What is Paleo?

One of my favorite go to blogs is the The Paleo Diet Lifestyle. If you have not been there yet, go check it out, there are some really great articles that explain what Paleo is all about and how it can vastly improve many areas of your life.

What is Paleo?

“People in the developed world today have the safest, most consistent food supply in human history. We only know about famines from history textbooks, and we barely remember diseases of malnutrition like scurvy, pellagra, and rickets.

So why is our food making us fatter and sicker with every passing year?

From a Paleo perspective, the answer lies in evolution. For the 2.6 million years of the Paleolithic Era, humans were steadily evolving to eat animals (including their fat, organs, bones, skin, and eggs), wild-growing plants when they were in season, and small amounts of other foods like nuts and seeds, when we could get them. That was the original “Paleo diet.”

Relatively recently, the Agricultural Revolution brought a drastic shift to a diet based on grains and legumes. The sudden increase in reliably available food gave rise to a population and technology explosion that brought us the Roman Empire, then the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and all the technological, cultural, and scientific advances of modern civilization.

But all this progress came at a cost. From fossil evidence, we know that human health took a sharp downturn with the advent of agriculture. We found ways to minimize the damage by preparing our grains in certain ways, but we still didn’t regain our pre-Agricultural health.

Over the past 100 years, we’ve gone from bad to worse, forgetting even those traditional preparations in favor of refined grains, industrially processed seed oil, lab-created fats, and increasingly rapid advances in plant breeding like the genetic changes that brought our unsuspecting guts an entirely new species of wheat in the 1960s.

Then came the low-fat dogma: whole foods that have nourished healthy societies for generations are stigmatized, but all kinds of processed corn, wheat, and soy products get the stamp of approval. Never mind that traditional cultures around the globe eat plenty of saturated fat and cholesterol, without a hint of heart disease. Never mind that those foods are some of the most nutrient-dense choices around. Egg yolks are out; bran flakes are in.

Under this barrage of nutrient-poor junk food, our bodies have simply started to break. Obesity rates have soared, and “lifestyle diseases” like diabetes and heart disease are now the rule, not the exception. But there is a way out.

The basic principle of Paleo nutrition is to figure out which of these dietary changes have been harmless (like potatoes, in most cases) and which have been deadly (like the switch to vegetable oils). This isn’t about imitating cavemen. New foods aren’t automatically bad, but evolution gives us a useful framework for tying it all together and making sense of the scientific data. Using our evolutionary history as a guide, we can reclaim our bodies, our health, and our lives.”


One Response to “What is Paleo?”

  1. ~Felicia~ July 18, 2013 at 4:39 am #

    Can’t wait…

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