Is the Paleo Diet an Optimal Choice for Women?
The Paleo diet is all the rage now and some men swear by it for weight loss and building lean muscle mass.
But, Is it an optimal choice for women?
Does it give women the nutrients they need to reach their weight loss goals without lacking a vital source of vitamins and minerals?
It’s no secret that men have a different bodily makeup than women and so it’s only fair that each diet be valued with gender in mind. The Paleo diet does have some disadvantages but as a whole, it is a very good choice for women.
• Restricts Sugar – Sugar is evil for women. It’s one of our biggest cravings but wreaks havoc on our hormones. It’s also really easy to over eat sugar causing unnecessary weight gain. Being overweight causes excess estrogen. Excess estrogen makes women crazy women with mood swings, cramps, and really bad PMS. On the flip side, consuming too much sugar causes testosterone to be produced in the ovaries of all places. This can decrease fertility and libido, and cause acne and facial hair, not something that anyone woman wound want.
• Eliminates Grains – Grains are a hard thing to give up. They are a big source of energy but come with a price. Grains are things like pasta, bread, and cereals and they are called carbohydrates. Our bodies use this for energy but what is not used is broken down into sugar, which as previously mentioned wreaks havoc on a woman’s body. Most grains contain gluten, which many have an intolerance for and can lead to digestion problems, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Many also become addicted to starchy carbs and overeat them.
• Easy To Follow – Unlike many other diets, the Paleo diet doesn’t make you count calories or cut back drastically on your food consumption. It teaches you to be in tune with your body and eat when it tells you to and stop eating when you are full. This balances out our hormones to a good level. There is nothing worse than feeling as if you only have half of your energy because you haven’t eaten enough to keep you going. With this diet, you will have plenty of energy to face the day.
• Whole Food Diet – The Paleo diet only allows for whole food and nothing processed. This eliminates junk food and its harmful effects and includes only natural real food that supports healthy weight management and overall good health.
• Highly Nutritious- Another factor that gives you plenty of energy is the quality of the foods you are eating. In the Paleo diet, all of the food you eat is very nutrient-dense. Berries and green veggies have the highest content of antioxidants and in a Paleo diet; it is a regular part of your meals. Eating animal products that are grass fed and pasture raised keep the meat full of the good nutrients the animals eat from the ground and not from hormones that are fed to them by traditional farming methods.
• Good For PMS- The foods included in the Paleo diet have a naturally high content of healthy fats and minerals that aid in a woman’s fertility and menstrual cycle. It is also low in any foods that may lower fertility and exasperate PMS. This is a nice added perk for women who practice the Paleo eating pattern.
There Are Only A Few Drawbacks To The Paleo Diet…
First, it can be expensive to follow. Have you seen the prices of grass fed beef? Nuts aren’t cheap either.
A good thing to do is to budget this diet into your plan before you start or you may end up without the necessary nutrition before the end of the week. There is a severe restriction on carb sources allowed in this diet. Without carbs, it can be really hard to have maximum energy level. You need to be creative in your energy sources but it can be done.
In addition, dairy isn’t allowed so finding another source high in calcium is essential because calcium is a very important mineral for women to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis in older age.
Calcium is plentiful in plant foods that are allowed on the Paleo Diet, including:
• Orange juice, fortified with calcium
• Tempeh and tofu
• Almond butter
• Turnip greens, raw
• Kale, raw
• Bok choy
• Mustard greens
• Broccoli, raw
Of course, supplements are also available, including vitamin D that helps with absorption of calcium
Overall, following the diet with a few cheats every now and then could be a very successful diet to women and can really help one to kick-start the road to eating whole real food, which is always the best option for good health, weight loss, energy, and longevity.