The Paleolithic diet (paleo), commonly referred to as the caveman diet is one of the most popular diets in the world today. And with good reason, it works!
In the last 100 years human nutrition has changed more than at any other time in history and the results of this change has been dramatic…increases in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, arthritis to name a few….
Going back to a Caveman diet makes a lot of sense, it eliminates many of today’s food allergens and essentially involves eating only fruit vegetables, and meat – no grains or milk. On the assumption that cavemen were not farmers or had domesticated animals.
I am essentially a fan of the Paleo diet, for anyone eating a western food diet it would be a dramatic improvement in nutrition. However, I also have a number of issues with it….
Firstly, the elimination of whole grains and raw milk. Both grains (when correctly prepared) and raw milk are two of the best sources of nutrition available to humans on the planet. For example, wheat germ, has been shown to reduce cancer tumours in size by over half in 2 weeks. Raw milk is natures best source of glutathione, an antioxidant and detoxifier that helps keep us young and healthy. The health benefits of these two major nutritional players are well documented and should not be over looked providing intolerance’s don’t exist.
Please let me reiterate, milk needs to be raw milk, as pasteurisation destroys much of the B vitamin content, enzymes and significantly reduces glutathione content. And grains, need to be in their whole form (not flour) and soaked prior to cooking or sprouting.
Do we really need to take our diets as far back as to the caveman?
I don’t think so. We don’t all look like cavemen do we? You’ve only got to look around the world to see that our genetics have adapted to our environments. Just take skin colour for example, there is a full spectrum of colours depending on where your ancestors lived.
Have we not learned anything about nutrition in the last 20,000 years?
I think we have. I also believe we should integrate the nutritional knowledge of eons into this base system of fruit, vegetables and meat. Thereby maximising macro and micro nutrients into our diets and cells for a joyful, purpose led life.
Secondly, the Paleolithic diet makes no allowances for genetic individuality.
We now know our gene expression actually changes quite quickly – this is the field of epigentics. For example, using nutrition you can change the gene expression of an animal within one generation.
Our body’s adapt to our environments and have adapted to our nutritional environment. Inuits are better suited to high fat/protein diets as their body’s adapted to living off seals. African tribesmen are better suited to complex carbohydrates as the predominant calories in their diet came in the form of millet.
Therefore, we need to be eating right for our genetics and establish the right macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrate) for us! It can be as simple as thinking about where your genetics come from and mimic the dietary ratios of your ancestors. Therefore, I have termed, it ‘Ancestral Eating’ – meaning you predominately eat what your ancestors have eaten.
At BePure I like to help people fine tune this process even further, so by joining the BePure site for free you’ll get access to my special Macronutrient test which will help you establish where you sit on the genetic continuum. Click here to join for FREE.
In health and happiness