Paleolithic diet healthier for overweight women

January 19, 2018, Umea University
Food pyramids that indicate the relative proportions of foods included in the two diets studied. Credit: Volker Otten

Overweight women after menopause who eat the Paleo Diet can maintain weight loss in the long term. The levels of risk factors of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also decrease. This according to a study at Umeå University in Sweden.

"The results are remarkable. Despite giving the women free reigns to an unlimited intake, the loss was stable after two years. A more significant fact than weight loss was the evident improvement in levels of fat in the blood, and signs of reduced inflammation," says Caroline Blomquist, doctoral student at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University.

In her doctoral dissertation, Caroline Blomquist has spent two years following a group of 70 with a exceeding 27, that is, after menopause. Half of the women held a according to Nordic nutrition recommendations whilst the other half followed the Paleo Diet. Neither groups had any specific restrictions in the amount they were allowed to consume, the restrictions solely revolved around the composition of the diet. The follow ups took place after six months and again after two years.

The results show that both groups lost weight. The women who had kept to a Paleo Diet on average dropped from 87 to 78 kilos, compared with a drop from 86 to 80 kilos for the group that followed the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations. The in both dietary groups also contributed to reduced inflammation in both fat tissue and in the circulation.

The women who followed the Paleo Diet had a significant reduction in unhealthy abdominal fat. In particular, evidently reduced levels of certain fatty acids and blood fats could be seen, which is of importance to the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You could also see that the enzymes involved in fat storage were less active in the Paleolithic group.

"In conclusion, the study shows that the Paleo Diet with a high proportion of unsaturated fats was healthier for this group of women, even if the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations also had positive health effects," says Caroline Blomquist.

The Paleo Diet is characterised by a high intake of protein and unsaturated fats and has a low glycemic index. The diet consists mainly of vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, shellfish, seeds, nuts, oils and fruit. The biggest difference to the Nordic nutrition recommendations is that the Paleo Diet excludes cereals, milk, refined sugars and added salt.

Postmenopausal have an increased risk of obesity, for instance due to the reduction of oestrogen production in combination with an elevated energy intake and reduced physical activity.

Explore further: A Paleolithic-type diet may help reduce future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Related Stories

A Paleolithic-type diet may help reduce future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

April 3, 2016
A Paleolithic-type diet may help obese postmenopausal women lose weight, improve their circulating fatty acid profile and lower their future risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, new research reports. The study results ...

Your stools reveal whether you can lose weight

September 12, 2017
Something as simple as a faeces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains. This is a finding of a new study ...

Diabetes expert warns Paleo Diet is dangerous and increases weight gain

February 18, 2016
A new study has revealed following a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for just eight weeks can lead to rapid weight gain and health complications.

Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue

January 5, 2015
A Nordic study led by the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland discovered that the health-promoting Nordic diet reduces the expression of inflammation-associated genes in ...

Few persons with metabolic syndrome adhere to nutrition recommendations

January 3, 2014
Adherence to dietary recommendations is weak among people suffering from metabolic syndrome or having increased risk for metabolic syndrome, according to the Nordic SYSDIET study led by the University of Eastern Finland. ...

Local study to examine paleo diet for protective effects

April 22, 2014
Potentially groundbreaking research comparing palaeolithic and traditional healthy diets is the focus of a new Edith Cowan University study investigating whether the paleo diet can help protect against heart disease and diabetes.

Recommended for you

Simple leg exercises could reduce impact of sedentary lifestyle on heart and blood vessels

August 21, 2018
A sedentary lifestyle can cause an impairment of the transport of blood around the body, which increases the risk of disease in the heart and blood vessels. New research published in Experimental Physiology suggests that ...

Sitting for long hours found to reduce blood flow to the brain

August 20, 2018
A team of researchers with Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. has found evidence of reduced blood flow to the brain in people who sit for long periods of time. In their paper published in the Journal of Applied ...

Your office may be affecting your health

August 20, 2018
Workers in open office seating had less daytime stress and greater daytime activity levels compared to workers in private offices and cubicles, according to new research led by the University of Arizona.

Healthy diet linked to healthy cellular aging in women

August 20, 2018
Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in added sugar, sodium and processed meats could help promote healthy cellular aging in women, according to a new study published in the American Journal ...

Balanced advice needed to address 'screen time' for children, study shows

August 20, 2018
Parents, health professionals and educators need clear and balanced information to help manage young children's use of mobile touch-screen devices in Australia, new research by Curtin University has found.

Students more likely to eat school breakfast when given extra time, new study finds

August 18, 2018
Primary school students are more likely to eat a nutritional breakfast when given 10 extra minutes to do so, according to a new study by researchers at Virginia Tech and Georgia Southern University.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.