You've probably heard about the Paleo diet. But health researcher Nora Gedgaudas believes that this approach can be improved by following what she calls the "Primal Body" plan. In an exclusive interview on Jan. 3, Nora explained to me how her guidelines can transform your metabolism and result in weight loss.
Nora chose the term "Primal" to reflect the fact that "we share common DNA with the earliest organisms on this planet." She notes that it expands the meaning of Paleo to focus on our body's need for unprocessed foods that are carefully chosen. Nora has authored a book expanding on this concept: "Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life" (click for details).
A key part of her Primal plan: Going gluten-free.
"According to extremely knowledgeable research scientists such as Dr. Alexio Fasano, gluten is a substance no human being can actually even digest," says Nora.
And with the wide range of adverse effects of gluten consumption (more than 200), gluten should not be considered a food, she contends. Instead, Nora believes that it is "a bona fide contaminant."
Part of the problem with gluten stems from the increasing intolerance that we have when it comes foods containing gluten. As a result, gluten can damage both the body and the brain, says Nora.
Agreeing with her: Neurologist David Perlmutter, who says grain consumption is linked to dementia: Learn more by clicking here.
And, she predicts, "far from being a passing fad, gluten-related issues are only likely to grow with time."
To succeed at weight loss, Nora recommends:
- Cultivating a fat/ketone-based metabolism, as opposed to a glucose-based/dependent one. "It’s very difficult to get good at burning fat when you’re busy burning sugar all the time."
- Following a Paleo-style diet: Low in sugar, reduced in starchy carbohydrates, moderate protein and sufficient dietary fat.
- Eliminate grains and legumes.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Enjoy greens and other non-starchy vegetables.
As for concerns that your body "needs" carbohydrates like bread and pasta, Nora emphasizes that extensive studies reveal that our bodies require protein and fat to function. Those cookies, cereals and potato chips? Not on the list of established human dietary requirements.
Bottom line: For health and weight loss, says Nora, learn to adapt what she calls the "Paleolithic principles" to your own modern lifestyle. That plan can help you overcome "the health challenges we are faced with today," and is supported by "newer science-based evidence coming from human longevity research."
Worth noting: An increasing number of Paleo diet experts are providing variations on this approach, like Nora. Get some different perspectives on how and why the Paleo diet works for weight loss and health by clicking here.