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Paleo Lab Testing 101: The Top 3 Blood Tests You Need

by Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Home/Blog/Protect Your Mental Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thinking about lab testing to see how healthy you are?…

There are 3 major lab tests you need to do if you’re transitioning to a Paleo diet.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I’m going to discuss the impacts lab tests you need to be checking and the results you need to be aiming for in order to be successful with your Paleo plan, including the impacts of paleo on cholesterol, inflammation, insulin and blood sugar.

Part 2 of the series will cover roadblocks to your success and what barriers might be preventing you from getting to the next level. To begin, let’s discuss the Paleo diet, or as I like to call it—the Paleo template.

Great Lab Testing Guarantee: The Paleo Template

I don’t like the word diet.

While that may be the common vernacular, I like to use the word template instead. A template is less constricting and provides more flexibility.

It gives us the ability to adjust our macronutrients – proteins, fats, and carbs (PFC) – according to our energy levels and metabolic needs (specifically our carbohydrate intake):

Using Paleo as a template allows this room for variation and adjustment based on individual needs.

Paleo = Anti-inflammatory

When we talk about Paleo, what we’re really talking about is anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, low-toxin foods; foods that we’ve had enough time to evolutionarily adapt to.

Our Standard American Diet today consists of grains and a lot of refined sugar (non-Paleo foods), so our goal is to eliminate these foods and reap the health benefits of improved blood sugar, energy levels, weight normalization, and more.

The Paleolithic era began about 2 million years ago, and we’ve only been consuming grains for about ten thousand years, a very small percentage of that time!

We evolved for millions of years as hunter-gatherer societies, which consumed lots of meat and bone marrow, starchy tubers, and fruit and vegetable carbohydrates (not grain-based). But the evolution to grain-based diets has been at a rapid pace, which is highly problematic because our bodies haven’t had enough time to adapt to those foods. Some people can handle neolithic foods better than others, but for people who are sick or inflamed, grains are dietary kryptonite.

A Paleo template will bring your body back in-line with its evolutionary expectations.

Lab Testing 101: The Top 3 Blood Markers to Track When Going Paleo

As my patients begin a Paleo template, I run labs to check for 3 key markers of health: inflammation, blood sugar, and lipids.

Testing these markers will ensure that their Paleo plan is making them healthier, and allows us to adjust as needed. To access software that can help you track your lab and bio-markers, go to HeadsUpHealth and sign up for a free account.

Inflammation Markers

Inflammation is a sign that your body is breaking down faster than it’s building up because of some type of physical, chemical, or emotional stressor. These can include the following:

The toxins mentioned above have only been around for 40 to 80 years, grains have been around for 10,000 years, and flour only for 200 years. People think organic food is a fad, but if you look at history beyond 60 years ago, everything was organic. We didn’t douse our foods in pesticides. There was no GMO. Cutting out these toxic foods will significantly improve inflammatory markers. Going Paleo and placing an emphasis on food quality is a great start to cutting these things out.

When looking for inflammation markers through lab testing, I like to see:

 

 

Blood Sugar Markers

 

 

Lipid Markers

 

 

Conclusion

The Paleo template is a recipe for success because of its emphasis on the foods that we’ve had more time to adapt to: meats, vegetables, fruits, tubers, and healthy fats. These foods are lower toxicity, drive less inflammation, and have higher nutrient density. These foods that we’ve evolved to favor will improve biomarkers of health and disease, and the labs mentioned above are a great way to quantify progress on your Paleo protocol.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where I’ll cover roadblocks to success on your Paleo template.

Lab Work photo licensed under the Creative Commons.

HOW DO YOU PALEO?

The Paleo movement incorporates several different optimizing perspectives for helping you improve your health, all based on the latest science. Everyone is different. We want to support you in understanding your unique genetic makeup, symptoms and health goals so you can choose the path that is right for you.

Download our roadmap and receive our newsletter to help you design your Paleo lifestyle to support your unique health, body comp and wellness goals!

justinmarchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin witnessed chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity first hand while working in a surgical center at the University of Massachusetts. This experience shifted his focus from conventional medicine to a more holistic or natural approach to healing, where the underlying cause of his patient’s health issues are addressed and not just medicated and surgically removed.