This is a contributed post about the Paleo Diet by Phil Tucker with extremefitnessresults.com
Take a look around. No doubt you’ve heard that the national obesity rates are skyrocketing, and the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rising every year. A greater percentage of our population is suffering from heart disease and cancer then ever before, and all indications point toward this health problem getting worse – not better. Yet many of these health issues have only begun to explode over the last thirty or forty years. Why is that? For some, the solution to this growing problem lies with what we eat, and they’ve turned to something called the Paleo Diet to fix what’s been going so wrong.
The Paleo Diet
The idea behind the Paleo Diet is a simple one. For most of our species’ existence (about 120 million years), we ate the same thing. For millennia, we ate fish, animal protein, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. As hunter gatherers we didn’t have crops, and thus never ate wheat, barley, rice, or any other grain. Instead, we simply foraged and ate what we could find or kill. Our bodies naturally adapted to this kind of food, and learned to thrive on it.
Ten thousand years ago, however, we created the agricultural revolution. Suddenly we were eating grains in large amounts, domesticating animals, building villages, towns, cities. We went from eating fresh food every day to storing grain for winter. Populations grew, and humanity expanded across the land. Within the last hundred years, the amount of processed, sugary food has exploded, and today we eat things that our ancestors wouldn’t even have recognized as edible.
How have our bodies reacted to this new food? Most people have heard of gluten intolerance that prevent some people from eating wheat, and everybody has heard of lactose intolerance that prevents people from drinking milk. What they don’t know however is that even if you don’t register a strong reaction, your body can still struggle and grow lethargic. Our energy levels drop, our weight gain skyrockets, and out ability to deal with the amount of calories we consume is compromised.
Why? It’s simple: for over a hundred thousand years (and longer if you go back to Cro Magnum man, Neanderthals, etc), we ate a hunter gatherer diet. Now we eat something completely different, and while 10,000 years might seem like a long time to you, it’s not to our body’s digestive system. We simply haven’t adapted yet to consume this new food, and that’s what’s giving rise to so many problems with our digestion and health.
What’s the solution? To go back to the diet our body’s are optimally evolved to handle. Fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, animal protein, and fish. If you cut out the sugar, the processed food, and the grains, you will probably soon feel the same increase in energy, experience the same drop in fat, and the surge in vitality that all the other Paleo following folks have reported. Why fight your body’s biology? Work with it instead, and reap the benefits.