CUT DOWN ON CARBS AND BRING ON THE HEALTHY FAT WITH A NATURAL DIET THAT MIRRORS OUR ANCESTORS’ EATING HABITS
What exactly is this ‘caveman diet’?
The paleo diet is based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans 2.5 million years ago, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, and excluding dairy, cereal products and all processed food. The theory is that cave dwellers weren’t fat and didn’t have diabetes. Nutritionist Lowri Turner says, “In this sense it is like the Atkins, but it’s much healthier because it includes plenty of vegetables and some fruit. The paleo diet is also good because carb foods are the ones we tend to overeat
– that big bowl of pasta or the second slice of toast – so removing grains prevents this. They are also the foods that trigger cravings in some people, so removing them completely reduces temptation.”
What’s in a meal?
Fruit and eggs for breakfast, packed salads like kale and vegetables for lunch (you can also add protein) and grilled fish, meat or chicken and vegetables for dinner. So oodles of protein – steak, chicken or fish – along with plentiful veges. But take note: these foods can be expensive, especially if you go for organic and best-quality meat, so this isn’t the most budget-friendly diet.
Why does it work?
In recent weight-loss studies at Harvard Medical School in the US, it was the low-carb diets that brought about more long-term weight loss than the low-fat diet plans. Turner says, “I think this is a very effective diet for weight loss in that it massively reduces the sugar that most people eat. I don’t just mean sweets and chocolates, but all carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice etc), as these all break down into sugar in the body. It is sugar that stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, which causes fat to be stored on the body. So less insulin means fat burning not fat storing.”