One of the latest diet fad is Paleo diet. Paleo diet is supposed to be the diet of our ancient ancestors when they live in the caves. Many people who recommend and follow Paleo diet believe that our ancestors used to live on mainly plant based diet which included many types of vegetables, leaves and fruits found naturally around the place our ancestors lived.
Paleo diet supporters believe that consuming Paleo diet can prevent obesity since fiber in the suggested food suppress hunger. This happens because the good bacteria in the colon start producing hunger suppressing hormones as a result of Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) produced when we eat fiber based food. If your hunger becomes less you are less likely to eat more and eat bad foods. Hence a major risk factor of the obesity is removed.
What Does Research Say?
Obesity has spread like a epidemic all over the world and researches are happening all around to find the solution to this problem. Since Paleo diet is supposed to reduce hunger researchers decided to study this phenomenon and find out if this is true.
However the findings are disappointing. Researchers from Imperial College London, studies both humans and Baboons and tried to find if fiber consumption reduced hunger. They wanted to check if Colon produces Short chain fatty acids when we eat more fiber.
They took the bacteria found in the feces of Humans and Baboons and tried to see how much SCFA was produced by the bacteria when exposed to high fiber foods in the labs. When they compared to the amount of SCFA produced by the same bacteria for starch they found that starch diet produced more SCFA. In other words starch based diet suppresses hunger more than fiber based diet. This report was published in the journal mBio.
Researchers concluded that actual Paleo diet consists of not only plant based food, but also animal protein and animal fats. Proteins are usually more hunger suppressing and can help in controlling obesity.
However there are several other studies which have shown that increasing fiber intake does contribute to controlling obesity and weight loss. Fiber is also useful in reducing bad cholesterol levels and keeps the blood sugar rise under control.