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Study: Following Paleo-type diet may reduce diabetes, heart disease risk

By Marilyn Malara
A Paleo-inspired diet may significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in obese, postmenopausal women, new research finds. Photo by Said M/Shutterstock
A Paleo-inspired diet may significantly reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in obese, postmenopausal women, new research finds. Photo by Said M/Shutterstock

WASHINGTON, April 2 (UPI) -- Obese, postmenopausal women may benefit greatly from following a Paleolithic-type diet, researchers from The Endocrine Society said.

According to a study, scheduled to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston, the diet is associated with weight loss, better fatty acid circulation and reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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"Eating a Paleolithic-type diet without calorie restriction significantly improved the fatty acid profile associated with insulin sensitivity, and it reduced abdominal adiposity and body weight in obese postmenopausal women," lead author of the study, Caroline Blomquist from the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umea University in Sweden said in a statement.

The Paleolithic diet, often called the Paleo diet, is based on the types of food assumed to have been consumed by prehistoric humans. It includes meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and excludes dairy products, grain products and processed food.

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"A Paleolithic-type diet, high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, may have long-term beneficial effects on obesity-related disorders, including reduced risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease," Blomquist said.

Blomquist's conclusions stem from a two-year study of 70 obese, postmenopausal women with normal fasting plasma glucose levels. After being split in two groups, one of which expected to follow a Paleo-type diet, researchers found the diet-restricted group reported significantly decreased consumption of fatty acids associated with insulin resistance.

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The Paleolithic-diet group also saw a notable loss of body weight and less abdominal obesity.

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

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