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Jeb Bush Drops Pounds With The Paleo Diet — But Is It Healthy?

Jeb Bush Drops Pounds With The Paleo Diet — But Is It Healthy?

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has embraced the “caveman style” of eating to lose weight. (Photo: Getty Images)

Even politicians are going Paleo.

And for Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and potential U.S. presidential candidate, it’s helped him achieve weight loss.

Bush, 62, has lost around 30 pounds since December by abiding by the Paleo diet, which is based off the foods ancient humans supposedly used to eat. It involves consuming lean meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, dairy, and cereal grains. The diet is especially popular among those in the CrossFit community, but it’s also gained steam among the general public.  

Of course, it’s no secret that the campaign trail is the opposite of a healthy food crawl. Doughnuts, pie, and deep-fried foods are often waiting at every diner or coffee shop a candidate makes a stop at, Reuters reported. But Bush has been eating grilled chicken salads for lunch, and his snacks of choice include nuts and seeds. 

However, as The New York Times points out, the diet isn’t exactly leaving Bush’s stomach satisfied: “I am always hungry,” he said. 

But is the Paleo diet actually a good option for weight loss?  

“It all depends on where they’re coming from. If someone is eating McDonald’s and ice cream every day and they move to a clean Paleo diet, they will lose weight very fast,” nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RN, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life, tells Yahoo Health. “If someone already eats clean, the results won’t be as fast, but it will still be effective.” 

There hasn’t been a ton of research on the Paleo diet. Some small, short-term studies show possible heart and weight loss benefits, but don’t address the effects of following the diet over the long-term. 

“I don’t think of it as a quick fix; most people adopt Paleo as a lifestyle and stick with the principles of it,” Glassman says. “Many things about Paleo are great, and it is extreme for some people, but it includes many things everyone can follow like focusing on healthy fats, vegetables, high-quality lean protein, no sugar or process packaged foods.” 

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