When asked about the paleo diet, most people depict scenes of cavemen running through the open plain, feasting on nuts and berries they forage for on their way to hunting down and slaying game animals. As popular as the paleo diet has become with modern day homo sapien men, it’s quickly gaining momentum with women as well. Even though women tend to migrate toward community-oriented programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, paleo should be one of their first choices. Here are 10 reasons why:
1. Paleo eliminates soy and soy products.
Soy is a phytoestrogen, which means that it mimics estrogen in the body. Not a good thing for women. In high doses, soy can cause weight gain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), headaches, and mood disorders and has been linked to cancer.
2. Paleo balances the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega 6 are the fats found in vegetable oil, corn soil, soybean oil, and all other seed oils. Although you need them for proper health and for your body to function well, if you eat too much of them, they become bad for you. If you don’t eat the proper balance of omega-6 to omega-3 ratio it can cause inflammation and serious maladies like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and depression.
3. Paleo relies on hormone-free meat and dairy.
Readily absorbed from the small intestine into the blood, growth hormone has been shown to increase the risk of breast and colon cancers and can block natural defense mechanisms against early microscopic cancers. In other words, you can’t fight the little cancers as well, and they can turn into big problems (or bigger cancers).
4. Paleo encourages eating berries and veggies.
Eating lots of fresh produce will give you a huge boost in antioxidants and will help you fight diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Check out this recipe for paleo fruit pizza!
5. Paleo discourages grains that can cause leaky gut.
Grains play a role in causing leaky gut syndrome, which has been shown to possibly give rise to autoimmune diseases found in women like rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s. Grains also pull important minerals like calcium and magnesium from your body, which can contribute to the development of osteoporosis.
6. Paleo encourages lean meats.
Lean, grass-fed meats not only are lower in fat but also have a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fats than grain-fed meats (see No. 2). Studies show that women with diets high in saturated (animal) fat have higher rates of diabetes, cancer and ovarian disorders.
7. Paleo eliminates sugar.
Sugar is highly addictive and can contribute to the onset of type 2 diabetes and weight gain. Weight gain causes fat cells to produce estrogen and too much estrogen is pretty bad for women (see No. 1). Also, excessive sugar has been linked to reduced fertility and acne (yep, can you believe it?), and it can kill your sex drive.
8. Paleo discourages eating processed foods.
Processed foods are filled with high fructose corn syrup, salt, fat and artificial dyes and chemicals and can wreak havoc on a woman’s body in so many ways including contributing to the incidence of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.
9. Paleo encourages a rotational-based diet.
A rotational diet is one where you rotate the types of foods that you eat, often eating meals that you would normally not eat. Eating a whole variety of foods ensures that you get a bunch of different vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, making you the healthiest you possible.
10. Paleo eliminates sugar substitutes.
Products like saccharin, sucralose and aspartame are used to help you to control your sugar intake and blood sugar levels, but they end up doing more harm than good. Studies have found that women who consume two or more servings per day have an increased chance of developing high blood pressure, headaches, PMS-related symptoms, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, because these products cause foods to be abnormally “super sweet,” people who consume them regularly get used to a more intense flavor and tend to gain weight from over salting or over sweetening, (and even over eating) other foods.