The Paleo diet is one of the most popular diets, and has been for quite a few years. In case you don’t know exactly what you can and can’t eat on the Paleo diet, here is a handy chart:
But a recent study published in Nature Journal Nutrition and Diabetes, has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.
The lead author says this type of diet, exemplified in many forms of the popular Paleo diet, is not recommended – particularly for people who are already overweight and lead sedentary lifestyles.
In people with pre-diabetes or diabetes, the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet could be particularly risky, he said.
“Low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets are becoming more popular, but there is no scientific evidence that these diets work. In fact, if you put an inactive individual on this type of diet, the chances are that person will gain weight.”
“There is a very important public health message here. You need to be very careful with fad diets, always seek professional advice for weight management and always aim for diets backed by evidence.”
Cutting out entire food groups is never a good idea. Even those of us who are gluten and dairy free can still eat carbohydrates in the form of gluten free bread and pasta, and also get the benefit of calcium through other foods. You need carbohydrates in your diet to function normally. As I have stated before, everything in moderation.
Following celebrities who tout “healthy” diets is not a good idea either. Of course, this is a study that could be countered by yet another study.
They took two groups of overweight mice with pre-diabetes symptoms and put one group on the LCHF diet. The other group ate their normal diet. The mice were switched from a three per cent fat diet to a 60 per cent fat diet. Their carbs were reduced to only 20 per cent.
After eight weeks, the group on the LCHF gained more weight, their glucose intolerance worsened, and their insulin levels rose. The paleo diet group gained 15 per cent of their body weight. Their fat mass doubled from 2 per cent to almost 4 per cent.
Of course, we are not mice, but maintaining the Paleo diet long term could not only prove to be difficult but detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Only you can decide for yourself if the Paleo diet is right for you. It might work for some in the long term, but not for everyone.
Do your homework and see your doctor for a full physical before starting any diet. This is paramount to good health.
The key to weight loss is moderation and exercise. This has been proven over and over again.