The Paleo Lifestyle encourages eating of lean protein, red meat, chicken and fish. We have been told the red meat can cause heart disease. What gives?
Did Cavemen Die of Heart Disease?
Of course, we don’t know the answer to that question. But, we do know that down through the millennia, man has survived and we have a good idea on what the early man’s diet consisted of. The Cavemen were hunters and gatherers. They hunted animals for food, clothing and shelter. They gathered whatever was growing wild on the land. The animals were hunting and gathering as well. Both Man and Animal were eating food that was organic, pesticide free, non-GMO etc, and was not processed and subject to all the toxins of the modern industrial world.
So that leads us to believe that food borne disease and illness may have been minimized or at least a lesser way to go as opposed to rival families and predators.
The Paleo Diet is….According to LOREN CORDAIN, PH.D.
Founder of the Paleo Diet Movement:
- Higher protein intake – Protein comprises 15 % of the calories in the average western diet, which is considerably lower than the average values of 19-35 % found in hunter-gatherer diets. Meat, seafood, and other animal products represent the staple foods of modern day Paleo diets.
- Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index – Non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables represent the main carbohydrate source and will provide for 35-45 % of your daily calories. Almost all of these foods have low glycemic indices that are slowly digested and absorbed, and won’t spike blood sugar levels.
- Higher fiber intake – Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what we’re told, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more than refined grains. Even fruits contain twice as much fiber as whole grains and seven times more than refined grains.
- Moderate to higher fat intake dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats – It is not the total amount of fat in your diet that raises your blood cholesterol levels and increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, but rather the type of fat. Cut the trans fats and the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats in your diet and increase the healthful monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats that were the mainstays of Stone Age diets. Recent large population studies known as meta analyses show that saturated fats have little or no adverse effects upon cardiovascular disease risk. Even lard is in this category.
- Higher potassium and lower sodium intake – Unprocessed, fresh foods naturally contain 5 to 10 times more potassium than sodium, and Stone Age bodies were adapted to this ratio. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to work properly. Low potassium is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke – the same problems linked to excessive dietary sodium. Today, the average American consumes about twice as much sodium as potassium.
- Net dietary alkaline load that balances dietary acid – After digestion, all foods present either a net acid or alkaline load to the kidneys. Acid producers are meats, fish, grains, legumes, cheese, and salt. Alkaline-yielding foods are fruits and veggies. A lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, and increased risk for kidney stones, and may aggravate asthma and exercise-induced asthma. Balance your protein intake with lots of fresh veggies.
- Higher intake of, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals – Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass produced or free ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not well absorbed by the body.
Here is a Very Simple Graphic
Please include attribution to https://rigorfitness.com/ with this graphic.
Cardiovascular Health and the Benefits of the Paleo Diet
Do you know what your blood pressure is? The American Heart Association (AHA) encourages everyone to know his or her numbers which includes blood pressure. New guidelines have recently been established for blood pressure readings. When was the last time your checked your blood pressure?
Although The Paleo Diet is naturally low in sodium, it offers further benefits to achieving a healthy blood pressure. The Paleo Diet is higher in potassium, which has been linked to lower blood pressures. Swiss chard, spinach, and avocados are examples of potassium rich foods.
The Paleo Diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods and is naturally low in sugar. In my Paleo journey, I found that sugar withdrawal was the most difficult challenge in making the change. Once I was past the sugar stage, I found that I no longer craved sugar. In addition to the added sodium, our modern processed foods are also preserved and their flavor is enhanced through the addition of refined sugar.
Paleo and Heart Disease
Yes, the lifestyle contributes to a healthy heart as well as assisting with the prevention and possible reduction of many of our modern illnesses and disease. Looking good and feeling good, what a great combination.
Here is the link to my favorite Paleo Recipe site: Yum Paleo
The material in this blog post is provided for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please remember to always discuss any lifestyle, diet or exercise changes with your doctor. He/She is the most qualified to determine what is best for you as they know your medical history.