Today we wanted to talk about the Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is hot. Those who follow it are attempting, they say, to mimic our ancient ancestors—minus the animal-skin fashions and the total lack of technology, of course. The adherents eschew what they believe comes from modern agriculture (wheat, dairy, legumes, for instance) and rely instead on meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables—foods they claim are closer to what hunter-gatherers ate.
The trouble with that view, however, is that what they’re eating is probably nothing like the diet of hunter-gatherers.
Here are some of the reasons:
Today’s meat is nothing like that of the hunter-gatherer.
One problem with the paleo diet is that they’re assuming that the options available to our caveman ancestors are still there, but unless you’re willing to hunt your food, they’re not.
The animals bred by modern agriculture—which are fed artificial diets of corn and grains, and beefed up with hormones and antibiotics—have nutritional profiles far from wild game.
Pastured animals, raised on diets of grass and grubs, are closer to their wild relatives; even these, however, are nothing like the lean animals our ancestors ate.
Grains, legumes and other starch are not evil and were big part of our ancestors diets
Avoiding all starch may lead to quick weight loss at first, but it’s not what’s best for your long-term health. Working with emotional eating for the past 6 years, I consistently see how clients struggle to omit the carbs and instead end up binging on them. Choosing starches from whole-grains and root vegetables can be very nourishing for your sweet-tooth, not just your body.
Grains, legumes and root vegetables have been sustainable dietary choices for centuries.
Paleo obsessives might shun bread, but bread, as it has been traditionally made, is a healthy way to access a wide array of nutrients from grains, especially when fermented in the more nutritious sourdough bread (stay tuned for this workshop!!!).
This diet is not sustainable for the planet
Everyone seem to focus on eliminating straws but the real enemy to our environment is large-scale animal agriculture. It is in fact, a primary driver of climate change. We are eating and producing much more meat than ever before. The human population is on pace to hit 10 billion by the middle of the century; that’s 10 times as many people as there were in 1800.
Our body is not meant to eat meat, and the length of our digestive track is the proof
The morphology of mammals’ digestive tracts reflects their evolutionary adaption to different diets. The digestive tract of herbivorous mammals is generally much longer than that of carnivores, and they resemble the ones of humans. The increased length – especially of the small intestine – allows for more time for the cellulose of plant cell walls to be broken down by microorganisms. An intestine that is too long will not allow secretion of digested meat fast enough and would create all sorts of constipation, bacterial infections and, long-term, cancer.
If you prefer to watch an inspirational TedTalk about this, follow this link.
The only benefits of a Paleo Diet is that followers reduce their consumption of refined, industrially-made products, and that is great but it doesn’t mean that they should focus on fiberless, heavy meat products. There are many unrefined, wholesome foods in our online shop, check them out!
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