The Paleo Diet has taken the world by storm in the past several years. Those who follow the nutrition guidelines of Paleo, which focuses on consuming whole fruits and vegetables, no gluten, minimal starch, more fats, fish and grass-fed/organic sources of animal protein, don’t tend to be lacking enthusiasm–more often, they are hardcore about their lifestyle. In that hardcore group of Paleo followers, you’ll find quite a few celebrities, too. Whether or not you agree that the Paleo protocol is truly how our ancestors ate 10,000 years ago, it’s hard to argue with the logic that eating more whole fruits and vegetables and less processed garbage isn’t a good idea. Inevitably, on a gluten-free and low-starch nutrition plan, carbohydrate intake goes down, thus making Paleo a very effective means for weight-loss, which is probably what attracts the celebrities who love it.
Known also as the “caveman diet” or the “stone-age diet,” the Paleo lifestyle has shown in studies to have a greater positive impact on insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes when compared to the Mediterranean diet–a diet characterized by eating mostly fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and healthy sources of fat. The group following the Mediterranean diet were reported to see no improvements in levels of insulin resistance.
So which celebrities have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to the Paleo lifestyle? First on the list is Jack Osbourne, which may be a surprise to some considering his recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Some research articulates that a diet low in saturated fat is actually crucial to preventing further breakdown of the myelin sheath around the spinal cord–the exact part of the spinal cord that leads to the symptoms of MS when damaged. But Osbourne seems to have adapted more of the whole foods and less inflammatory aspects of the diet, rather than loading up on animal protein.
“Diet is a big thing [for MS treatment]. I am a firm believer in you are what you eat. I juice a lot, I try and stick to a Paleo Diet. At its core, I look at MS as inflammation, so I try and eliminate foods that cause inflammation: dairy, gluten, grains.”
Jessica Biel (newly married to ol’ Justin Timberlake, what a lucky girl) is a CrossFit enthusiast, and thus, a likely candidate for the Paleo diet as CrossFitters and Paleo tend to go hand-in-hand. “I do a lot of cooking at home using fresh fish or lean meat like chicken and vegetables,” said Biel. “I eat well. I don’t like the word ‘diet’.”
She added, confirming the benefits of Paleo for weight-loss, that Paleo “just leans you down and slims you up and takes that little layer of fat, skin, water-weight right off your body.”
Despite the lack of logic or balance in other areas of her life, Miley Cyrus seems to have taken the advice from the Paleo lifestyle and removed gluten from her diet. “Everyone should try no gluten for a week! The change in your skin, physical and mental health is amazing. You won’t go back!” Cyrus said. “It’s not about weight — it’s about health. Gluten is crap anyway!”
Matthew McConaughey says of the reason he sticks to a Paleo-like nutritional approach, “…I have a job where I like to look good and be as healthy as possible.”
If you love C.S.I., then look no further for Eva La Rue’s approach to looking so good: “I am a firm believer in The Paleo Solution. I maintain a hectic schedule that starts early and finishes late. Filming a television series, maintaining my fitness, and being a mom can be harrowing some days. Since adopting a Paleo way of eating I look and feel better, and I know that I am setting a good example for my daughter.”
And Paleo isn’t just for the actors and actresses, even professional boxer Andrew Flintoff shares how the nutritional changes have encouraged him to stop consuming alcohol and lose a great deal of weight. “I’ve lost about 30lbs in the last seven weeks and I’m trying to lose another 15. I’m on the Caveman Diet. I have steak or two buffalo burgers for breakfast. Then I have 12 almonds mid-morning, two chicken dinners a day with green vegetables, two boiled eggs or some berries mid afternoon and then fish and green vegetables for dinner.”
If you’re curious about the Paleo diet and the latest research in general, look no further than Paleo expert and nutrition podcaster, Abel James at The Fat-Burning Man. Now a quasi-normal-people celebrity amongst the nutrition and fitness world, James explains that his Paleo adventure began out of a desperation for health.
“After years of frustration, sickness, and increasing flab, I stopped listening to the ‘experts,’ ‘gurus,’ and even my doctors,” explained James. “I buried my nose in the research and experimented on myself like a lab rat until I found the truth. And man, it was a doozy.”
Eventually, James found his way to the Paleo world of nutrition.
“It turns out,” explains James, “that my ‘healthy’ low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and ‘effective’ running program recommended by magazines, TV shows, and my doctors, were actually causing me to be fat and sick. Once I did the opposite of what my doctors told me, I dramatically improved my health– reversing hypertension, healing my malfunctioning thyroid, and effortlessly shedding 20 pounds in 40 days.”
Desperate to turn your health around? Paleo might the right fit for you, just as it has been for various celebrities and everyday guys like Abel James.
Written by Ginger Vieira