Monday, February 11, 2013

The Paleo Diet: Real or Dud?

When our ancestors (and I mean waaay back hunting and gathering ancestors) thrived physically, they did so by eating a strict diet of natural foods including lots of grass-fed meat, seafood, greens, and unprocessed nuts and grains. The diet was very simple because the technology to over-process food was not available at that time.

The premise of the Paleo diet is to focus on food like this that was being consumed in the Paleolithic era (the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago). This in essence means dropping all food that was developed during the agricultural era, like dairy products, cereals, and processed sugars.

Do not confuse the Paleo diet with the raw diet though. Our grandfathers did cook their food over the fire and all. However, the food was just in a much purer form; no additives we can’t pronounce, and no argument about the content. Everything came from plants or was fed plants or other animals.

Apparently, everything from acne to diabetes is much more now than it was back in those hunter-gatherer times. And obviously, if we are looking at reducing the occurrence of diseases, then it is worth a look.

Per the Paleo website (, the diet offers the following benefits:
  • Higher protein intake
  • Lower glycemic index of carbs
  • Higher fiber intake
  • Switching to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats 
  • Higher potassium and lower sodium intake
  • Dietary alkaline that balances dietary acid
  • Higher intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals

I do agree with this premise. We don’t get enough protein, we eat a lot of simple easily digested carbs, we don’t eat enough fiber, we eat too much of the wrong fats, we eat too much sodium from processed food, etc. I could go on and on.

Now, even though I agree with the idea behind this diet, it is very difficult to implement in modern times.  I mean, they don’t eat potatoes, dairy,  or peanuts. That is a pretty drastic measure I’m not sure my body can handle.

Here is a summary of the “Eat This Not Eat”. What do you think? Maybe if you’re considering a new diet…

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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