If you are health conscious, you must have heard about the paleo diet. This is popular and controversial at the same time. Some experts claim the paleo diet is harmful to the heart, while another group believes it is really healthy.
So, what is the truth about the paleo diet and cholesterol? Does this diet reduce or increase cholesterol levels? What is the meal plan for this diet? I know you have many questions on your mind. If you are looking for the answers, then this is the article you need right now.
What is a Paleo diet?
Do you know what our ancestors used to eat thousands of years ago? Basically, the paleo diet resembles the diet chart of the Paleolithic era. Yes, it is not possible to know the exact meal plan at that time. But experts have designed the Paleo diet by doing a lot of research and included the whole foods only.
Paleo diet and cholesterol
The Paleo diet can significantly affect your cholesterol level. But the effects of this meal on your cholesterol are yet not proven. Different scientists have different opinions about this.
Recently, a group of researchers put 44 people on a paleo diet and tested their cholesterol levels. And surprisingly, their cholesterol level was higher than before. On the other hand, some other studies have proved that the paleo diet can keep the cholesterol level to a standard level.
The truth is, like some other diets, the paleo diet has some benefits and drawbacks. Your cholesterol level will depend on what you add to your daily Paleo diet meal. Also, there are some other reasons that can higher your cholesterol when you are on a paleo diet.
How to lower cholesterol with a paleo diet
When we are talking about cholesterol, there is an important thing you need to know. Cholesterol has two types, HDL and LDL. The HDL is considered as the good cholesterol where the LDL is the bad one. So, it is obvious that you will want good cholesterol to increase, not the bad one.
Though many people doubt the effectiveness of the Paleo diet, some experts still recommend this meal plan. You can lower your bad cholesterol level if you choose to add more vegetables to your paleo diet chart.
I know it is tough to go vegetarian, especially on a paleo diet. But this is the only option to control your cholesterol level and follow the paleo diet at the same time. Here are some tips that will help you in this situation:
- Add a lot of eggs to your meal. Eating 3 eggs per day may help you reduce LDL cholesterol.
- Go for more vegetables and fruits you can find, especially the whole grain ones. Grains like seeds or hemp like seeds are good for a paleo diet. You can add quinoa, buckwheat, or amaranth to your everyday meal. Some of these vegetables may not suit you. In that case, find an alternative. These vegetables and seeds can lower the LDL level.
- Eat beans and legumes. Both these items can reduce the cholesterol level in your blood and help you achieve your goal. So, many of you may argue that pre-agricultural people did not eat beans and legumes. Yes, that is true. But some modified paleo diets contain these two food items.
Well, these tips can help you modify your existing paleo diet. Try these only when your paleo diet can not control your cholesterol level. Otherwise, the usual diet chart is okay.
Does a Paleo diet raise cholesterol levels?
Many scientists claim that the paleo diet can keep your cholesterol level moderately low. But sometimes, you may have the opposite experience. Have you ever wondered why?
Well, the paleo diet and cholesterol have a deep connection. If the diet is raising your cholesterol level, there can be several reasons behind it. For example, staying low carb, having micronutrient deficiency, or autoimmune thyroid issues.
Let’s discuss these issues in detail. If you limit your carb intake, your cholesterol level can go up. Basically, no 100% proof can support this theory. But many scientists believe this logic.
Another reason why your cholesterol is rising can be related to thyroid issues. If by any chance your thyroid function decreases, you will notice a rise in your cholesterol level. Micronutrient deficiency is also responsible for your cholesterol raise.
If none of these reasons fit, it can be a genetic condition. However, it is not necessary that a paleo diet will always fit you. If you do not find this one effective, consult with your nutritionist and switch to another meal plan.
Paleo diet chart
Even though controversies are going on over the paleo diet, you can still give it a try. Some people might consider this as a high cholesterol diet plan. Meats, eggs, fishes, seeds, and herbs are the basics of this diet.
Here are the food items that you can eat on a Paleo diet:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Avocado oil
- Sea salt
- Flaxseed oil
When you are following a paleo diet, you need to eat the snacks that go with this meal plan. For example,
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Baby carrots
The Paleo diet includes almost all types of foods, but it does not mean you can eat anything you want. Here are the items you need to avoid when you are on a Paleo diet:
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juice
- Dairy products
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Artificial foods
- Processed foods
Design your meal in such a manner that you get to eat a slightly heavy meal twice a day. And go light for breakfast and snacks.
Paleo diet and cholesterol have a connection somewhere deep. Before planning for your meals, mark your goals. If you notice abnormal cholesterol levels, consult with a nutritionist.