Is Paleo For You?

It seems like a new diet is hitting the marketplace every other day, and every new diet seems to be dubbed as the one that works. There are so many diets out there, that if you want to lose weight, it can be hard to decide where to begin.
The latest dieting craze to hit the marketplace is called Paleo, and many people are wondering if they should give it a try.

What is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet basically refers to only eating the foods that our historic ancestors ate, which includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and nuts. This means that you should cut out legumes, grains and dairy. Basically, you want to eat only those items that can be hunted or gathered and refrain from eating anything that has been processed or sealed (so no canned vegetables). Fresh foods contain more vitamins and nutrients than those that have been processed, and they’re more healthy for you than those that tell you they’re healthy.
What’s the point of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t cut out fat or carbs. Instead, it relies on you eating a healthy amount of food in order to maintain a decent body weight. Eating these foods will increase your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day. And since you tend to eat more fruits and vegetables than whole grains, you may actually cut out a good deal of the carbs you eat on a regular basis.
Along with keeping you at a healthy weight, the Paleo diet is also known to reduce the risk of major diseases, such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. By keeping your food intake simple, you are not clogging your body full of supplements or processed foods.

What are the benefits of the Paleo diet?

The Paleo diet doesn’t require you to count points, read labels or consume a great deal of protein shakes. The foods used in the Paleo diet are simple and real, and you know exactly what you’re getting.
Preparing Paleo-approved meals is simple. Choose a meat, choose a vegetable and you’re done. There is no need to read a ton of cookbooks or think too long about what to prepare for dinner. This will also help you decide what to eat more quickly when dining out at restaurants. Rather than spend a great amount of time reading over the menu, you can choose the option that fits best with the Paleo diet.
Is the Paleo diet right for me?

The Paleo diet hasn’t hurt anyone, so as long as you’re okay with eating meat and vegetables and cutting out dairy, grains and  legumes, trying the Paleo diet shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. And since there is not counting points or reading labels, you can choose Paleo-approved foods more easily than other diets. People have been using the Paleo diet for years. If you start the Paleo diet, you will see an increase in your energy levels, and you’ll start to look better too.

Vitamin D: The Only Thing That Could Be Missing From Your Paleo Diet

Among paleo diet enthusiasts and circles you will hear a lot of talk about the importance of taking vitamin D, and it is probably because it could be the only thing missing from a well-designed paleo meal plan.

Why is this… you ask?

Well… the main reason is not given to something the paleo diet is missing, but primarily because of what the major source of vitamin D is: sunlight.

People who are rarely exposed to sunlight are probably deficient on vitamin D, which is a basic part of our health.

Vitamin D is produced when the cholesterol in your skin comes in contact with UVB rays. Yes! Cholesterol is necessary to stay healthy, and in many cases, when trying to lower it, what you’re doing is making yourself vitamin D deficient.

When you put sun block on, you do not allow the vitamin D to enter your skin; so, you have to learn to take some sun without it.

Of course, you shouldn’t expose yourself to sunlight to the extreme of getting sunburned, because this is not healthy at all. What you have to learn is that our bodies have a natural protection system to guard us from excessive contact with the sun, and it is called natural tan.

The way natural tan works is this:

Vitamin D is always competing against vitamin B9 (folate), which is also crucial for our health. When you expose yourself to sunlight, your skin gets darker to diminish the absorption of vitamin D and to avoid a deficiency of folate.

So, get out of the sun when your skin gets a little color.

The only other way to get vitamin D in a natural way is to eat fatty fish, because this fat is the one that contains the vitamin.

Vitamin D is crucial because it is in charge of maintaining bone health, the right calcium and phosphate levels, reducing inflammation, and controlling the production and separation of cells.

Some recommend that people between 13 and 50 years of age ingest a daily dose of at least 200 IU (international Units), and older people should take 400 IU. Nevertheless, this dose is very, very low.

It has been established that people who live in the US and Canada should take 2,000 IU, and even as much as 10,000 IU is absolutely fine. People who live in sunny areas get as much as 12,000 IU daily. In any case, your body has a system to protect you from getting excess sun.

For those who don’t see sunny days all year long, make sure you take a vitamin D3 supplement that contains between 2,000 and 5,000 IU and comes in gel capsules, because your body requires fat to absorb the vitamin.

However, the best way to get enough vitamin D is to bask in the sun every day and eat wild salmon or other fatty fish often.

Wendy Jones is a freelance writer who loves her paleo diet plan.