Think about that bad morning when you got ready for work and nothing in your closet fit. You had been losing the battle of the bulge for so long that you were willing to consider extreme dieting fads just to fit into those old but favorite clothes.
Perhaps, that desperation has led you to consider the Paleolithic diet, better known as the Paleo diet, based on what scientists speculated cavemen/women ate during that era, ending some 10,000 years ago.
Some experts (Loren Cordain, Ph.D. and Robb Wolf) assume that shunning the many unhealthy staples of the Western diet—dairy products, processed foods filled with extra salt and sugars, carbs, starches, and grains—for a more basic diet made up of lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables and “good” fats can be a healthier way to lose weight.
Unfortunately, the Paleo diet isn’t open to everyone. Vegans aren’t allowed in the party due to their specific dietary restrictions (no eggs, seafood or meat), plus Paleo dieters aren’t allowed to eat veggie sources of protein (beans and other legumes).
So, despite its limitations, does the Paleo diet really work? A study published by the American Society of Microbiology earlier this year that compared the gut microbes of humans and animals questioned the Paleo diet’s ability to suppress hunger.
A scientist at Imperial College London compared fecal bacteria samples taken from human vegans to those from gelada baboons, the only modern primate that mostly eats grass.
Then, researchers fed the samples one of two diets—a predigested grassy, high-fiber diet or a predigested potato, high-starch diet—then tracked the changes in bacteria.
Interestingly, human cultures fed the potato diet by scientists produced the best results: High levels of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), chemicals associated with triggering appetite-suppressing gut hormone peptides.
What’s more, baboon cultures fed the potato diet produced more SCFAs than those given grass. When some of these potato cultures were added to the colon cells of mice, the animal cells produced appetite-suppressing, gut hormone peptide YY (PYY).
Simply put, these results demonstrate the belief among many dietary experts that the appetite suppression connected with following a Paleo diet may not be entirely accurate, or that plant-based, high-fiber diets may not increase the presence of SCFAs or inhibit appetites after all.
If you want to overcome obesity and improve your health, eating like Fred and Wilma Flintstone may not help you very much.
Along with eating the right foods and starting an exercise plan, taking a multi-species probiotic like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic will increase the diversity of bacteria in your gut that will assist you in beating obesity and improving your health for the long term by helping to produce the SCFAs that decrease your appetite.