And the best news is that post-menopausal women who follow the diet can eat as much as they want—and still lose weight, and keep it off for at least two years, say researchers from Umea University in Sweden.
A group of 70 post-menopausal, who were all overweight with an average BMI (body-mass index) of 27, were either put on the Paleo diet or the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations diet, which is like the Paleo but allows cereals and grains, milk, refined sugars and added salt.
Over the two years, women on the Paleo diet lost an average of nine kilos (20 lbs) while those following the Nordic diet lost an average of six kilos (13 lbs). But the biggest difference was the overall health of the Paleo-group women; they saw a significant reduction in their abdominal fat, and in fatty acids and blood fats which are linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The women had "free reign" about the amount of food they could eat as long as it followed the guidelines of the diet they were on—and they didn't put the weight back on, said researcher Caroline Blomquist.
The Paleo diet allows people to eat plenty of unsaturated fats and low-glycaemic carbohydrates—the ones that are lower in sugar—and specifically focuses on vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, shellfish, seeds, nuts and fruits, and excludes all grains and cereals, milk, refined sugars and added salt.