“Diet” is a term often used by fad artists and marketing snakes. But let’s look at it from a more primitive, simpler point of view, the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group. Let’s talk about a more holistic approach. That means a wider view of, or a more long term strategy to proper eating. The paleolithic diet (paleo diet for short) fits into this category. It’s not something you do to lose a few pounds before the summer (though you could do so) it’s a belief that humans these days eat wrong.
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors lived as hunter-gatherers. Although that’s long time, many believe our genetics haven’t changed much since then including the genes that control how your body breaks down foods. There is some evidence to support this. Let’s look at a comparison:
The further we go back in time, the more muscular, agile, athletic, and less prone to modern heart disease, obesity and diabetes people become. They become more active too – food didn’t leap from online to your home or the shop to your car.
Compare that to today… well, the reason we have sites like this is because everyone is overweight, out of shape, stressed out, unhappy, sleep deprived and suffering.
So what happened?
Well those who follow a paleo diet believe that agriculture is one of the “bad guys”. You see humans have been around far, far longer than they’ve been farming. Once we started farming, it revolutionised society. People didn’t have to follow food sources (after naturally growing vegetables, fruits and the animals that are drawn to them). We could settle down and make food around us – enough to last all year round.
The problem. according to the paleo diet, is that our bodies haven’t yet adjusted to eating all the grains that we we were farming. We’ve evolved to eat meat, vegetables and seasonal fruits but let me ask what you’ve eaten today? I can bet grains were on the menu. Bread, pasta, rice, corn, and so on.
The Paleo Diet is one approach to going back to eating how some believe we’re biologically designed to eat. If we cut out the grains, almost all processed foods (common to any healthy eating plan), and dairy (part of the agricultural revolution too) what are we left with?
Meat – strict paleo eaters would make sure it’s grass-fed rather than grain-fed.
Fowl – Chicken, duck, turkey.
Fish – Wild fish – there can be health problems with farmed fish.
Vegetables & Tubers – As many vegetables as you want and cooked pretty much how you want (no deep frying!). Tubers are higher in calories and perfect for after workouts.
Oils – Natural such as olive oil, coconut oil.
Fruits – Natural sugar source.
Nuts – Don’t eat many bags of them if you’re trying to lose weight.
I don’t know about you but that list doesn’t look so bad to me. Do you think you’re built to eat like a cavewoman or caveman? Do some research and give it a try!