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Recent Diet Fad: Paleo Diet

August 2, 2011
A Blast From The Past

A Blast From The Past

In the quest for optimum health and weight, should humans consider looking back at what their ancestors consumed? That’s the theory proposed by the “Paleo Diet” (aka, Caveman Diet), which recommends taking cues from the age of hunters and gatherers and leaving some of our modern food groups behind.

The idea is simple: You eat a diet that’s gluten-free, but rich in lean, organic meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts. As much as possible should be sourced locally. You exclude grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar and processed oils.

Perhaps you have heard of the Paleo Diet. Essentially we are to return to our original caveman roots, and incorporate a diet which is relatively pure and simple. Apparently not enough research has been done on the effectiveness of the diet to satisfy experts, but it has been described that

Eating like this is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism, and reducing inflammation within the body. It’s been doing great things for my energy levels, body composition and performance in the gym. It also helps to minimize my risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases and conditions, like diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Well, out of all the diets I’ve featured thusfar (and the many many more that I’ve heard about and/or tried myself) this seems the least offensive and ridiculous. The official website bills itself as “the world’s healthiest diet…is based on the simple understanding that the best human diet is the one to which we are best genetically adapted.” I am also impressed with the idea of a focus on eating locally and sustainably, which is not only easier on the body but also on our environment. It seems like a health-conscious diet, instead of a body weight/image obsessed one, which is rare and also promotes putting an end to “lifestyle-based diseases” (such as diabetes and heart disease) which is fantastic. Although I don’t have any firsthand experience with the Paleo Diet, the mission behind it sounds very promising. What do you think about returning to our evolutionary roots?

(Photo courtesy of Fat Dad, a fantastic site about weight loss which unfortunately has not been updated recently…)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2011 9:10 pm

    Yes! For me this does not seem like a “diet” in the sense of a weight loss regimen that you binge on until you loose a few pounds and stop caring but rather crucial maxims of a healthy lifestyle. I have never heard plant heavy, local, not uber refined food eating combined with exercise as Paleo/Caveman and frankly I don’t think you have to look that far back to see humans eating this way. This is how people eat in non-industrial areas of the world currently and this is how people ate up until the last century even in hyper-industrialized cities. This is how we as humans are evolutionarily programed to be. This is also how we are supposed to treat our environment. It is sustainable for us and for the world we live in. Labeling it as foreign as Paleo makes it seem like this abnormal lifestyle which obscures the fact that our current eating habits are in fact the abnormal ones.

  2. Desi Valentine permalink
    August 2, 2011 9:26 pm

    I like the idea of this diet – healthy eating instead of metered starvation sound fantastic. At food-allergy-central over here, though, whole grains and legumes are a huge energy source for us. Also: Are there any concerns about the health effects of eating so much meat?

  3. August 2, 2011 9:44 pm

    The point that I take away from the whole Paleo diet is to eat “Real Food” and work to eliminate/minimize foods that cause us to be unhealthy. I think that is different for many people. Some tolerate grains and dairy well, others like myself do not. Rice isn’t evil in my opinion but it sure does make my butt get big. 🙂

  4. fedora permalink
    August 3, 2011 4:16 am

    I agree with hungcarla!
    I’ve heard bits about this diet but also have just found that I feel best when I eat in this manner.
    More importantly I would like to bring back the cavemen fashion. Betty and Wilma look fabulous.

  5. jenmarie permalink
    August 3, 2011 2:13 pm

    I’ve always been skeptical of the word “diet” as it suggests something you do for a short amount of time and “go off” when you’ve reached some predetermined weight loss goal. However, there is nothing in the Paleo diet that can’t become a part of a sustained healthy lifestyle…it really comes down to common sense, which we all need to start using around the foods we eat and the environment we live in. What could be better than choosing the foods nearest to you? Helping the environment around you to thrive?
    The problem I see is that, realistically, we don’t live the caveman’s lifestyle anymore. We aren’t hunting down healthy, lean, free-range meats ourselves…we aren’t gathering vegetables/fruits/nuts from the forest behind our abode. Instead we have to trust that conscientious farmers are engaged in practices that keep our bodies and environments safe and healthy. Luckily, in most cases, local, small-scale farmers have chosen to do just this.
    We also must consider that if we all started to eat the amount of animal proteins suggested by this diet, it would be nearly impossible to raise enough free-range, grass-fed, organic meats to feed everyone. It takes an incredible amount of energy to raise meat when compared to a plot of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Our population has simply become too large to support a meat heavy diet each day. Cavemen lived in an environment with more fresh, healthy meats than they could ever consume. Today, the unethical meat raising practices we see around the country are the direct result of too much demand. So, all I’m wondering is, are there enough ethical meat growers in this country to sustain a diet like this…or are we past the days when a meat centered diet is supportable?

  6. sexy curmudgeon permalink
    August 3, 2011 8:21 pm

    That inability to be applicable on a large scale is exactly the criticism that Michael pollan take for his support of grass -fed, free range meat ” in moderation.” Again, it is not only environmentally unsound, but economically restrictive. I feel like so much of the criticism and praise for these diets forget that at a fundamental level, if you can afford organic grass fed beef and freshly prepared fruits and veggies, you are probably not the one that needs it.

  7. Mallory Janecka permalink
    November 2, 2012 12:01 pm

    The good thing about the caveman diet is that it results into a leaner body. ^

    Our internet site
    http://www.foodsupplementdigest.com/saw-palmetto-benefits/

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