LIVING PALEO: hacking your diet to boost your wellbeing
Paleo, Nose to Tail, Ancient nutrition; we’ve seen and heard these buzzwords everywhere but what does it mean and why are people so crazy about them?
The Paleo Diet:
Firstly, a Paleo diet general involves limiting yourself to eating foods that humans have eaten since the palaeolithic era, before farming emerged and we began cultivating our own food; Essentially what can be obtained by hunting and gathering e.g.
- Lean meat
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruit and vegetables
The concept of the diet is rooted in the idea that the human body is genetically mismatched to our modern diets and that our bodies did not evolve at the same pace as our advances in technology and farming practices. And that the advent of this and processed foods have contributed to higher rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. In this way promoting a return to eating the way we have eaten historically to aid with weight loss, improving energy levels, lowering glucose levels, blood pressure, supporting a healthy heart and more.
Nose to tail is also rooted in the Paleo tradition and refers to using every part of the animal in food preparation, letting nothing go to waste. This includes consuming joint and connective tissue and offal, similarly to the way our ancestors did and brimming with a rich nutritional profile which our modern diet often lacks i.e. Ancestral Nutrition.
This approach to eating works on two levels, firstly these products are nutrient dense and rich collagen protein, gelatin and amino acids which are the building blocks of cellular repair, supporting healthy, skin, nails, joint health, muscle recovery. Secondly this process of upcycling is one of the most economically and environmentally friendly ways to approach working with meat, consuming and gaining the benefits of parts of an animal that would otherwise have gone to waste.
The Benefits of a Paleo diet Include:
- Lower Inflammation: Excess inflammation in the body can lead to a risks of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, in following a Paleo diet and eating low-carb, low GI foods and increasing omega-3 fatty acids this can help to lower inflammation.
Research has shown that acute inflammation is associated with auto-immune conditions, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn's.
- Weight Loss: In combination with removing processed foods and avoiding high-carb foods that adversely impact your blood sugar levels, the paleo diet can help reduce body fat and consequently lead to weight loss.
- Increased Insulin Sensitivity: As most paleo foods are low-carb and are unprocessed, there is often lower demand on the pancreas to produce insulin.
- Improved Heart Health: scientists discovered that the paleo diet significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides and increased HDL compared to a standard diet
- More Energy: Paleo foods are low on the Glycemic Index and therefore help to maintain energy levels and avoid crashes associated with high GI and sugary foods
At Ossa we believe in tradition not trend and the restorative and healing powers of natural food, rooted in ancient nutrition and eating in a way that truly nourishes our bodies. However, like with everything balance is key and every body is different.
For me I mostly eat a Paleo and Ketogenic diet, however these traditionally don’t include dairy products, which are great sources of protein and calcium. I include grass fed/ clarified butter like Ghee for my cooking and enjoy the occasional raw cream (with berries – so delicious) for a more balanced approach to nutrition that suits me and my family. Like with every diet it is important never to restrict yourself too much, listen to your body and how it is responding to any changes and remember diets are not a one size fits all solution.
Why not try first at limiting processed foods from your diet, swap your cereal to sprouted oats, coffee for a mug of bone broth or fries to oven roasted potatoes in Tallow! For more recipe inspo check out our recipes, like Ossa’s Paleo Shepherd’s Pie or try our Two week guided meal plan with The Ossa Gut Reset.
*Always consult your physician before making drastic changes to your diet
Sources and further reading
The Mayo Clinic
The Paleo Diet
Harvard Health Publishing