One of the most quoted advices about nutrition among fitness aficionados and experts is that you shouldn’t eat anything that does not swim, run, fly or isn’t green and grow in the ground. And that basically what Paleo, aka the eating philosophy that we should mimic our ancestors, is about.
This eating strategy is simple, but to those who are not accustomed to Paleo, this article will give you the details about why the Paleo philosophy can be so effective and helpful for fat loss and overall health.
Animal proteins and fatty acids are superior to grain or vegetable proteins and fatty acids
In animal meat, all the essential amino acids are present along with the essential fatty acids. And more than that, the amino acids and fatty acids in animal meat are of higher qualities and in the more proportions and ratios than in grains and vegetables. This is why animal proteins are always considered of higher and better quality than grain or vegetable proteins.
After all, if we were not meant to eat animal meat, we wouldn’t need these nutrients for normal metabolic and hormonal functioning. These fatty acids and amino acids are called “essential” for this certain reason. The vegetarian diet with a lot of vegetables is healthy but it’s not the best. It’s known that many vegetarians are somewhat sick-looking or even obese.
The problem with the vegetarian diet is that the vegetarians usually end up with a diet that is harmful for their metabolic functioning, ie inadequate protein intake, incomplete amino acids profiles, imbalance in essential fatty acids, too much sugar and processed flour. The reason behind this issue is that some essential nutrients can only be found in animal foods. That is why the Paleo diet is perceived as better than the vegetarian diet.
Paleo reduces sugar intake
With the Paleo diet, your sugar intake will be reduced to nearly zero. One of the most severe diet problems in today’s society is that sugar is everywhere. You would likely lose weight and end up with a somehow decent physique just by cutting out the sugar and high fructose corn syrup from your diet, without even exercising or taking any fat burning supplements at all.
Sugar, in many nutritionists opinion, is the worst thing in modern diets. Some nutritionists even call sugar a poison to our health. The fructose sugar is the reason behind many of our health problems. Fructose is preferentially metabolized to fat in your liver. It causes insulin resistance or high insulin levels, impaired glucose tolerance, high triglycerides and hypertension.
Paleo does not have trans-fats
Trans-fats is the number one rival for fructose sugar to compete for the “Worst Modern Food Champion” title. Because trans-fats are essentially unnatural, mutated fats, they increase LDL – the bad cholesterol, and lower HDL – the good cholesterol in our body. Trans-fats also increase C-reactive protein and thus are a major culprit for coronary artery disease.
Trans-fats are also known for several things that sugar does, such as inhibiting glucose disposal, promoting insulin resistance, and inducing abdominal obesity. So if you want to lose fat and get fit, stay away from both trans-fats and sugar at all cost.
Paleo increases omega-3 levels
The best range for the omega-6 : omega-3 ratios is between 1:1 and 4:1. This was what we had before the modern era of food processing, when the majority of dietary fats came from wild animal meats and fish.
But in today’s society with the prevalence of processed vegetable oils, the ratios have reached unnatural levels, between 10/15:1 or even higher. This unnaturally high ratio can result in many health problems, including inflammation, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and risks for heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
With the Paleo diet, the wild meats and fish will provide us with the omega-3 we need. But in the modern diets, these foods have been replaced with vegetable oils and processed foods, which are higher in omega-6. Omega-3 after all has many anti-inflammatory properties. It also improves our sensitivity to insulin, reduce blood triglycerides and prevent overall disease risk factors.