According to dietary doctor Loren Cordain, the supposed “foremost authority on the evolutionary basis of diet.” the “paleo diet” ― a diet which excludes gluten, added sugars, and dairy ― is a safe way to quickly lose weight and also improves a person’s overall health, both physically and emotionally.
Lowered blood pressure, reduction of joint pain and a healthier heart are also among the benefits that Dr. Cordain claims that the paleo diet can have.
As the name suggests, the paleo diet involves eating foods that primitive humans would have eaten in the paleolithic period ― namely: meat, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. This results in a low-carb, high-protein diet that is said to be better for the body than a traditional five-food-group meal plan.
Negative side effects of the paleo diet are minor and mostly avoidable with some foresight, and, according to Cordain, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Cravings for sugar and dairy are the biggest issues for most paleo participants, and even those can be overcome with enough effort and sufficient willpower.
Cutting gluten from the diet severely lowers carbohydrate intake, which subsequently allows the body to draw energy from fat instead, burning that fat in the process. Additionally, according to Dr. Cobain, the diet suppresses appetite, which can keep participants from overeating and negating their progress. These two factors account for the healthy weight loss associated with the paleo diet.
Live Strong, a popular dietary website, admits that anyone who had a carb-heavy diet prior to going paleo may experience lightheadedness and fatigue at first. However, the so-called “Low-Carb Flu” is temporary, as the body quickly acclimates itself to the lack of carbohydrates, and this side-effect can be avoided altogether by simply easing into the paleo diet rather than halting gluten intake all at once.