The Paleo diet is nothing like the modern diet which typically involves dairy, processed foods, junk foods and grains. Different studies confirm that the biggest culprit behind several diseases today is our highly processed, carb-intensive eating patterns. But what is the Paleo diet?
The Cave Man’s Diet or Paleo diet focuses on consuming lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy oils. Think “Nutrient Density” here.More people are switching to this diet because of its supposed health benefits. The diet is based on what our hunter-gatherer ancestor’s ate 10,000+ years ago. Its basic principle is that our bodies haven’t fully evolved yet to digest products of agricultural advancements such as grains and sugars. But what about the paleo diet? Is it even historically accurate?
According to the advocates of this diet, grains make us fat and unhealthy, and that we can be healthier by eating how our ancestors did. However, researchers are unable to prove what our ancestors exactly ate. So, does this mean that everything in the modern day Paleo diet is based on assumptions only? Well, we can’t really say that because the caveman’s diet was a side effect of availability.
What is the Paleo diet, really?
Obviously, processed foods didn’t exist during the Paleolithic age. Potato chips, cheese, doughnuts and cereal bars were surely not a part of the caveman’s food intake. One thing is for sure, they ate 100% unprocessed foods simply because those are the only available foods back then.
The Paleolithic diet is a highly-debatable topic among dietitians as well as anthropologists and historians. Nobody can provide hard evidence on what made up the caveman’s diet. Our ancestors were nomads, meaning they lived everywhere so it’s very likely that their diet differs by region. Some researchers are apprehensive about the accuracy of the diet’s evolutionary logic.
Also, critics argue that the hunter-gatherer’s average lifespan is shorter (about 20 years) and this may be due to the reduced calories in their diet and nutritional deficiencies. So the claim that the Paleo diet is the healthiest diet is still unknown and requires more research.
People who lived during the Stone Age years are considered to be hunters and gatherers. They ate pretty much whatever they can get their hands on. They most likely ate plant-based foods and meats. And since farming hasn’t been invented yet during that time, there was no corn or grain. There was no livestock either which is why it is assumed that the caveman never had a taste of dairy.
If you want to mimic the caveman’s diet but are afraid of the possible health repercussions, you can do a few healthy tweaks. Here’s what to eat on the Paleo diet. Load up on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Always choose lean grass-fed meat and eat lots of wild seafood. To make you get sufficient micronutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D, add low-fat dairy alternatives that are packed with nutrients.
For further insight into the Paleo diet, its historical accuracy, and how it all works…
Check out these articles: Does the Modern Day Paleo Reflect How Hunter Gatherers Lived 10,000+ Years Ago? Arguments Against the Paleo Diet and It’s Nutritional Accuracy The Importance of Physical Activity with The Paleo Diet