Following a primal eating plan rich in meat, vegetables, berries and nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a small study published this month in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For the study, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden recruited 14 healthy volunteers to ditch their normal diet in favor of a Paleolithic diet. As such, volunteers were restricted from consuming cereals, bread, sugar, milk, butter and cheese.
Over the course of the three week study, the volunteers lost an average of 2.3 kg (roughly 5.5 lbs), reduced their waist circumference (a key indicator of abdominal adiposity as well as potential cardiovascular risk according to this Journal of the American Medical Association study) by 0.5 cm and reduced their body mass index (which, admittedly, is not an accurate indicator of health) by 0.8. In addition, systolic blood pressure was reduced by 3 mmHg and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (high circulating levels of which may be associated with increased heart disease risk) were reduced by 72%.
I get emails every day from people who are changing their lives for the better by following the guidelines I outline on this site. But many are looking for more of what the Primal Blueprint has to offer. That is to say, they want a comprehensive break down of the elements that make up the Blueprint; a Primal primer if you will. In coming weeks I will be going into detail – anthropological evidence, modern research, etc. – regarding this health philosophy, but I first want to offer up this summary of the Blueprint. I think it is a good starting point for what is to come.
In this extended article you will find the basic building blocks needed to discover the Primal side of your life. What does this mean? It means learning and understanding what it means to be human. It means using this knowledge to help you make important lifestyle choices. It means modeling your life after your ancestors in order to promote optimal health and wellness. And, most importantly, it means taking control of your body and mind.
If this article intrigues you be on the look out for a much more thorough explanation of how we can learn from our past to shape and mold our future.
My basic premise is this: The Primal Blueprint is a set of simple instructions (the blueprint) that allows you to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology (that’s the primal part).
Over the past few weeks, we’ve really ripped into fast food joints and junk food manufacturers for trying to pull the wool over our eyes and pass off junk food as not only edible chow, but also something that should be considered healthy. And, while we’ll be the first to admit that they deserve it, there are some times when dining on junk is difficult to avoid… like when you’re in the company of folks who are less discerning of their food choices, or you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere on a road trip or laid over at an airport. But rest assured: This is not a crisis. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to become a food detective – an opportunity to put all your hours pouring over MDA tips to use – to identify the healthiest options on the glowing board above the checkout counter.
We’ve always been dear friends, staunch allies, and devoted advocates for our edible friends in the plant kingdom. Whatever craziness descends upon our lives and our society, there’s sanity, indeed healthful respite in a bountiful, brimming, vibrant dinner plate of vegetables.
And now there’s even more reason for veggie veneration. Research from Tufts University funded by the Agricultural Research Service suggests that potassium-rich plant foods can help older men and women maintain their lean muscle mass.
“What?! Well, I’ll be damned.” We know! We said it too!
We’ve always loved vegetables (and their fruit compatriots) for their antioxidants, their minerals, their fiber. But this had us bowing down at the cornucopia, we have to say.
© 2015 Mark's Daily Apple
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