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Study Says Paleo Diet Good for Weight Loss, Bad for Micronutrient Intake

The Paleolithic (or “Paleo”) diet was designed to emulate the diet eaten by early humans in the Paleolithic era and omits any foods not available during that time, including grains, dairy products, legumes, processed oils and refined sugar. A recent study confirms the controversial belief that the paleo diet is a more effective way to lose weight than a balanced diet. However, the same study also found that a paleo diet was associated with lower intake levels of key micronutrients.

Participants in the study included 39 women who followed either the paleo diet or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Diet (AGHE) for four weeks. The AGHE inludes some meats, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and dairy products.


At the conclusion of the study period, the AGHE group had lost 1.6% of their body weight and 1.9% of their waist circumference. In comparison, the women in the paleo group lost 4.3% of their body weight and 3.8% of their waist circumference.

The paleo group also had lower intake of key micronutrients, including iodine, sodium, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamins A and E, folate, and iron. The researchers recommend that further research look at the long term effects of the paleo diet.


Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia conducted the study. It was published on May 23, 2016, in Nutrients.


 

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