Can eating like a caveman really make you healthier? Paleo diet adherents believe so. By consuming the same foods our early ancestors might have eaten, we can lose weight and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes, Loren Cordain, PhD and author of The Paleo Diet explained on his website.
Sounds great, but as with any trendy or fad diet, it can be hard to separate the hype from the reality. Now, a new study suggests going paleo might have some real health benefits. People who switched from a Western-style diet to a caveman-style diet for eight weeks experienced improved heart health and weight loss, according to researchers at the University of Houston and University of Pittsburgh.
In a statement, study author Chad Dolan, a graduate student researcher at the University of Houston’s Laboratory of Integrative Physiology, said,“This study’s findings add to the possibility that short-term dietary changes from a traditional Western pattern of eating to foods promoted in the paleo diet may improve health — or, at the very least, the diet does not have negative health implications in terms of the parameters we studied.”
The results are preliminary, noted the researchers, and they plan a larger follow-up study. But the initial findings are encouraging for people who are currently following — or considering adopting — a paleo diet, which focuses on meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, and nuts and eschews grains like wheat and rice, dairy products, refined sugars, and processed food.
If you’re interested in giving the paleo diet a try, check out these five easy paleo diet recipes for beginners.
1. Bacon and Mushroom Omelet
Omelets are easy to adapt for the paleo diet, provided you can give up cheesy fillings. We don’t think you’ll miss the cheddar in this omelet recipe from Paleo Flip, which is made with savory bacon and hearty, earthy mushrooms. Serves 2.
- 8 large eggs
- 1 bunch green onions
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 4 bacon strips
- Minced dried onion, to taste
- Celtic sea salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- Mesquite seasoning, to taste
- 1 bunch watercress
- Coconut oil
Directions: Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to a large skillet. Add the mushrooms and bacon and cook over medium. When bacon is crisp, remove from pan and set aside. As the bacon cooks, add some more coconut oil to a medium skillet and turn heat to low. Thoroughly beat 4 eggs with the spices.
Add the eggs to the skillet, tilting the pan so they are distributed evenly. Sprinkle on the chopped green onions.
When the eggs are nearly set, top with 2 strips of bacon, half of the mushrooms, and some watercress. Carefully fold the omelet and slide out of the pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve omelets with additional watercress.