The Paleo Diet has been getting a lot of attention lately as a great meal plan for people to follow to achieve their optimal health. Most of the studies that have been done have looked at the average adult without specifying what effect this lifestyle could have on seniors.

Here we are going to look at how the Paleo Diet would affect a senior’s health.

What Is The Paleo Diet?

The basic premise behind the Paleo Diet is that if cavemen didn't eat it, neither should you.

This means that the only things you should be eating are things that could have been hunted or gathered during the cavemen times, such as grass-fed meat, fowl, eggs, oils, fish, nuts, leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and seeds.

Grains, such as cereals, pasta, and bread are not included at all in the Paleo Diet.

How Are A Seniors Dietary Needs Different?

As we age, our bodies are changing. Just like children have different dietary needs from teenagers and adults, seniors have their own special needs that affect their health.

Some of the reasons for these differing needs include:

  • Slower metabolism;
  • Changes to hearing, smell, taste, and sight;
  • Lower energy levels and physical function;
  • Changes to the digestive system including chronic gastritis and constipation; and Appetite changes, due to medication or lifestyle changes, such as not being able to prepare food.

Because of these changes, many seniors find themselves turning towards processed foods that last longer in the cupboard and freezer as well as quick and easy to prepare. This is leaving seniors deficient in vitamins A, B, C, D, and E, as well as folic acid and niacin.

How Can The Paleo Diet Benefit Seniors?

There are many ways that the Paleo Diet can be beneficial to seniors.

Reduce All-Cause Mortality

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Medicine discovered lean muscle mass to be inversely correlated with mortality in more than 1,000 male study subjects of average age of 78.

When you are following the paleo diet, you are consuming a lot of animal protein which is the best food to increase lean muscle mass.

The meats that are a part of the Paleo Diet all have a high concentration of essential and branch chained amino acids and creatine, which is critical for the creation and maintenance of lean muscle.

Defend Against Cognitive Decline

Elderly people tend to eat a diet that is high in carbs because they are easy and filling.

When we digest carbs, they are converted to sugar, which tends to cause our blood sugar levels to spike. A study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that patients over the age of 65 with high blood sugar levels were seven times more likely to suffer from dementia.

One way to keep blood sugars low is to limit a number of carbohydrates that are included in our diets. Sticking to the Paleo Diet, means that there are no refined grains in the diet and the few carbs that are being eaten are from natural sources such as sweet potatoes.

Support A Positive Mood

Many seniors are less active and spend a lot of time on their own. While it might just seem normal for elderly people to act this way, research shows high blood sugar counts, and low counts of vitamin D and omega-3 are all linked to low mood.

The Paleo approach to eating ensures that seniors are getting the essential vitamins and nutrients they need to have a better mood, healthier attitude, and the energy required to be active and keep their bodies healthy.

The belief that aging means you are going to gain weight, lose energy, and become depressed doesn't have to be the reality for all seniors. Choosing to eat healthier and follow the Paleo Diet can help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.