Paleo Diet For Type 2 Diabetes

The Paleo Diet is based on a return to our ancestral diet. For example, the term is a shortened form of "Paleolithic," which refers to the Stone Ag...

The Paleo Diet is based on a return to our ancestral diet. For example, the term is a shortened form of "Paleolithic," which refers to the Stone Age, when humans ate only entire, uncooked meals. The idea is that if we all eat like this again, we'll all be healthy and toxin-free. This diet is quite popular right now as a modern-day "cure-all," but is it? How would it affect your blood sugar control?

Who founded the paleo diet?

Paleo diet is defined by health scholar Loren Cordrain. He assumes that humans were genetically and evolutionarily designed to eat foods available during the Paleolithic era. Rather than the agriculturally-based diet developed only in the last 10,000 years. The processed and chemically-based diet of the previous hundred years is even more so.

Defining Paleolithic diet

The main argument for eating this way is because it has been how we ate for most of our history, and it has shaped our genetics as a result.

It is especially true when it comes to how we, as humans, react to the foods we eat, disease prevention, and the survival of our species. The food supply has changed dramatically over time—beginning with the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, followed by the introduction of dairy farming 5,000 years ago. And finally, the more recent industrial revolution—our genetic makeup has not.

Humans are capable of adapting to change. From an evolutionary standpoint, the genetic mutation that led to the formation of adult lactase persistence (ALP) - which allows some of us to process lactose in milk - occurred relatively recently. However, when measured in terms of generations, we adapt pretty slowly. Slow adaptation can cause a misalignment between our physiology and our surroundings. As a result, we have this scenario with the regular modern diet in the Western world. Over 70% of the foods we consume have been introduced since our last major evolutionary transition, and we have not caught up.

As a result, the Paleo Diet is a low-glycemic diet that supports blood glucose tolerance and insulin resistance while also helping prevent metabolic syndrome. Unprocessed foods like lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts make up the diet.

Processed foods including refined sugars, refined grains, refined vegetable oils, trans fatty acids, salt, and additional chemicals are avoided or eliminated on the Paleo Diet. Grains, dairy, legumes, simple sugars, and artificial sweeteners are not recommended. Because, well, cavemen didn't eat that kind of food.

Benefits of the paleo diet for people with diabetes

The following are some of the claimed advantages of a paleo diet:

  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved glycemic control
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Weight loss and a smaller waist measurement
  • Improved satiety
  • Better gut health

Paleolithic diet

Consider this an essential suggestion rather than a rule of thumb. You can tailor The Paleolithic diet to your specific requirements and tastes. Some ate a low-carb, high-animal-food Paleolithic diet, whereas others ate a high-carb, plant-based Paleolithic diet. Here are the fundamentals :

Remove simple sugars from your diet

Many adults consume far more sugar than the government recommends. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), added sugars account for roughly 15% of all calories consumed by individuals in the United States. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruits and milk, are not included in this sugar consumption.

Excess sugar consumption has been linked to several health problems, including:

Obesity. It is linked to chronic diseases like diabetes.

Chronic inflammation. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are all symptoms of chronic inflammation.

Reducing the amount of sugar in one's diet can assist in lowering one's risk of developing certain diseases. By substituting high-sugar foods with paleo foods, a person will increase consumption of dietary fiber and vital vitamins and minerals without adding calories.

Consume high-quality protein

Protein is necessary for good health, but most American diets contain low-quality proteins. Because their care, such as antibiotics and feed given to the animals, has an enormous impact on quality. Factory-farmed meat contains fewer antioxidants than grass-fed meat.

Opt for grass-fed meat and wild-caught seafood whenever available to maintain a superior nutritional profile.

Avoid foods that cause inflammation

Grains and dairy products are among the items that cause the most inflammation. Furthermore, gluten grains do not resemble the ancient grains from which they evolved. Wheat has been engineered to be more pest-resistant and provide larger yields in modern times. As a result, it contains more anti-nutrients, such as gluten and -Amylase/Trypsin Inhibitors, than traditional wheat.

Grains and dairy are not allowed in the Paleolithic diet. By eliminating them from your diet, you can reduce inflammation and improve your gut health, immunity, and digestion.

Is a paleo-style diet suitable for people with type 2 diabetes?

Do you want to try eating Paleo food to help you control your diabetes? You're not the only one who wonders. Many people with type 2 diabetes follow the Paleolithic diet to improve insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control, and overall diabetes management. Paleolithic diets are particularly beneficial for diabetics, with potential advantages including weight loss, enhanced insulin sensitivity, and improved systolic blood pressure.

If you're thinking about following the Paleolithic diet, talk to your doctor or a dietician first to see if the diet is proper for you.

Why is paleo suitable for people with diabetes?

In a randomized controlled study, 14 individuals with type 2 diabetes who followed the paleo diet could drastically reduce their blood pressure, stabilize their blood sugar levels, and lower their cholesterol in just two weeks. [1]

Other trial participants who followed the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) typical diet reported little to no improvement. The researchers fed the participants enough food to prevent them from losing weight, ruling out the possibility that the health benefits were due to weight loss alone.

Paleolithic diet vs. Western diet

Paleolithic diet devotees think that avoiding particular items from their food regime can reduce inflammation in the body, cardiovascular risk factors resulting in weight loss, bloating reduction, better skin, better glycemic control, and increased energy.

You might be wondering why the Paleo Diet eliminates entire grains, dairy, and legumes when these foods have been excellent for us for decades. According to some health experts, our "agricultural diet" is to blame for the growth in cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and others.

The truth is that most Americans consume considerably more carbohydrates than they need daily, as seen by our expanding waistlines. Low-grade inflammation, which is at the root of most chronic illnesses, has been linked to this highly processed diet.

Many specialists now believe that carbs, particularly foods that are processed and grains, stimulate appetite by causing the brain to react differently to the nutrients than meats and vegetables. Think about it, how many of you can eat a tortilla chip after another without becoming tired of it? How many of you can say the same thing about the chicken breast?

"Anti-nutrient concentrations in legumes and whole grains are among the greatest in any food," argues Paleo founder Cordrain. "These chemicals typically enhance intestinal permeability, resulting in a "leaky gut," which is a critical initial step in practically all autoimmune disorders. Furthermore, persistent, low-grade inflammation, which underpins not only autoimmune diseases but also cardiovascular disease and cancer, is most likely caused by a leaky gut."

Many individuals are unaware of several of the Paleo Diet's most advantageous components, such as the sodium-to-potassium ratio and omega-3-to-omega-6 ratio. High salt levels combined with low potassium levels cause plenty of inflammatory issues related to several cardiovascular risk factors, autoimmunity, and even osteoporosis. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as opposed to omega-6 fatty acids, is also anti-inflammatory. Unlike the Western diet, the Paleo Diet is an anti-inflammatory diet that helps prevent rather than increase these various chronic diseases.

While the health benefits of Paleo eating have been widely publicized, many experts question if it is superior to a Mediterranean, Ketogenic, or Vegan diet, which all emphasize complete foods but are less restricted.

Paleolithic diet vs. diabetes diet

The Paleolithic diet resulted in statistically significantly lower mean values of hemoglobin A1c, triglycerides, diastolic blood pressure, weight, BMI, and waist size when compared to the diabetes diet. Average values for high-density lipoprotein were greater. Lipoprotein metabolism problems are a major risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASCVD). [2]

What to think about before starting the Paleolithic diet

People with diabetes who want to attempt the paleo diet should first talk to their doctor or a qualified dietician. You may not safely follow the plan if you have chronic kidney disease or are using certain medications.

Because the Paleolithic diet requires you to avoid certain food groups, your body may take some time to adjust. As a result, some side effects may occur, but they are not the same for everyone; many people seem to have no adverse effects.

Those with digestive problems may not be able to tolerate the paleo diet because it includes a lot of foods naturally rich in protein and not a lot of fiber. This diet will cause you a lot of trouble if you have problems moving your bowels.

References:

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201539

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787021/