The Paleo diet is inspired by food that our predecessors used to eat during the Paleolithic era, which dates back to 2.5 million years ago.

Paleo Diet Guide

The argument provided is that ever since the caveman era human genetics have not undergone much change, thereby, diets eaten by first humans are more adjustable for our bodies rather than modern diets grown out of farming.

1. Understanding the Paleo Diet:

Modern versions of the Paleo diet emphasize the intake of the following:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean meats
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Healthy Oils
  • Dark Chocolates
  • Healthy Beverages 
  • Spices

Stay away from following foods while sticking to the Paleo diet:

  • Highly processed foods
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Added salts
  • Refined and added sugars
  • Sugary drinks
  • Alcohol

Limit intake of the following foods while sticking to the Paleo diet:

  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Dairy products

This diet aims to swap out highly processed, harmful modern food choices for healthier alternatives. Accepting this dietary adjustment will lower your chance of developing conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and cancer.

2. The Impact of Paleo on Blood Sugar Management:

For diabetic patients who constantly struggle with the management of blood sugar levels, a low glycemic index paleo diet is proven to be quite beneficial. A diabetic person is either able to produce insulin or has developed insulin resistance. The glycemic index provides a measure to better to what amount of certain food increases your sugar levels when eaten.

The Glycemic index score ranges from the 0-100, 0 being food containing no carbs and 100 being foods containing the highest sugar content.

The Paleo diet stresses inculcating foods that have a low glycemic index, higher in protein, avoiding refined sugars, and healthy fats. Though the Paleo diet also has its fair share of cons, for index even though it focuses on low-carb food it restricts the intake of dairy products, legumes, and whole grains- making people miss out on a whole set of nutrients.

As most foods allowed in the paleo diet are naturally low in sugar content, thus it does make it an ideal diet for people suffering from diabetes. Due to this, the requirement for insulin is reduced which aids in fighting insulin resistance of Type 2 diabetes patients. of the foods in the Paleo diet are low in carbohydrates, meaning they are beneficial choices for individuals with diabetes.

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3. Nutritional Benefits of Paleo for Diabetes:

The Paleo diets offer several benefits:

  1. Weight management

The Paleo diet is rich in nutrients and restricts the intake of processed and high-calorie foods. It mainly focuses on eating unprocessed food which makes it beneficial for weight loss. It helps in reducing the risk of obesity and other weight-related medical issues. The rich protein food sources allowed in diet for instance meat and eggs help in reducing the hunger hormone – Ghrelin, and one will remain fuller for a longer time frame.

  1. Aids in blood sugar control

Studies suggest that the Paleo diet may help with blood sugar management as it can improve the effectiveness of insulin by reducing insulin secretion which in turn helps in reducing insulin resistance. Diabetes patients can easily incorporate a paleo diet into their lives as it mostly encompasses diabetes-friendly dietary changes.

  1. Reduce inflammation

The paleo diet will aid in reducing inflammation, as when one adopts a paleo diet in their routine they are bound to eat a lot of foods that contain anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants such as the following:

  • Kale
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Avocadoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Spinach
  1. Is Gluten-Dairy free

This diet is suitable for people who are gluten and lactose-intolerant, as it restricts the intake of gluten and dairy products.

4. Tips for Incorporating Paleo:

One can feel overwhelmed in accepting the paleo diet in daily routine just by looking at the list of food items this diet dictates to avoid or restrict. Well, we all are well aware that habits are not developed overnight and it takes great willpower and dedication to embrace new habits in your daily routine, however, if the said habit is beneficial for you in the long run there is no harm in giving it a try.

Here are some of the food options you can look for while grocery shopping for the Paleo diet:

Sweet Potatoes
Red wine
Black tea
Green tea
Herbal tea
Black Coffee
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Flaxseed oil
Avocado oil
Macadamia oil
Palm oil

To fulfill your curiosity, below we have mentioned what a sample meal plan for the paleo diet may look like:

  1. Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with a bowl of fresh berries along with a cup of black coffee.
  2. Lunch: Chicken soup along with mixed salad
  3. Snack: Nuts along with pumpkin seeds
  4. Dinner: Salmon along with stir-fried vegetables

 5. Concerns related to diet

Though the Paleo diet offers several benefits, research in this area is still very limited, due to which people have several doubts regarding this diet.

  1. Restricted and challenging to follow

This diet focuses on consuming food items such as meat, lamb, and seafood along with fruits and vegetables, while restricting the intake of grains, legumes, and dairy products which may result in a deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D. High intake of saturated fat and protein may increase the risk of kidney damage or cardiovascular diseases. 

  1. Deficiency 

This diet puts down strict restrictions when it comes to what one can or cannot eat. In this process, the diet also ends up banning food items that are rich sources of fiber and nutrients like magnesium and selenium

  1. Quite Expensive

As this diet suggests consuming food items like salmon, lamb, chicken, bison, avocados, etc. while banning dietary products, it may prove to be quite expensive in comparison to other diets.

If you are considering following the Paleo diet, make sure you are comfortable with its rules after reading and understanding it. It is better to take one step at a time than to be rigid about adhering to all the rules on day 1. Make a list of what you are comfortable avoiding and what you can consume. Rather than switching to a full-blown strict diet and giving up your favorite foods altogether, make small, gradual changes. Allow your body and gut to adapt to new dietary changes in your life.

6. Alternatives

Though the Paleo diet may aid in the management of blood sugar levels, more research is still needed in this area. Although there is no specific or perfect diet for diabetic patients, they should always have a well-balanced and portioned diet at regular intervals of time. Avoid eating junk food with high sugar content and processed foods. Apart from making dietary changes, one should also denote at least half an hour for physical activity- whether it be gym, brisk walking, playing any sport, or yoga for diabetes. This will help in keeping blood sugar levels steady.

7. Conclusion

The paleo diet is proven to be effective in weight management, blood sugar management, and reducing the risk of various other sedentary lifestyle diseases. The diet restricts the intake of alcohol, junk food, and processed foods and encourages healthy eating habits thereby promoting a positive lifestyle. Though a bit strict and restrictive to follow it can benefit diabetes patients. 

However, if you are diabetic or struggling with some underlying health issue make sure to consult a doctor and a registered dietician before walking on the path of following the paleo diet approach.