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What are the benefits of the Paleo diet?

A growing number of evolutionary biologists posit that in order to live healthier lives, we should return to more of a hunter-gatherer diet -- with more grass-fed beef, root vegetables, berries, nuts, and eggs. And in a study, this style diet appeared to boost cardiovascular health.

Heart of the Matter

In the study, investigators fed nine healthy non-obese men and women their usual diets for a few days. After switching to a Paleolithic-era diet for 7 days, study participants experienced improved cardiovascular health; greater insulin sensitivity (which means their bodies needed less insulin to keep blood sugar steady); and less after-meal arterial stiffness, a measure of cardiovascular health. Which led some researchers to speculate that our grain- and dairy-based diet over the last 10,000 years may have resulted in epidemics of cardiovascular disease, since our bodies have not had time to adapt to it, genetically speaking. What's more, a Paleo diet may be more satisfying than other diets. In another study involving men with heart disease, men on the Paleo diet ate fewer calories per day than men on a Mediterranean diet -- but the Paleo eaters felt just as satisfied. Which suggests that the Paleo diet could result in heart-healthy weight loss as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.