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PaleoQ™: the Paleo Quotient

PaleoQ™ (Paleo Quotient) is a score designed to assess a person's overall health status. An average American adult should have a PaleoQ of 100; higher is better.

PaleoQ is intended for informational and entertainment purposes and for raising public awareness about the health benefits of a Paleo lifestyle. PaleoQ is not a diagnostic tool.

Calculate Your PaleoQ

Calculate your PaleoQ with the handy calculator below (Javascript required). Be sure to choose the correct units. To be meaningful, PaleoQ should be calculated while you are not on any medications .

No information is sent to Paleo for Life.

Gender
Fasting Blood Glucose
Resting Blood Pressure, Systolic mmHg
Resting Blood Pressure, Diastolic mmHg
HDL
Triglycerides
Waist Circumference

PaleoQ

The technically inclined may wish to look at the Javascript source code of this page to see how the PaleoQ is calculated.

Interpreting PaleoQ Scores

A tongue-in-cheek interpretation of PaleoQ scores is shown below. One thing to keep in mind is that an average American is not in the best of health, so a score of 100 is not something to celebrate. Your goal should be a PaleoQ score of 120 or above.

  • 140 - Superman
  • 120 - Modern Caveman
  • 100 - Average
  • 80 - Vegan
  • 60 - Couch Potato

Measuring Health Markers

  • Fasting Blood Glucose

    The fasting blood glucose measures the amount of glucose in your bloodstream after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. It is often the first test done to check for prediabetes and diabetes. The glucose test is included in the Basic Metabolic Panel or Comprehensive Metabolic Panel lab tests; be sure to use results taken while fasting.

    The fasting blood glucose can also be checked at home using one of several inexpensive glucose monitors typically used by diabetes patients.

  • Resting Blood Pressure

    The blood pressure is one of the vital signs that are often measured when you visit a clinic or a doctor's office. There are many inexpensive blood pressure monitors available for home use. Many supermarkets and drugstores also have automated booths in the pharmacy section that will take free blood pressure measurements.

  • HDL and Triglycerides

    HDL and Triglycerides are components of the lipid panel lab test that your doctor may order as part of your physical. It is required that lipid panel tests be done under fasting conditions, so if your doctor has asked you to fast before taking a blood test, chances are you had the lipid panel test done.

    HDL and Triglycerides can typically only be measured using lab tests. There are attempts to produce home-use devices to measure them, but the accuracy is still not up to par yet.

  • Waist Circumference

    Measure your waist circumference by locating your hip bone and snugly (but without compressing the skin) placing a tape measure around your bare abdomen. Relax your abdominal muscles and do not hold the gut in while doing the measurement. Make sure you are not holding your breath and that the tape measure is not at an angle around your waist.

    The waist circumference is considered to be a more meaningful indicator of overall health than the body mass index (BMI) .

Improve Your PaleoQ

To improve your PaleoQ score, do a combination of the following:

  • Reduce your fasting blood glucose level

    The fasting blood glucose level is reduced by reducing the overall consumption of carbohydrates.

    Some Paleo dieters have reported a gradual trending up of the fasting blood glucose level after long periods of a very low-carb regimen. This is fine as long as your HbA1c levels are low. In fact, the HbA1c level is considered a better indicator of your blood glucose level as it is representative of the average blood glucose level over 2 to 3 months.

  • Reduce your resting blood pressure

    The most effective way to reduce blood pressue is by reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates, since eating carbohydrates causes the body to retain water. Contrary to popular belief, the amount of dietary salt intake has minimal effect on blood pressure in most people; only a select few salt-sensitive individuals may see meaningful reduction in blood pressure by reducing salt intake.

  • Increase your HDL level

    The HDL level is improved by reducing the amount of dietary carbohydrates and by increasing the consumption of natural saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, lard, or tallow.

  • Reduce your triglycerides level

    In laymen's terms, the triglycerides level is a reflection of the amount of toxins that the liver has to process. The more toxins you ingest, the higher your triglycerides. Typical toxins that contribute to elevated triglyceride levels include cigarette smoke, alcohol, and fructose .

    The triglycerides level is reduced by quiting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and reducing dietary carbohydrate intake, particularly fructose. This means specifically the reduction in consumption of sugar and high fructose corn syrup products. In addition, fish oil supplements have been found to help reduce triglyceride levels in many people who do not otherwise get sufficient omega-3 fatty acid intake.

  • Reduce your waist circumference

    Reducing the waist circumference essentially means reducing the amount of visceral fat in the body. The most effective way of reducing visceral fat is by reducing carbohydrate intake.

Design of PaleoQ

PaleoQ was designed to combine the measurements of key health markers into a single, meaningful number. The health markers used to calculate the PaleoQ score are selected based on their recognition by health researchers as being important predictors of overall health and susceptibility to chronic diseases. The selected health marker are:

  • Fasting blood glucose level
  • Resting blood pressure, systolic and diastolic
  • Lipid profile components of HDL and triglycerides
  • Waist circumference

The astute reader will recognize that these are the same indicators used to diagnose the metabolic syndrome as defined by the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

The PaleoQ formula is designed so that an average American adult will have a PaleoQ score of 100. A higher score indicates better overall health status and reduced susceptibility to chronic diseases. The score should only be considered meaningful when you are not on any medications , as some medications may only be treating the symptoms and can potentially be masking the underlying systemic health issues.

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