, but rather by Mother Nature through evolution and natural selection.
I’ll eat to that.