The Paleo Diet has been studied extensively for the past two decades and has an army of supporters. A recent study from the Swedish university Umea Universitet has revealed that the diet has very specific benefits for women who are postmenopausal.

Menopause can cause weight gain in women, causing a whole host of other medical issues as they age. Swedish researcher Caroline Blomquist recently completed a two-year study on the effects of the Paleo diet on obese postmenopausal women. She compared the effects of the diet to the recommendations of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations.

What are the Paleo diet and Nordic Nutrition recommendations?

The study was conducted over two years with 70 postmenopausal women. The women all had a BMI that exceeded 27, classifying them as obese. Half of the women adhered to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations diet and the other half followed a traditional Paleo eating plan.

The main difference between the two diets is Paleo focuses on eating vegetables, lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, shellfish, fruits, seeds, nuts, oils, and vegetables. The diet excludes cereal, milk, refined sugar, and salt. The women eating Paleo were not restricted to the amount of food they ate, only what they ate.

Nordic Nutrition recommends the above foods, but it adds grains, bread, potatoes, and milk.

The Paleo diet recommends that the majority of the food come from fruits and vegetables, while the Nordic Nutrition diet promotes potatoes, grains, and cereals as the majority of food to be consumed.

The remarkable results of the Paleo Diet Study

The results between the two groups were striking.

  • Women on both diets lost weight, but the subjects using the Paleo diet lost a little more weight than on the other diet. Women following the Paleo regime lost approximately 19 pounds, while women on the Nordic Nutrition diet lost about 13 pounds.
  • The women on the Paleo diet lost significant amounts of Abdominal Fat. Abdominal fat is considered very unhealthy.
  • Eating paleo reduced fatty acids and blood fats, these are associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There was less activity in the fat enzymes linked to the storage of fat in the body. The levels of inflammation also dropped in the test subjects.

Blomquist noted in the study that Paleo, with a high degree of unsaturated fats, was healthier for the women than the government-supported Nordic Nutrition recommendations.