Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Eat like a caveman!

The newest diet craze is a fun one that can get history buffs arguing and talking for hours.  This is called the Paleo Diet.  The diet is named after the diet or the regular foods that someone during the Paleolithic age would have eaten.  The main site, of the person who brought up this diet, has evidence to support his diet theory that suggests that the version of the human being that lived during the Paleolithic age, was the most perfect example of a physically fit human.


In its roots, the diet is very correct as human beings tend to be more healthy with regular exercise and whole foods without antibiotics, growth hormones or other chemicals and artificial things added in.  Of course some wild strawberries are better for you than some store bought strawberries that were picked green and then gassed to look red.  But, as science has already shown us, organic is not necessarily better.

The diet looks at what human ate from about 1.5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, which they consider the end of this age due to the introduction of agriculture.  The diet consists of "mainly fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils."-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

Some of you may start thinking... "but some ancient civilizations had things like sugar, potatoes and even oils."  But then you would be one of the antagonists of this diet.  (One of the many.)  Medical experts, dietitians and even anthropologists have argued against this diet.  The idea that people were healthiest while being a hunter/gatherer isn't entirely accurate when one looks at the diseases, physical issues or even decreased life span, compared to modern peoples and diets.  Another issue with this diet is that evolution has shown that  the human body needs some things such as salt, for cell osmosis, sugar, for cell regeneration, and oils for brain and nerve development. 

Some issues that some contemporaries have noticed points to some origins of foods which contradict what the diet points to.  For example, the potato was first introduced as a food source in Peru around 10,000 BCE.  This would suggest that potatoes were available for Paleolithic people.  Also, a history issue is that Neolithic peoples in Southern Europe or even what is now Greece, who had civilizations around 10,000 BCE, may have had access to olive oil, which isn't considered Paleolithic diet appropriate.  (Even though some Paleo diet experts are suggesting that cooking with oil is advised anyway.)  Water is the only allowed drink and all dairy and carbohydrates are not allowed.

Now, while this is being considered a "fad diet", much like the "South Beach Diet", I would advise that if you wish to follow this you do it carefully.  Every commercial diet plan, quick weight loss concept or miracle diet pill shows only those with the greatest achievement of the plan but never those still working.  Have you ever had a friend or known someone who was on a diet for more than a year?  Sometimes diets work differently on different people and as such means that while that woman on the infomercial may have taken 2 of those magical weight loss pills and lost 200 pounds, that may not happen to you.  So, with this diet, be careful and be warned that if it doesn't seem to be working, try something else, but by all means, please read all you can on any diet or plan before you jump in head first.

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