The Paleo diet is based on the ancestral human diet. The Paleo diet is about eating the foods that would have been eaten by hunter-gatherers in the past. It is well-known that Paleolithic humans were smaller, leaner and many believe lived longer than modern humans.
Paleo is an abbreviation of Paleolithic, referring to the Paleolithic Era. The Paleolithic era is commonly referred to as the stone-age era. The Paleolithic era began about 2.5 million years and ended 10,000 years ago. Hunter-gatherers were forced to survive during that period with a number of foods that were found in nature. The foods of this era consisted of lean meats, fowl, fish, eggs, fresh vegetables, nuts and fresh fruit.
The Paleo diet is a unique diet not only because it involves focusing on foods that would have been eaten by hunter-gatherers but also because it may end up improving our life and health. Scientists have found the hunter-gatherers had never suffered from chronic diseases or illnesses and also they were known to have muscles, were agile and more athletic.
According to the most recent statistics,
More than a billion people in the world are affected by diabetes and obesity including one hundred million Americans.
More than half of Americans are overweight.
35% to 40% of the deaths in America are caused due to heart disease.
Annually, there are around 13 million strokes worldwide
Around 75 million Americans have high blood pressure.
Around 35 million Americans have high cholesterol levels.
Around 20 million Americans have type 2 diabetes.
These information are reasons adequate for us to take a closer look at the kind of food we eat. The Agricultural and animal husbandry revolution began 10,000 years ago has brought intense changes to the way people ate and the kind of food they had. As human’s knowledge grew, they also learned various ways to produce and process food more efficiently. As a result, natural food sources with which humans were used to for millions of years, were replaced by processed food. Mass production of processed food became common and their consumption was common. The people started to prefer processed food over the natural food sources. Unfortunately, with all of our progress, we have lost our way from the path planned for us by nature.
Due to this loss of humanity’s original way of life, the human body has been forced to adapt to the changes unexpectedly and needlessly. This may have caused many of the diseases or illnesses of modern times as the body have not fully adapted to modern food stuff.
Scientific evidence shows that the fundamental human physiology has changed very little in 40,000 years. So we are Stone Ager people living in the modern age. Genetically the human bodies are almost identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors in terms of biochemistry and human physiology. Our bodies are well adapted to the food that had to be hunted, fished, or gathered from the nature.
So, what did the hunter-gatherer ancestors really eat?
By examining the ancestral human remains and studying the diets of modern-day hunter-gatherers, biologists have gained insights into the ancestral human diet. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate wild meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, insects, nuts, seeds, and wild berries. Their diet provided them with good health, sound bodies, and perfect teeth and bones.
Paleolithic people ate no dairy products.
Paleolithic people hardly ever had cereal grains.
They never salted their food.
The only possible refined sugar they may have used is wild honey.
Lean meat from wild animals dominated paleolithic diets.
The consumption of carbohydrates by paleolithic people is very low. Their carbohydrate source came from non-starchy wild fruits and plants.
The main fats in the Paleolithic diets were omega3 fats, polyunsaturated fats and healthy monounsaturated fats from lean meat, fish and seafood. They didn’t have trans-fats and certain saturated fats like what we usually get from modern day processed food.
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
Reduce hypertension by reducing salt (sodium) intake, resulting in a better sodium/potassium ratio.
Improve insulin sensitivity, since foods are eaten with lower glycemic loads.
Improve bone density through increased levels of micronutrient intake
Reduce inflammation by increasing the body’s anti-inflammatory profile through an improved omega 3:6 ratio.
Reduce exposure to food toxins and pollutants through the selecting organic and naturally reared products.
Improve nutrient absorption
People these days are living longer than ever before because they have access to more health treatments and medicine. The Paleolithic people would have lived longer than the average person would today if they had access to the many health treatments that people have today. The Paleo diet will reduce weight, controls the weight, give your body a stronger build and give lifelong health.