What is the Paleo Diet and why could it be best for modern humans?
A diet consisting of lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables mimics the diets of our ancient ancestors and, proponents believe, best suits our genetics and digestion. Such a diet, embodied in the Paleo Diet Plan, can be very healthy, but challenging to stick to because it is so restrictive. The high protein content keeps you sated and you acquire tons of fiber and nutrients through fresh raw produce. The diet puts no limits on the amounts of fruit, vegetables and lean meat you may eat–but it does forbid the intake of any food that does not fall into those categories.
This particular diet makes a lot of sense to me. Bread and other carb-filled products are not really food, but filler. Feeding our body with what we need is a must. Anything else will cause you to gain weight without providing you with what you need.
Unlike most diets, the Paleo Diet is guaranteed to work if followed without making exceptions.
How healthy were our ancestors?
In general, Paleolithic humans consumed:
- three times more produce than the average American,
- more fiber,
- more protein,
- more omega-3 fatty acids,
- more unsaturated fat,
- more vitamins and minerals,
- and much less saturated fat and sodium.
Of course, a lot of people who take part in it will wind up regaining the weight, but only because of reasons such as being “emotional eaters”. Emotional eaters eat out of boredom. And bored eaters choose often what isn´t included in the Paleo Diet.
Of course, a lot of animals providing meat for our ancestors are now extinct.
The glyptodon of South America may have been protected from other animals through its shell, but when human migration occurred, its days became numbered.
Human hunters may have also caused the extinction of the mammoth.
But some are around that were around 10,000 years ago. Others are similar to what our ancestors consumed.
Seafood unlike farm animals (the degenerate fat-containing version of the leaner wild game) is not domesticated and contains very important minerals and vitamins.
Not too far from the wild turkey, it is a lean choice of protein-filled meat.
Wild game is excellent which has a lot to do with their diet and exercise.
Recent studies conclude:
Awareness of the ancestral human diet might advance traditional nutrition science. The human genome has hardly changed since the emergence of behaviourally-modern humans in East Africa 50-100,000 years ago; genetically, man remains adapted for the foods consumed then.
So what is keeping the current populations from following such a diet?
1) Making the time to prepare and purchase the right foods is a must. This diet only works when there is zero "cheating".
2) Pricing and marketing/availability play a role. Whatever your children will be targeted with in terms of advertisement is going to be what they request. Most of which does not fall into the category of Paleo-friendly.
3) Everyday stress causes people to fall by the wayside and go with what is easier to make and to get.
It is your choice to give it a try. And if you do and stick with it, your overall health and everything positive that comes with it is likely to improve.
So here comes the confusion:
What did our Paleolithic ancestors consume?
The best available estimates suggest that those ancestors obtained about 35% of their dietary energy from fats, 35% from carbohydrates and 30% from protein.
What are we taught to actually consume?
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that you consume between 45 and 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 to 35 percent from protein and between 20 and 35 percent of calories from fat.
Which is correct?
So far all studies indicate that the Paleo diet works.
Here is another example:
A 2007 study concludes:
A Palaeolithic diet may improve glucose tolerance independently of decreased waist circumference.
If this works so well, why are not more people participating?
See also: Is the blood type diet right for rh negatives?
The ancestral human diet: what was it and should it be a paradigm for contemporary nutrition?
A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease.