How to Lose Weight on the Paleo Diet
Can The Paleo Diet Help You Lose Weight?
For weight loss, the paleo diet, which is what our ancestors ate when they had to hunt or gather their food instead of growing it, seems like a good idea. It’s high in protein and fiber—and anyone who's ever tried to lose weight has been told that the secrets to slimming down are protein and fiber, which take longer to transit down the digestive system making us feel fuller longer. Processed carbohydrates, on the other hand, zip through our system making us hungry seeminly minutes after we've put down the fork.
The high-fiber part, paleo diet devotees maintain, is the key. Because fiber is bulkier and harder to digest, it serves as an appetite suppressant by effectively turning off hunger signals. Except that’s not what scientists found when they put the ancient paleo diet to the test—in a test tube. (For more on the right way to eat Paleo clich here.)
MORE:This Food Isn’t Actually Food
Gary Frost, from Imperial College London, and his colleagues wanted to confirm how our Paleolithic ancestors addressed their energy needs. So they took fecal samples, full of the gut microbes that are known to digest and break down foods, from three grass-grazing baboons (who ate similarly to the way human ancestors did) as well as from three human subjects. They then added digested solutions of either a grass-based diet or a potato-heavy one to each, to see how the composition of the bacteria changed in response to the food.
They expected that the baboon samples with the grass-based diet would produce the highest amounts of appetite-suppressing hormones, thanks to the bulky nature of the grass. Instead, they found that the potato-based diet produced higher levels of these hormones. Frost says that makes sense, since grasses aren’t very high in nutrients or energy, so our ancestors would have had to graze pretty constantly throughout the day in order get enough from the grass. But that's in a test tube and based on the actual way Paleolithics ate. What about the modern paleo diet? Should you ditch the promise altogether?
MORE:80% of Meat Labels Are Meaningless
No. The modern paleo diet likely, however, does do a much better job in keeping appetite in check.
The kind of grasses our ancestors ate contain insoluble fibers that the body doesn’t break down much, so they may not trigger appetite suppressing signals of other kinds of fiber. That doesn't mean insoluble fiber isn't good for you; it is. It's what's in leafy greens, some fruit, and lots of vegetables. But it doesn't send your brain the satiety signal the way soluble fiber does. Soluble fiber, however, is metabolized by the body to produce compounds that set off the signal to the brain that the body has had enough.
MORE:Two Thirds of Americans Have This STD
The bottom line? All fiber is good fiber, but if you're trying to lose weight or control cravings, make sure you're getting plenty of the soluble kind, which can be found in a healthy modern paleo diet. Think: lentils and beans, fruit, nuts, flaxseeds, cucumbers, celery, and carrots.
If you want to eat your way to a satisfied (and suppressed) appetite, a protein and soluble-fiber rich diet may be the way to go.
Video: Tim Tebow Explains How The Keto Diet Breaks Down Fat
Inside Cambridge’s hidden gem, Six Panoramic Bar and Restaurant
Get Your Plate in Shape for National Nutrition Month
How to Make a Tallit
Why You Need to Stock Up on Ziploc Bags Before a Major Storm
Trumps policies risk being washed away in a blue wave
How to Find out Your IP Address
Why the Amazon Echo Look Is at the Top of My List This Holiday Season
A New Controversy Over Calcium Pills
66 Amazing Mother Daughter Tattoos
How to Prevent Your Voice from Cracking
Are You Sure Its Your Thyroid What You Can—And Cant—Blame On It
Meet The New Game Changing Serum from La Mer
The Most Popular Hairstyles for Prom