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Taco Bell hops on Paleo bandwagon: Rolls out high-protein bowls

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Taco Bell will roll out high-protein steak and chicken Cantina Bowls, in direct response to the soaring popularity of the low-carb Paleo diet, Bloomberg reported.

Taco Bell's Cantina Power Menu will be available nationwide beginning July 17. Executives said they made the decision after the fast-food chain's low-fat, low-calorie menu fell flat with customers.

“People are not looking for diet food,” said Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol. “What they are looking for is food that gives them energy, food that’s going to give them protein.”

The Rise of Paleo Entrepreneurs

Taco Bell's latest move underscores the meteoric rise of the Paleo diet, which has spawned a thriving cottage industry of cookbook authors, restaurateurs and entrepreneurs.

Paleo diet books are now routinely among the bestsellers in the health/fitness category. Paleo restaurants, cooking apps, action figures, protein bars and other businesses have also recently launched.

The low-carb Paleo diet, which was considered fringe just two years ago, is now a mainstream favorite, buoyed by scientific research confirming its effectiveness for promoting natural weight loss, and preventing heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's.

Paleo Diet Beats Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

Unofficial celebrity endorsements have also rocketed the diet's popularity. Country superstar Tim McGraw lost 40 pounds after adopting the low-carb Paleo diet and doing CrossFit.

Similarly, Megan Fox, soccer star Tim Howard, Robin Wright, and Joe Manganiello all credit the Paleo diet for their excellent health.

A recent study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates the Paleo diet is twice as effective as other diets for promoting weight loss and reducing belly fat. This isn't surprising to Dr. Loren Cordain, founder of the Paleo movement and bestselling author of "The Paleo Diet."

“Clinical trials have shown the Paleo diet is the optimum diet that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, markers of inflammation, help with weight loss, reduce acne, promote optimum health and athletic performance,” Cordain told the HuffingtonPost.

Fitness expert Robb Wolf, a former biochemist, agrees. "The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the only nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic," said Wolf, author of the bestseller "The Paleo Solution."

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