The search for the most sensible diet has led some groups of individuals to conclude that the answer might not actually lie in the technology-driven agricultural and food production processes. The notion may have come from the observation that diets in the modern age, no matter how sound they look on paper and how the theoretical foundations seem to suggest its unparalleled effectiveness, simply do not seem to work.
Hence, a great number of individuals are turning to the historical evolution of man himself to find the answers. Many believe they have finally found the key to unlocking the secret to a sensible diet – the Paleolithic, or simply Paleo, diet.
Understanding Human Pre-History
Aptly known as the Stone Age, man’s humble prehistoric beginnings started with the discovery of Home sapiens in Africa around 200,000 years ago and culminated with the writing of man’s historical developments around 195,000 years later with the invention of writing. This period roughly covers the Old Stone Age until the earliest parts of the Bronze Age.
This period of human pre-history covers more than 195,000 years of evolution spread across five different Eras. It should be noted however that the Homo sapiens is the anatomically ancient version of the modern man although there were other human-like beings in the form of the Neanderthals and Homo erectus. This can only mean that man’s prehistoric beginnings can never really be established with absolute certainty.
Basis for the Paleolithic Diet
Proponents of the Paleolithic diet or the Paleo diet forwards the idea that the modern man is genetically adapted to eat only those food items that are readily found in their local environment. The diet is anchored on the belief that the modern man’s digestive system and metabolic processes have not been able to evolve fast enough to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of food production and processing.
It is also believed that because the Homo sapiens is the prehistoric equivalent of the modern man and with close to 200,000 years between them, it is very unlikely that any significant evolutionary changes in the way man digests, processes, and utilizes the food that he eats will ever prepare him to handle the heavily processed food items that abounds in the modern world.
The hypothesis on evolutionary discordance suggests that many of the chronic diseases as well as degenerative health conditions that modern man faces every day, especially in Western civilizations, is brought about by a mismatch between the Stone Age genes of man and his modern-day adopted lifestyle.
As such, proponents of the Paleo diet recommend that modern day diets be as naturally close to the diets of Stone Age man as possible.
Critic to the Paleo Diet
Although on paper the Paleo diet seems foolproof, critics say that the diet is based on some loosely held assumptions on how prehistoric man would have eaten. Simply because it is pre-history, there is no way to ascertain the validity or truthfulness of these assumptions.
The Paleo Diet
The modern day reincarnation of prehistoric man’s Paleolithic diet can be summed up in just two words: high protein. The Paleo diet strongly advocates the use of lean proteins as well as appropriate servings of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats which can include nuts, fish oil, seeds, grass-fed meats, olive oil, and avocados.
Considered no-no’s are food items that are processed and food products that the Paleolithic man may have not been familiar with. These can include milk and milk-based products, grains, legumes, processed oils, alcohol, starches and refined sugars, and high-calorie processed food items.
Things you Need to Know about Paleo Diet
Here are some things you need to know about the Paleo diet should you be seriously considering of trying.
• Going on a Paleo diet means you will have to give up modern foods that include anything and everything that comes in a bag, box, or jar or anything that had been processed, even to a minimal extent.
• Going Paleo is all about taking on an entirely different lifestyle. You can think of yourself as a modern-day incarnation of Paleolithic man. The Paleo diet should not be viewed as a means to losing weight but rather as an integral part of leading a healthier life.
• It is technically impossible to follow the dietary patterns of prehistoric man. As such, it is more important to follow the general guideline of more lean proteins, healthy fats, and no processed foods.
Only time will tell if the Paleo diet is indeed the answer to the modern man’s quest for the most sensible diet. If that does happen, modern man might have learned something great from his Stone Age ancestor.
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