The Paleo diet — a diet based on foods that our ancient ancestors were presumed to have eaten (i.e. a diet rich in fish, meat, fruits and veggies but excludes processed foods, grains and dairy) — presumably has numerous benefits for postmenopausal women.
According to a new study, headed by Caroline Blomquist, a doctoral student at Sweden’s Umea University, older women who follow the Paleo diet can drop the extra pounds and lower their future risk of diabetes and heart disease. Researchers discovered that these women experienced the benefits of Paleo even though they weren’t even required to restrict their intake of calories. In effect, these findings could potentially help fight obesity if proven to be an effective way to improve one’s health and wellbeing and restore metabolism.
The findings were presented on Sunday at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, although conclusions are considered introductory until published in a journal.
Can The Paleo diet Really Benefit Postmenopausal Women? A Look at the Study…
For the study, 35 obese postmenopausal women (with normal blood sugar levels) followed a Paleo diet for two years. The following was a breakdown of their diets:
- About 30 % of each participant’s daily energy intake came from protein, another
- Another 30 % came from carbs
- The final 40 % came from unsaturated fats
Their diets included such foods as fish, eggs, lean meat, veggies, fruits, berries, nuts, and healthy fats/oil (i.e. avocados and olive oil). Refined fats, salt and dairy were excluded. (Researchers did note that the diet was truly a cross between a Mediterranean diet and a Paleo diet!)
Next, a control group that consisted of another 35 postmenopausal women consumed low-fat diets consisting of the following:
- 15 % protein
- 55 % carbs
- 30 % fat
After 24 months, the women from both groups saw significant weight loss. But those who followed the low-fat diet had no substantial changes in their intake of fats. The Paleo group on the other hand:
- Decreased their intake of saturated fats by 19%
- Increased their intake of monounsaturated fats by 47% and polyunsaturated fats by 71%
- Fatty acids linked with insulin resistance were considerably lower in the Paleo-diet group compared to the low-fat diet group
“’Paleo’ Diet May Help Older Women’s Hearts, Waistlines,” healthfinder.gov; http://healthfinder.gov/News/Article.aspx?id=709573, last accessed April 4, 2016.
Sebastian A, et al., “Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002 Dec; 76(6):1308-16.