If you’re clued in to the fad diet scene at all, you’ve probably heard of the newest entry in to the market, the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet. Simply speaking, the idea of the Paleo Diet is to consume only foods that our caveman ancestors would have consumes because our bodies are most equipped to process these foods. For an in-depth overview of the diet, you can visit the Greatist website.
Just as with any new diet that comes along claiming to fix the world’s obesity epidemic, the Paleo Diet makes us want to research some of the details and weigh out the pros and the cons. So, we did! Here’s what we came up with.
- Weight Loss: The Paleo Diet has produced many great examples proving that weight loss is definitely a benefit of the diet.
- Healthy Choices: By participating in the Paleo Diet, people are more likely to make healthier decisions when choosing their foods, especially when it comes to fats, carbs, calories, etc.
- Sustainability: Due to the rigid structure of allowed foods, the likelihood of the average person maintaining this diet is slim.
- Variety: Again, because this diet is so strict, participants will lose a lot of their food variety. Not only can that be boring and hard to stick with, it also increases the likelihood that they will miss out on important key nutrients found in foods that aren’t allowed.
- Dairy Deficit: This diet completely removes dairy from your diet. Dairy is one of the biggest sources of calcium and Vitamin D in our diets. Although there are other ways to get these important nutrients, it will be a culture shock for most to continue to get these nutrients without consuming any dairy products.
The bottom line is that there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to determine the long term health risks and benefits to the Paleo Diet. This diet seems eerily similar to the Atkins Diet, and we all know where that went! According to NCES dietitian, Carrie Mark, “My main concern is the long term sustainability for a diet such as this one. Sure, people will lose weight because they are focusing on making healthier food choices. But, will they be able to maintain the diet and their weight loss long-term? I don’t know.”
What do you think? Have you seen any other pros or cons not listed here. Our list is brief because there is still a lot of research to be done. But, we look forward to seeing where this diet goes in the future. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the Paleo Diet right here on the NCES blog. Or, visit us on Facebook to share your thoughts.
Are you diabetic? If so, you’ve probably been told that carb counting is one of the single most important things you can do to help control your diabetes. Obviously, exercise is important as well. But, counting your carbs is your lifeline to successfully managing your diabetes! Right? Or… is that right? There is currently a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of carb counting to manage diabetes.
On one side, you have the traditional thinkers who argue that counting carbs is the only way to control your diabetes. It’s simple logic! When you consume carbohydrates, whether simple or complex, your body breaks them down in to sugar. This sugar is then absorbed in to your blood stream causing your blood sugar to rise. In response to this rise in blood sugar, your body releases the hormone insulin. Insulin is used to take the sugar from your blood and move it to your cells. Once in the cells, it can be used as energy to fuel your body. Diabetes is an insulin deficiency in your body. So, it makes sense that if your body struggles to produce insulin, it cannot appropriately manage the sugar in your blood caused by consuming carbohydrates. So, in order to control your diabetes, you must manage the amount of carbs you consume so that your body can manage the blood sugar levels.
On the other side, you have the radical thinkers who say that counting carbs is not a vital part of successfully managing diabetes. Instead, they argue that it is more a combination of the foods you eat and the amount of daily exercise you get that keeps your blood sugar in control.
But, we want to know what you think! How do you find that your diabetes is best controlled? Are you traditional or radical? Please share your thoughts with us… Facebook, Twitter, Email or even comment right here on this blog!
1. Know your simple carbs. Sucrose, fructose, and lactose are all simple carbohydrates, and are comprised mostly of simple sugars. It’s generally not essential to have a large amount of simple carbs in your diet.
2. Know your complex carbs. Made of starch and fibers, they’re often referred to as whole grains. They can be found in whole wheat flour, rolled oats, barley, rye, and brown rice among other foods. These can help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
3. Smart Carbs are essential for exercise and function. The majority of energy you use on a daily basis comes from the carbohydrates you consume. Not just for running, biking and swimming, carbs also give your body the energy for essential functions like your heartbeat, breathing, and digestion.
4. Smart carbs provide a way for you to consume fewer calories. Put simply, most foods that have not been processed are going to
contain fewer calories. So, when looking at carbs, try to find the least processed sources. For example, eating cooked oatmeal rather than an oatmeal cookie is always a good idea.
5. Simple carbs mean more than simplicity. When fiber is removed from food, with fat and sugar being added, the calories skyrocket while nutrition values plummet. Plus, the low nutrient density means that you’ll be eating more, just to feel full.
6. Incorporate Smart Carbs into meals and snacks. Try adding complex carbs to your regular meals and snacks. Instead of chips, try whole grain crackers, or whole grain versions of breads and cereals. Carrot sticks and fruit also contain smart carbs, and provide a much better choice than other carb-filled foods.
For more tips on eating ‘Smart Carbs”, check out Item # 2939 (ADA Complete Guide to Carb Counting) in our catalog or online at www.ncescatalog.com.