HealthDay News — Based on a study presented at the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society in Boston, MA, the trending Paleo diet may actually be beneficial for older women hoping to lose weight, improve their cholesterol profile and lower future risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Caroline Blomquist, a doctoral student at Umeå University in Sweden, and colleagues had 35 postmenopausal women who were obese but had normal fasting plasma glucose levels follow a Paleo diet for 2 years. 

The group aimed to consume 30% of their daily energy intake from protein, 30% from carbohydrates, and 40% from fats mainly made up of unsaturated fats. A control group of 35 postmenopausal women were asked to follow a low-fat diet consisting of 15% protein, 30% fat, and 55% carbohydrates.

After 2 years, the women eating the Paleo diet reported they had decreased their intake of saturated fats by 19%, while increasing their intake of monounsaturated fats by 47% and their intake of polyunsaturated fats by 71%. 

In comparison, the women on the low-fat diet reported no significant changes in their intake of fats. Specific fatty acids associated with insulin resistance were significantly lower in the women eating Paleo-type foods compared with those on the prudent control diet. Both diets, however, resulted in similar — and significant — weight loss, the researchers found.

“Obesity-related disorders have reached pandemic proportions with significant economic burden on a global scale,” Blomquist said in a prepared statement. “It is of vital interest to find effective methods to improve metabolic balance.”

Reference

Blomquist C, Chorell E, Ryberg M, Mellberg C, Larsson C, Lindahl B, Riserius U, and Olsson T. Beneficial Effects on Fatty Acid Composition and Indices of Fatty Acid Desaturase Activity with a Paleolithic-Type Diet During a Two-Year Intervention in Obese Postmenopausal Women. Study presented at: 100th Annual Meeting of The Endocrine Society; April 3, 2016; Boston, MA.

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