The Paleo diet resembles the diet of our ancestors during the pre-agricultural era.
During this period of history, also known as the hunter-gatherer age, our ancestors consumed foods that contained a large amount of meat and foods that were not cultivated, such as fruits and vegetables.
Their diet was naturally low in salt, and sugar and free of grains and legumes. It is widely believed that because hunter-gatherers ate a wide variety of whole foods and were physically active, they were less likely to suffer from metabolic diseases like diabetes.
In this article, we will explore the impact of the paleo diet on diabetes.
Paleo Diet And Diabetes
Chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are linked to diets high in carbs, processed foods, and sugar. Diets that are high in carbs and refined sugar lead to elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, the exact opposite of what a diabetic person needs.
According to research, low-carb paleo approaches may help protect against metabolic diseases. An in-depth study found that following the paleo diet improved the blood pressure, glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol of people with type 2 diabetes within two weeks.
It can be definitively said is that all diabetics should cut out processed foods which in itself will improve their blood sugar levels.
Paleo Guide For Diabetics
Even though Paleo can help manage diabetes without any specific changes, a few simple changes can make the diet even more powerful for treating this disease. Among them are:
- Avoid all sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, high fructose corn syrup, and molasses, or limit their use as much as possible.
- Eat foods high in fiber such as spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. These foods will lower the glycemic response and will facilitate the slow breakdown of carbs.
- Reduce or avoid high-glycemic fruits, such as pineapple, watermelon, and mango.
- Put equal emphasis on other aspects of the paleo lifestyle such as getting enough sleep, managing your stress levels, and being physically active throughout the day. All of which are required to improve the body’s insulin response.
Recent studies suggest that a low-carb diet rich in nutrients and fibre is beneficial for diabetics.
Just like the dietary factors, proper sleep, exercise, and stress management are equally important in managing diabetes.
Consult your doctor if you are interested in trying this method to make sure you don't skip out on any essential nutrients.
Want to learn more about Paleo? Click here.
Masharani, U., Sherchan, P., Schloetter, M. et al. Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr 69, 944–948 (2015)
Jamka, M.; Kulczyński, B.; Juruć, A.; Gramza-Michałowska, A.; Stokes, C.S.; Walkowiak, J. The Effect of the Paleolithic Diet vs. Healthy Diets on Glucose and Insulin Homeostasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 296