According to a study conducted at Umeå University, Sweden, overweight women post menopause can maintain long term weight loss by consuming paleolithic diet. With a significant weight loss, there is also a decrease in risk factors for several cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Caroline Blomquist, a doctoral student at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University, says that the participating overweight women showed stable weight loss after two years. The participants were allowed live on a paleolithic diet. Apart from the weight loss, there was also a significant decrease in inflammation and improved levels of fats in the blood.
Blomquist during her doctoral dissertation spent nearly two years following 70 postmenopausal overweight women, who had a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or greater. Half of these participants followed a paleolithic diet, whereas the other half had a diet planned by Nordic Nutrition Recommendations.
There was only a restriction placed upon the constituents of the diet and not specifically on the quantity the participants could consume. The follow up analysis was held after first six months of the study and then after two years.
Blomquist observed that the participants of both the groups lost weight. The women who followed the diet from Nordic Nutrition Recommendations showed a drop from 86 to 80 kilos, whereas the women on paleolithic diet had a significant weight drop from 87 to 78 kilos.
The weight loss also contributed to reduction in inflammation in the fat tissues. Reduced levels of fats in blood were also observed.
The participants who followed Paleolithic diet also had a noticeable reduction in abdominal fat. The reduced levels of blood fats and certain fatty acids also prevented the development of several cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes. The participants who followed a paleolithic diet also had less active enzymes, particularly those involved in fat storage.
The study concluded that paleolithic diet which has a relatively higher proportion of unsaturated fats proved much healthier for paleolithic group participants. This was concluded after considering that diet suggested by the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations also showed positive health effects.
The Paleolithic diet usually involves a high intake of unsaturated fats and protein. It also has a lower glycemic index. The diet mainly consists of lean meats, vegetables, eggs, fish, seeds, poultry, shellfish, fruits, nuts and oils. The main difference between a paleolithic diet and a diet suggested by the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations is that the Paleolithic diet excludes milk, cereals, added salt and refined sugar. Women have an increased risk of obesity after menopause due to reduced oestrogen production, increased calorie consumption and reduced physical activity.