The Paleo diet is hugely popular right now, especially with those trying to lose weight. There’s a whole body of research to suggest that the eating plan can help people shed excess pounds. However, if you’re living meat-free, how can you make the diet work for you? Here’s what you need to know about the vegetarian Paleo diet.
What is a Vegetarian Paleo Diet?
Adapting the Paleo diet for vegetarians is no easy feat. It’s important to remember that the standard version of this eating plan is meat-heavy. The underlying ethos is that you should only eat what hunter-gatherers would have in the Paleolithic era. The core guidelines mean that dieters only eat lean meat, fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, and seeds. When you take out the meat, fish, and shellfish, there are few protein sources left.
Protein is essential for your overall health and a major part of this diet. For that reason, if you want to follow the vegetarian Paleo diet, you may have to bend the rules slightly. While the pure version of the plan means cutting out legumes and beans, these are rich sources of protein on which vegetarians rely. Including some in your vegetarian Paleo recipes will help you ensure that your body gets what it needs.
3 Health Benefits of Vegetarian Paleo Diet
1. Lower risk of diseases
One of the major benefits of cutting meat out of your diet could be that you have a smaller chance of developing illnesses. Research suggests that vegetarians have a lower risk of some types of cancer, diabetes, and other troubling diseases. In short, following this version of the Paleo diet could mean that you protect your greater health.
2. May support weight loss
If you’re hoping to lose weight in a sustainable way, the vegetarian Paleo diet could be the answer. Using this version of the Paleo diet for weight loss has become increasingly popular in recent years.
The reason is simple. Research linked processed food consumption to overeating and, ultimately, weight gain. However, the Paleo guidelines instruct us to only eat naturally available food. That means that when you’re following this diet, you cut out any processed meals which may mean that you lose weight.
3. Could improve metabolism
Your metabolism controls the energy your body uses and, in turn, how well you can burn off fat. Adopting the vegetarian Paleo diet may hold a major health benefit here. One study published in the US National Library of Medicine suggests that the Paleo diet could help to boost a person’s metabolism. With that in mind, choosing the vegetarian eating plan may not only help you curb overeating but also support your metabolic rate.
What Should I Keep in Mind When Starting a Paleo Diet For Vegetarians?
Are you thinking about adopting the vegetarian Paleo diet? Before you do so, you might want to consider how it will affect your health. Here are two key tips.
- Talk to your doctor first As we have covered here, this diet could lack protein sources. It could be worth consulting with a medical professional before you start to follow the Paleo diet meal plan. They will give you sound advice on how you can boost your protein intake.
- Bend the rules slightly The pure Paleo diet is all about high meat consumption. That won’t work for vegetarians. You may need to adapt the Paleo diet for vegetarians so that you get more protein and nutrients from the food you eat. Failing to do so could leave your body lacking sustenance.
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17583796
-  https://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk426/files/inline-files/fact-pro-paleo-diet.pdf
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26707634
-  https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-study-finds-heavily-processed-foods-cause-overeating-weight-gain
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897177
-  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588744