6 Reasons Women Do Very Well On The Paleo Diet
OK, put away the pitchforks, get rid of the torches, this isn’t going to turn into a mob scene.
We’re not here today to talk about whether the Paleo diet is the “best thing ever” or “worse than satan’s gross soiled undergarments” or “some third thing that’s either good or bad i’m not sure”.
There’s been plenty of computer ink spilled on both sides of that debate, and that’s not what I’ve come to talk about today. If you want to debate it, knock yourselves out.
Instead, today, I want to talk about something that’s overlooked a lot when we talk about the Paleo diet – its effect on women.
The first thought with the Paleo diet is cavemen, but that’s cutting cavewomen short. Is it good for women? Not as good for women? Another thing… for women?
Truth is, there are some major benefits for women from the Paleo diet. Here’s 6 of them:
Quiz: Do You Know the 3 Unique Vegetables That Fight Abdominal Fat??
1. You Don’t Eat Any Sugar
Sugar, as we’ve discussed before, is bad for you. A little is fine, a lot is really bad, and guess what – it’s super addictive.
So rather than trying to limit your sugar intake or slow it down, the paleo diet does something way simpler – it cuts it out altogether.
You don’t have to worry about eating less sugar, because you’re not going to be eating any sugar.
That means less weight gain! And since weight gain can push your estrogen levels into “too much” territory, it means you don’t run the risk of excess estrogen and all the symptoms that come with that, like mood swings, cramps, pms, and cysts.
Hooray! No sugar!
2. You Eat More Omega 3 Fats Instead Of Omega 6 Fats
Omega 6 fats are pretty bad for you, y’all.
Aside from being associated with decreased intelligence in offspring and decreased frontal lobe formation according to this study, they also increase inflammation, which causes problems for both men and women.
Specifically, increased inflammation in women leads to worse menstrual cramping. Ouch.
However, the omega 3 fats you find in fatty fish like sardines, trout, and salmon is anti-inflammatory, and promotes better health overall. Paleo Power.
3. You Get Tons Of Nutrients
The paleo diet includes a ton of foods that give you crazy amounts of nutrients that will help you out massively, like kale, pasture raised eggs, blueberries, and other nutrient dense foods.
The spike in nutrients in your diet will work towards balancing your hormones, cutting down inflammation, and getting your reproductive health in tip top shape.
Related: The Clean Gut Diet
4. You Don’t Eat Any Soy
The debate about soy rages almost as hard as the debate about the paleo diet, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
But for the purposes of this article, I have to mention that soy is a phytoestrogen, which is a big word that means that it’s shaped a lot like estrogen and mimics estrogen in the body. This can lead your body to think that you have an estrogen imbalance, which causes a host of problems.
Staying away from soy isn’t a bad move, and the paleo diet emphasizes that.
5. You Can Eat When You’re Hungry And Stop When You’re Full
One of the hardest parts about being on a typical “diet” is restricting your calorie intake artificially. What that normally means is that you’re hungry all the time, you have food cravings, and it makes you stressed out.
That stress leads to hormone imbalance (plus generally feeling super crappy). That’s why the paleo diet is great – because it sidesteps all the calorie counting and just cautions you to avoid overeating and undereating.
The principle that you should eat when you’re hungry and then stop eating when you’re full is a powerful one. Instead of counting calories, you’re eating guilt free. Instead of binging and then feeling gross, you stop eating when you’re full.
It’s way healthier that way.
More: How To Lose 5 Pounds In A Week (The Easy Way)
6. You Cut Grains Out Of Your diet
This is the big one.
People hate this part of the paleo diet. And honestly, I don’t blame them. Grains are delicious.
But they can also be suuuuuuuper bad for you.
Aside from being turned into sugar by your body, which leads to weight gain, grains also have negative effects on other bodily functions.
Grains will steal minerals like magnesium and calcium from your intestines – minerals that should be helping to prevent osteoporosis and instead are just going for a ride on the grain train, according to a study done in the journal LWT – Food Science and Technology.
They’re just not that good for anyone, women included. And when you cut them out, your health improves.
Those are just a few of the reasons that a paleo diet can be a healthy choice for women (just like it is for men).
Of course, if you’re against the paleo diet, you can ignore this article altogether, because it’s not for you.
But if you’re curious, these were 6 reasons why it’s a great choice to promote women’s health.
The Best Reasons Women Do Well On The Paleo Diet
- You don’t eat any sugar
- You eat more omega 3 fats instead of omega 6 fats
- You get tons of nutrients
- You don’t eat any soy
- You can eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full
- You cut grains out of your diet
1. “Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children’s IQ at 4 years of age.” Helland IB, Smith L, Saarem K, Saugstad OD, Jan 2003.
2. “The impact of germination and dehulling on nutrients, antinutrients, in vitro iron and calcium bioavailability and in vitro starch and protein digestibility of some legume seeds.” LWT – Food Science and Technology. Volume 40, Issue 7, September 2007.
Paleo is a great diet, nobody is going to deny that. But just like any other, you need to follow and stick with the way it was designed. I have seen so many people take shortcuts or add their own steps and complain something is not working right.
This diet is a good one. I can see how woman would benefit more based on what you have posted, but why wouldn’t men benefit in similar ways?
The Paleo diet is a great design for both men and woman to begin with. After reading these facts, I can see where it would help woman more. Great article!
I never would have looked at this diet this way before now. All of the reasons makes sense when you sit back and look at each one. Great post!
Yeah, I might be a mom and in my 50’s but I want to lose weight and someone suggested the Paleo diet. After reading this, I figured I had nothing to lose.
What do you think?
The diet is a fad, but I know a couple of people that have tried it with good luck! These facts would be good to show woman who are interested.
I am sure any diet that balances my hormones is going to be one that my husband wants me to try with him :)
The Paleo diet is something new and if people don’t understand it, that is when it will not work. After reading this, I can see how a woman’s body might react differently to the diet compared to a man. Good for them, right?
This diet became very popular right after I had my second child. I needed to lose a little weight, so I wanted to try it. It worked out for a little while, but then I felt like I was at a standstill with it. What was I doing wrong?
it is hard to help you when we are not sure what you are doing exactly. you say you are following the diet, but is there something that you could be missing?
I really never thought about it this way. The diet is for both sexes, but like you mentioned here, woman can typically do better. Great insight! Thanks!
I know a couple that went on this diet and did notice that she had a better time with it and it was not as hard on her. Her husband was not having a very good time and complained quite a bit about it, but they both saw results, which is good!
Great for me :) The reasons make sense, so that is good!
Wow, very insightful, don’t you think? I mean, there are many things that men do better than woman, but here they just have to go on a fad diet and they do better than any male trying the same diet.
I can understand these reasons for sure. But what about a man no this diet? Does he not benefit at all?
This is an interesting post. I am sure that you do not mean that men cannot have any success with this diet, but it might discourage us from trying it. The Paleo diet is another fad, but with the right tools, it can be helpful to drop weight quickly.
I thought the same thing when it came to the Paleo diet, but I see how it works for people and I am not sure that it is going anywhere.
The right tools are needed, that is for sure, but I think the diet will live on for a long time.
Dr.Shanahan,I have two questions, I am rdneiag Deep Nutrition slowly as i have four children and not a lot of free time. I am confused about carbs. Do sprouted flour items count as carbs, does oatmeal count as carbs. Also, caffeine. I know you stated that you drink coffee, is caffeine detrimental to health at all? Thanks.
It looks like a lot of the things that you are cutting out is what helps woman. Benefiting them by not putting their body into a spiral of mood swings and things like that. Great information!
I think that it comes down to woman just being better at losing weight, right? It has been proven and in the end, the Paleo diet is one that helps you to lose weight, quickly, but in a healthy way.
I think that woman lose weight faster than men to begin with, so that makes a difference, right?
It does make a difference for sure. The Paleo diet is designed for both sexes, but the information here does make some sense.
Great diet! I use the Paleo diet and it has seemed to be working for me over the last 6 months. I had weight to lose and have not really plateaued yet, so that is good!
I have heard about this diet, but I thought it was more confusing than you explain it right now. I am going to look back and see if I can follow this one.
I would say that they do well! My wife has been kicking ass since she started this diet. She claims that she feels better and has lost a few dress sizes in the last three months!
Great for your wife, that is such good news. I love to hear when others have had the motivation to stay on track with a diet and the results are easy to see!
I have been doing this for just a couple of weeks now and I must say that it was very easy to cut out the grains for the paleo, but as far as women go, my wife was having trouble keeping away from the sugar. Either way, with the right amount of determination we are both looking great!