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So Easy, a Paleolithic Man Could Do It

Oct 11, 2011 06:10PM ● Published by Anonymous

According to many scientists and health experts, human evolution has not kept pace with the culinary revolution—the over-consumption of sugar and salt, and refined, processed and “fast” foods, etc. Some believe we should look back, way back, to the nutritional habits of our Paleolithic ancestors who were forced to hunt and gather their food without the luxury, or the burden, of the preservatives and additives we now rely on to keep our food everlastingly fresh.

The Paleolithic period is what we used to call the Stone Age…meaning the earliest evidence of man using stone tools. And forget the mythical Flintstones; this was pretty primitive stuff about 100,000 years ago. They didn’t farm, they didn’t grow, they didn’t raise cattle, they didn’t milk anything, they only ate what they could pick, trap, or hunt down. So actually duplicating what the caveman ate is impossible. Even Whole Foods doesn’t stock woolly mammoth meat. But what is available to us is fresh, unprocessed foodstuff—and that is at the heart of the caveman craze.

Many diseases, especially those involving inflammation—osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes—and others like cancer or obesity are (at the very least) exacerbated by diets high in refined carbohydrates. So, it makes perfect sense that the caveman or Paleolithic diet, which involves preparing foods low in glycemic carbs (forget rice, candy, potatoes, sodas) is attractive to not only those afflicted by disease, but anyone who wants to improve their overall health and/or lose some weight. One study posted on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research website offers support that the diet regime may improve glycemic control and decrease cardiovascular risk factors. It might also be advisable to follow a similar exercise routine as Stone Age humans. No doubt, hunting and gathering used up quite a few calories.

Start your own caveperson quest by gathering these:
• Organic meats, grass-fed cattle, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish
• Non-starchy vegetables (no potatoes!)
• Fresh fruits and juices (in limited quantities)
• Limit dairy, processed junk foods, sweets, salt, sugar, grain, and legumes
• Trade in the milk for unsweetened almond or coconut milk
• Alcohol? Some say moderation is ok, others say no way.

The pluses and minuses of living a Caveman Diet
While the Caveman Diet seems to be nutritious (food choices are nutrient dense), easy (no measuring/counting), and provides the right nutrients to continue strenuous physical activity, it has its downsides. For one, this diet, like many other deviations from the common American cuisine (high fat, high sodium, quick, and easy), requires some major adjustments. Eliminating things like sugar and dairy products can be a rough concept for some. Also, shopping on the perimeter of the grocery store where most healthy, fresh foods are located—produce and meats—can be quite costly.


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