5 Ways Paleo Protects Heart Health

Paleo is simply eating in accordance with our genetics, nourishing the body in the way nature intended. A diet based on traditional, hunter-gatherer foods maximizes health, healing and wellbeing…and benefits all aspects of the body, not just digestion!

Eating within a Paleo template alleviates and remedies chronic aches and pain, weight-gain, poor energy levels, fluid retention, hormonal imbalance and other conditions aggravated by chronic inflammation, while simultaneously supporting heart health, bone & joint integrity, stable moods, immune function, sound sleep, mental clarity and much more.

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Cholesterol Does Not Cause Heart Disease

Science now proves cholesterol and saturated fats do not cause heart disease*! Arterial plaques occur under a specific set of circumstances:  the presence of oxidized fats and oxidized cholesterol within inflamed arteries. The Paleo Diet eliminates sources of these dangerous oxidized versions of fats and cholesterol, reduces inflammation through the whole body, plus provides vital heart-health nutrients to support the heart and arteries.  

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5 Ways Paleo Helps...

The following are five specific ways the Paleo Diet and Lifestyle enhance sound sleep. Further information is thoroughly detailed in The Paleovation Workbook (specific section locations are noted in parentheses; supplemental topic info is accessible here).

1.     Addresses the Root Cause of Heart Disease:  Inflammation (Prep Section A & Day 18) 

The Paleo Diet is based on foods found via a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Abundant vegetables, traditional fats and select animal products (from animals raised the way nature intended) are healthy and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, eating within a Paleo Template simultaneously removes the most inflammatory foods in a westernized diet:  grains, sugar, dairy, additives, legumes and alcohol. This combination of strategies reduces and heals systemic inflammation.  

2.      Avoids Inflammatory, Oxidized Industrial Oils (Days 3 & 4) 

Modern convenience foods contain high amounts of omega-6 oils including canola, soybean, corn, vegetable, etc. In fact, many individuals favor these fats because they’re cholesterol-free. However, industrially-processed seed oils are very volatile and are damaged by air, light or heat (even in clear bottles under grocery store lighting at room temperature!). When the body ingests these rancid fats, it has no choice but to absorb and use them in the same way it would a more stable fat. Oxidized fats interfere with cell membrane integrity and healing of the arterial walls. They are a key trigger for arterial plaque development! Avoiding industrial oils and trans fats takes consistent effort, so knowledge of where these fats lurk is crucial to limiting exposure. 

3.       Eliminates Sources of Oxidized Cholesterol (Day 17) 

Just as with fats, there are good and bad sources of cholesterol. Cholesterol-rich foods from animals raised on a pasture are beneficial on multiple levels. Cholesterol naturally occurs with other nutrients which nourish cells and support fat-soluble vitamin absorption and cholesterol utilization in the body. Sadly, when the food industry manipulates cholesterol-rich foods into powders, it oxidizes the cholesterol during the spray-drying process. These powders (powdered milk, cheese, eggs, etc) are often used in baking mixes and convenience foods for flavoring. As with oxidized fats, avoiding oxidized cholesterol is critical for protecting the heart. Knowledge is power. 

4.       Nutrient-Dense, Cholesterol-Rich Foods Provide Key Heart Nutrients (Days 17, 18 & 23) 

Though the body is completely capable of manufacturing its own cholesterol (which is vital for brain health and memory!), eating cholesterol-rich foods provides specific nutrients to support the heart. Pasture-raised animal products contain fat-soluble vitamins including Vitamin K2 to gather calcium deposits from the arteries and redirect it into the bone. Another crucial nutrient is Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), required to provide energy for the heart and liver. The Paleo recommendation for nose-to-tail eating incorporates organ meats, bone marrow, bone broth and other less common cuts that perfectly provide a wide range of heart-health nutrients.  

5.       Lowers Triglyceride Levels (Days 4 & 18)

Though high cholesterol levels don’t correlate with heart disease risk, high triglyceride levels do. Surprisingly, triglycerides are not caused by saturated fat intake. They are the result of trans fat and excessive glucose (carbohydrate) in the diet. The Paleo Diet addresses this on two levels:  unstable fats are avoided and carbohydrate intake is moderated. Paleo doesn’t have to be low-carb, but it is significantly lower in carbohydrate than a typical western diet. This moderate carb level is more easily metabolized for energy and less likely to be used for fat storage or triglyceride production. Triglyceride levels are one of the first markers of health to stabilize after adopting a Paleo Diet. 

 

*Note:  The fact that saturated fats and cholesterol do not cause heart disease is fully supported by scientific studies, however these ideas are just emerging into the mainstream. Do not be surprised by a lag time before dietary recommendations shift to accommodate this new knowledge (though the 2015 USDA dietary guidelines already removed restrictions on dietary cholesterol). In the meantime, do your own research; experiment with your own diet. FYI, two full days of The Paleovation Workbook’s program are dedicated to the topics of cholesterol and heart disease, and four days discuss the role fats play in whole body health. Suggestions for further reading and research on these topics can be accessed through the Paleovation website References page.  

 
 

There Is No Catch! Simply Eating Paleo Naturally Induces Proper Body Function.

 

An elimination period of 2-3 weeks often reveals dramatic health benefits including better blood pressure, more supple arteries, lower triglycerides, improved energy levels and less inflammation throughout the whole body (with noticeable differences in achy muscles/joints and better range of motion).

The best news is health benefits emerge solely from conscientious food choice:  just eliminate inflammatory foods and emphasize restorative, traditional foods. There are no expensive powders, specially-formulated products or endless exercise routines necessary.

The body already has the innate ability to heal – Paleo creates the ideal set of circumstances to foster and sustain this natural healing.

How Do I Start?

Individuals new to Paleo often appreciate assistance identifying typical inflammatory foods, sifting through abundant Paleo resources, finding easy-to-understand information and staying prepared. This is the basis of The Paleovation Workbook:  It’s like having a trusted mentor supporting the reader each day.

The Paleovation Workbook details the Why's and How's for healthy, long-term diet change

This workbook is arranged in easy-to-read, daily sections designed to keep the reader informed and organized. Each day reinforces the commitment to dietary change by explaining specifically why these diet changes improve health as well as how to implement them, loaded with ideas for snacks, recipes, socializing, practical planning assistance.

Substantial information is compiled in an easy-to-read “bottom-line” format with charts, checklists, templates and practice exercises. Additionally, to build a balanced approach to lifestyle modification, information includes other pillars of health such as stress management, sleep tips, sensible exercise and more:

Informative Topics:     

  • Destructive nature of sugar and starch
  • Fat facts – the good, bad and ugly
  • Problems with modern foods
  • Chronic inflammation and its complications
  • Cholesterol and heart disease
  • Autoimmune support
  • Gut health and probiotics
  • Detrimental effects of stress
  • Smart nutritional supplementation

How-To Topics:

  • Stock a Paleo kitchen
  • Generate meal ideas and recipe resources
  • Manage food cravings
  • Enhance fat-burning metabolism
  • Substitute non-Paleo foods
  • Devise strategies for social situations
  • Promote deep sleep
  • Break through a weight loss plateau
  • Solidify long-term dietary success
The advantage of this workbook is it teaches the reader what to do AND how to do it, ultimately increasing odds of lasting success.

Develop a Personalized Dietary Template

Elimination diets are commonly used to test for food allergies or sensitivities. The method is simple, just avoid specific irritating foods for a set period of time, then carefully reinstate them to observe personal tolerance levels. Participants learn to connect the dots between their trigger foods and symptoms of inflammation within their bodies.

The Paleovation Workbook walks the reader through a 4-week elimination diet and reintroduction period. The beauty is that there are no cookie-cutter results – each person reveals a customized list of well-tolerated foods. In the long run, this knowledge is used to formulate a personalized, flexible approach to dietary success.
The Paleovation Workbook provides the framework to stay informed, motivated and accountable during the short-term Paleo transition as well as long-term, healthy diet management.

Cheers to your renewed health and vitality!

Rachel & Kelly