The prevalent diet during the bygone era of prehistoric humans might help older, postmenopausal, obese women by considerably lowering their risks for obesity-related heart diseases and diabetes. According to the results of a new research, this Paleolithic diet or Paleo diet might help women reduce their weight too!

The Paleolithic period is typically dated from 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago, and the diet has been promptly named after this era. The diet is creatively based on the kind of food presumably eaten by prehistoric humans during that period.

The Paleo diet includes healthy portions of meat, fish, eggs, fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It particularly avoids dairy products, processed food, cereals, legumes, grains and other refined fats and sugar.

In a new study, Caroline Blomquist, lead author and a doctoral student in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, studied a group of 70 postmenopausal and obese women. Blomquist, along with her team, carried out the research for over a period of two years. 

The women were split up into two groups. The first group of 35 women were put on a Paleo diet while the remaining 35 were grouped up and put on a regular prudent control diet. The Paleo diet group basically consumed a low fat diet containing about 55 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fats and a mere 15 percent of protein.

Over the span of two years, the women's dietary intakes were monitored along with check-ups of their bodily functions and other related measurements. They were tracked periodically – at the commencement of the study and thereafter at month 6 and finally at month 24.

At the end of the two-year long study, the researchers found that the Paleo diet group exhibited a significant difference between the two groups. The ladies on Paleo diet had tremendously reduced their consumption of insulin-resistant fatty acids as compared to the other group, not to forget the decrease in overall body weight, let alone trimmer bellies. The health benefits include lowered risks for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

"Eating a Paleolithic-type diet without calorie restriction significantly improved the fatty acid profile associated with insulin sensitivity, and it reduced abdominal adiposity and body weight in obese postmenopausal women," said Blomquist. "A Paleolithic-type diet, high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, may have long-term beneficial effects on obesity-related disorders, including reduced risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

Blomquist also said that, "Obesity-related disorders have reached pandemic proportions with significant economic burden on a global scale. It is of vital interest to find effective methods to improve metabolic balance."

The study results were presented at the ENDO 2016, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Boston.

Photo: David Leo Veksler | Flickr 

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