As we welcome the new year, there's a refreshing sense of calm and clarity. We might have new goals or resolutions in mind, particularly when it comes to our health.
If you're considering a shift in eating habits, here are a few ways the Paleo diet can infuse more balance and energy into your life.
Way back in the Paleolithic era, humans subsisted primarily on animal protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices and roots. In modern society, we've replaced many of these nutrient-dense foods with refined sugar and processed, packaged foods. Icky.
If you're sceptical as to whether a stone age diet could actually be better for you, here are a few Paleo principles to consider:
Eat real food. The Paleo diet is free of processed, refined foods. You won't be ingesting any added colour, sweeteners, preservatives, 'natural' flavours, GMO's or synthetic ingredients. Win!
Reduce inflammation. Over time, the simple sugars and anti-nutrients found in grains, along with free radicals in poor quality oils and synthetic ingredients in packaged products, contribute to inflammation. Allergies and intolerances to gluten and dairy are also increasingly prevalent. This can have some serious repercussions on our health and digestion. The Paleo approach focuses on anti-inflammatory foods found in their natural, whole, unprocessed form.
Optimize nutrition. By consuming whole foods that promote energy, we reduce our toxic load and keep foods in their bio-available state. In other words, we can better absorb the vitamins, minerals and nutrients naturally present in foods.
Stabilize blood sugar. The Paleo diet emphasizes low glycemic foods rich in healthy protein, fats and fiber. This formula works to balance blood sugar levels and provide us with sustained energy. The majority of carbohydrates present in the Paleo diet come from whole plant sources, so we're not experiencing spikes and crashes in blood sugar.
Weight management. An excess intake of carbohydrates can actually promote fat storage. A diet high in carbohydrates also stimulates the release of insulin by the pancreas, which halts the breakdown of body fat. Incorporating healthy sources of fats and protein (grass-fed meat, fish, nuts, coconut) and fibre (more greens!) will help keep us satiated and energized.
Bonus: bacon is allowed. Provided it's sourced from high quality, local, grass-fed pastured animals. In comparison to grain-fed animal protein, studies show that grass-fed meat has a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as less total fat. This is great news for our cardiovascular system.
Check out Caveman Grocer's full Ingredient Policy for more details on how to go Paleo.
Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!
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