‘Paleo’ Diet May Cut Diabetes, Heart Disease Risk in Postmenopausal Women

A “Paleolithic-type” diet, commonly known as the Paleo diet, may cut obese postmenopausal women’s risk for diabetes and heart disease by helping them lose weight, a new study has suggested. According to the study by Swedish researchers, postmenopausal women with obesity who adhere to the high-protein Paleo diet experience weight loss, as well as improved cholesterol profile and lower future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Based on their findings, the Swedish researchers affirmed that Paleo diet could prove an effective intervention to beat the obesity epidemic. Paleo diet, also known as caveman diet or stone-age diet, is a nutritional approach that encourages to consume food heavy on proteins and low in carbohydrates. In their research, the team headed by Caroline Blomquist, a doctoral student in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden, found that postmenopausal women who ate Paleolithic-type diet experienced greater reductions in fatty acids associated with insulin resistance than those who adhered to a low-fat diet. “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 Caroline Blomquist. For the study, Blomquist and colleagues enrolled 70 postmenopausal women with obesity and randomly assigned them to either take an ad libitum Paleolithic-type diet or a low-fat control diet. Women in first group adhered to a food regimen that called for consuming diet consisting of 30 percent protein, 30 percent carbohydrates and 40 percent fats with high unsaturated fatty acid content, while the other group consumed 15 percent of total energy in protein, 55 percent in carbohydrates and 30 percent fat. The study participants adhered to their respective diets for 24 months. After 24-month follow-up, the researchers found that women in both diet groups lost similar and significant amount of weight and experienced substantially decrease in their waist circumference, but those assigned specifically to consume the Paleolithic diet also experienced remarkable improvements in their levels of insulin resistance. “A Paleolithic-type diet reduced specific fatty acids in the blood more distinctly than a control diet despite similar weight loss,” said Blomquist. “The Paleolithic-type diet may have long-term beneficial effects on obesity-related disorders such as insulin resistance and cardiovascular diseases.” The team also noticed that the women following the Paleo diet reported 19 percent decrease in their intake of “bad” saturated fats, while increasing their consumption of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids by 47 percent and 71 percent, respectively. By contrast, the women eating the prudent low-fat diet reported no notable changes in their intake of fats. “If you look at the enzyme activities, you can see they’re more decreased in the Paleolithic-type diet, and these enzymes are related to insulin resistance, and that improves metabolic status even more,” Blomquist said.“I would like to see how this diet will work on people with type 2 diabetes,” he concluded. The study findings were presented at the ENDO 2016 meeting in Boston, Mass. Related Authors: paleo diet - Google News

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