“Discover how to visit the past by bringing yesterday’s stories into our lives today” -Gillian Hovell.

That’s exactly what we are doing when we eat like our ancestors – the Stone Age men. Eating like cavemen refers to following their diet which is the Paleo diet. This diet dates back to the paleolithic area. Back then, man’s needs were are minimum and he ran his lifestyle according to it. The diet he consumed consisted of meat, regional fruits, and vegetables. Most of them were eaten raw. The consumption of grains was minimal. While inculcating the paleo diet, we follow the same trend. The diet has shown results to many and has numerous health benefits. Likewise, it also has certain restrictions and disadvantages. Let’s take a sneak peek into both of them.

Pros – • It helps you cut down on carbohydrates. The diet advocates averting all kinds of carbs from your diet. Even gluten-free sources like almond or coconut floor is prohibited. This helps to control your blood glucose levels and thus the body’s glycemic index. Therefore, this diet is very profitable for type 2 diabetes patients. • Weight loss. It is obvious, isn’t it? Once you cut down on carbohydrates you’ll eventually start shedding the extra pounds. You are forced o eliminate junk food as majority of them is formed of carbs. Studies show that a healthy adult can lose up to 3-4kgs in one month. • Good for those who are lactose intolerant. Many diet plans suggest fat-free yogurt or high-fat cheese for weight loss. Since the Paleo diet rules out dairy products, it can be employed for those who have lactose intolerance. • It helps curb celiac diseases. Celiac disease is seen in people who are sensitive to gluten and their body produces unwanted reactions like bloating and diarrhea upon its consumption. The paleo diet debars carbohydrates and thus gluten. • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Now that our fat intake has reduced, you are at a lower risk of developing heart related diseases like atherosclerosis, fluctuations in blood pressure stroke. High doses omega 3 fatty acids have also proven to reduce the prevalence of Arrhythmias. • Increases intake of vitamins and minerals. As fruits and vegetables will be at the heart of this diet plan, they are going to provide you essential vitamins like C, B12, and minerals like iodine, calcium and iron. In a regular step-up consisting of carbohydrate-rich diet, we usually fall deficient of these vitamins and minerals. • No calorie restrictions. You generally need not keep a count of calorie intake. However since you already eating foods that will make you feel fuller for longer times, hunger pangs and binge eating is prevented. Naturally, this reduces unwanted calorie consumption.

Cons • No Carbs, No Energy. As you freeze out carbohydrates, you also compromise on your energy reservoirs. Hence there is a tendency to feel tired during the first few days of this diet. • You need to shop frequently. Unlike grains, fruits are vegetables cannot be stored for long. You need to eat them fresh before they replenish. Which means you will have to keep hitting the supermarket every week. • Cutting down on dairy. As you wave goodbye to dairy products, you are missing out on the essential nutrition that you get through milk. Hence not recommended for elderly or young adults also women who are at risk of low bone densities. • Over consumption of Omega3, rich food can cause vitamin A toxicity, acid reflux and nausea. This happens because of an increase in poultry and seafood in your diet. • Restrictions due to tropical fruits. Fruits and vegetables differ from region to region. There there’s no fixed protocol that one can follow. Also, let us take an example to see how this would affect your diet plans. Mangoes are quite famous during the summers. It also contains high sugar content at times. If a person wishes to replace it with citrus fruits like oranges, the ones obtained in summers wouldn’t be as pure and natural as the ones cultivated during winter. Taking into consideration the above-mentioned pros and cons, it is essential to analyze if you are a perfect fit for this diet. Then all you need to do is to make it work your way.

Disha Surwase
Dec. 10, 2019, 7:04 p.m.

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