Wikipedia has described the Paleolithic diet “as a modern dietary regimen that seeks to mimic the diet of preagricultural hunter-gatherers, one that corresponds to what was available in any of the ecological niches of Paleolithic humans.” In a simple language a Paleo Diet (paleolithic diet) is based on the type of foods our ancestors ate. This diet consists of foods that can be hunted and fished, such as meat and seafood, and can be gathered, such as eggs, insects, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and spices. Food groups that probably were rarely or never consumed by humans thousands of years ago are excluded from the diet, mainly grains, legumes (e.g. beans and peanuts), dairy products, salt, refined sugar and processed oils, although some advocates consider the use of oils with low omega-6/omega-3 ratios, such as olive oil and canola oil, to be healthy and advisable. This way of eating has many names, including ‘the Stone Age diet,’ ‘the Paleolithic diet,’ ‘the Paleo diet,’ ‘the caveman diet,’ ‘the warrior diet,’ and so on.
There is a vast collection of information about this type of diet both on papers and on line. Most of the articles have compared this diet with a more modern lifestyle diet and have come to some sort of conclusions. From a more scientific point of view there are researches which back up the paleo diet and claim that this diet could benefit some of most problematic health conditions such as Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, allergies and many more.
In a recent study by the department of Clinical Sciences in Lund University/Sweden,13 patients with type 2 diabetes, 3 women and 10 men, were instructed to eat a Paleolithic diet based on lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, eggs and nuts; and a Diabetes diet designed in accordance with dietary guidelines during two consecutive 3-month periods. The result showed that the Paleolithic diet improved glycemic control and several cardiovascular risk factors compared to a Diabetes diet in patients with type 2 diabetes.
There is no doubt that the Paleolithic diet has lower energy density compared to a typical diet consumed by modern humans. This is especially true in vegetarian versions of the diet, but it still holds if substantial amounts of lean meat are included in calculations. For example, most fruits and berries contain 0.4 to 0.8 calories per gram, and even by taking into account the meat/animal intake in the diet, it does not reach the densities of many processed foods commonly consumed by modern humans. For example, most McDonalds sandwiches such as the Big Mac average 2.4 to 2.8 calories/gram, and sweets such as cookies and chocolate bars commonly exceed 4 calories/gram.
There is substantial evidence that people consuming high energy-density diets are prone to overeating and they are at a greater risk of weight gain. On the other side, low caloric density diets tend to provide a greater feeling of fullness at the same energy intake, and they have been shown effective at achieving weight loss in overweight individuals without explicit caloric restrictions. Even some authors who may otherwise appear to be critical of the concept of Paleolithic diet have argued that high energy density of modern diets, as compared to paleo diet, contributes to the rate of diseases of affluence in the industrial world.
But there are a couple of questions which need answering:
- Is the low carb Paleolithic diet the one that is recommended for everyone? No. There is not such a diet suitable for everyone. Individuals are different, depends on the type of your body, your lifestyle, your physical activities, your medical history and many other factors, YOU and YOUR DOCTOR decide what’s the best food intake for you.
- Is there a less extreme low carb diet for fat loss? Yes, Of course. Again it’s up to YOU, If you prefer, you may use other low carb diets for fat loss or keeping fit.
Alternatively, you could also consider the following formula which seems to work for most of us:
- Adopt as much fresh diet as possible, fish, vegetables and fruit, and try to avoid processed food, and in particular junk food.
- Exercise frequently, but with a variety of durations and intensities (including rest periods) rather than doing always the same, ask your fitness instructor to overload your exercise routine frequently,
- Perform a variety of cardiovascular exercises, such as walking, running, cycling, climbing, swimming…. These exercises involve different groups of muscles in your body and the effects are undeniable…
Finally and most importantly, don’t forget to check your primary health with your GP before taking any diet/food regimen.
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Well, I know I’ve said this before, but poor posture is one of the biggest causes of any back problem.
Being overweight can be an issue as well so, healthy eating and exercise is important.
Stress has a surprisingly negative effect on the lower back, which is exactly where the Sciatic Nerve is at its most vulnerable.
During day to day activities, remain mindful of lifting things that are too heavy, be careful not to twist, strain or bend in awkward ways. When seated or walking, don’t slouch as this alters the curve of your back, therefore moving your vertebrae closer to your Sciatic Nerve.
These are all things you’ve heard me say before… and they are things that every other expert will say too. So listen to us.
The main thing to remember is that treatment of an existing back pain is much, much harder to live with than avoiding it in the first place.
It’s so important to me that this preventative ‘way of life’ is learnt and adhered to by as many people as possible – it means that I’ll ultimately be out of a job of course… but I would honestly love nothing more than to eradicate back pain.
In recent months, I’ve been focusing on getting solid advice on back care out to the most vulnerable groups in society.
Pregnant ladies, older people, post surgery patients and manual labourers to name a few.
Back care is sorely underrated and people don’t appreciate how incredibly important it is to every aspect of your life.
As a Physiotherapist, I don’t want to be meeting people who are already in pain and already suffering… I want to help people way before that stage.
Prevention is always better than cure.
So, it’s now a mission of mine to link up with as many groups as possible to help prevent back issues before they occur.
I’m going to be targeting people who, through no fault of their own, are more susceptible to back problems – and I’m going to be helping them.
Watch out for Fatemeh The Physio
Scoliosis effects 3 out of 100 people worldwide.
Recognised treatments are observation, bracing or surgery.
Observation: Scoliosis can be non-progressive and can have no pain or ill effects. Observation, especially in children, is essential before any action is taken.
Bracing: Is an effective way to help children who are still growing to maintain as straight a spine as possible. Bracing is not recommended for people who have stopped growing as it’s thought that it would simply not work.
Surgery: If the spinal curve has reached 40 degrees by the time the patient has stopped growing, then it’s likely to continue changing by 1-2 degrees each year. If this is not prevented, the patient could experience problems with internal organs, so surgery is recommended.
Massage, exercise and yoga have long been recognised to ease pain symptoms in Scoliosis, but they have never been recognised as a method of correcting an abnormal curve.
Now… I’m incredibly excited to publicise my first evidence showing the benefits of Spinal Touch.
This x-ray is from a 17 year old girl who has 50-60% scoliosis of the spine. Going by the above statistics, the only treatment for her would be surgery to deal with the curve and massage to deal with the pain. In fact, doctors have predicted that up to 6 operations might be required to straighten her back, and the side effect of that would be a reduction of spinal movement by almost half.
This young girl came to me to see if Spinal Touch could be an alternative to surgery.
The above x-ray was taken prior to the first session and the below x-ray was taken after the fourth session.
The results are amazing and, maybe, with continued sessions, this young girl might not need surgery at all.
Spinal Touch is a truly miraculous discipline and has not yet been fully recognised for the non-invasive benefits it can have on patients such as my 17 year old friend.