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'Caveman diet' lowers the risk of heart disease, new research shows

Not so new but interesting article of a study from Daily Mail UK

“Eating like a caveman could reduce the risk of heart disease, according to new research.

Just three weeks on a stone-age diet rich in lean meat, vegetables, berries and nuts was enough to lower the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.

Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden who tested the diet on a group of volunteers found they lost weight, lowered blood pressure and slashed levels of a blood-thickening agent known to cause deadly clots.

The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, support earlier findings that the so-called paleolithic diet could protect against diabetes.

For centuries, our ancestors lived only on foods that could be speared or picked from trees and plants.

Some scientists argue that the modern human body is still genetically programmed for this type of diet.

That means no cereals, bread, milk, butter, cheese or sugar but plenty of lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.

To test its effect, the Swedish researchers recruited 20 healthy volunteers and put them on caveman rations for three weeks.

Each patient was assessed for weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol at the beginning of the experiment.

They were then given a list of stone-age foods they could eat, including fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar.

Banned foods included beans, salt, peanuts, dairy products, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.

However, they were also allowed up to two potatoes a day and a weekly treat of dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat.

After three weeks, the volunteers were tested again. Among the 14 who successfully completed the diet, the average weight loss was around five pounds.

Body mass index – a measurement of someone’s weight compared to their height – dropped by an average of 0.8. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25.

Systolic blood pressure, the higher of the two readings during a check, fell by an average of three mmHg as a result of the diet and levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, a clotting agent in the blood, dropped by 72 per cent.

Dr Per Wandell, who led the study, said: “A short-term intervention with a paleolithic diet had some favourable effects on cardiovascular risk factors.

“But one negative effect was the decreased intake of calcium (from dairy goods), which could be a risk factor for osteoporosis later in life.” ”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-564859/Caveman-diet-lowers-risk-heart-disease-new-research-shows.html#ixzz0s6RjjRew

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