Paleo Diet: Is it for You?
Gluten free I get, but what is the paleo diet? Is this an evolution thing? First we learned about "survival of the fittest" and the process of evolution. Climate change is a big topic, and now the "cool" people are going paleo! These and many other questions and comments I have heard, and even thought myself. I have eaten gluten free for over 12 years, and I find myself now leaning towards what is commonly referred to as the paleo diet. Where did this diet come from, and why?
The paleo diet can also be referred to as the stone-age diet or caveman diet. It consists of meats/fish/poultry, nuts, seeds, non-starchy vegetables, fruits and plant-based oils that can he obtained naturally, kind of like our hunter/gatherer ancestors. The thought process behind this diet type is that it is a change back to a healthier, pre-packaged food time in our history. Foods are consumed in more of their natural state. It is a diet that is largely free of dairy, legumes, coffee, alcohol, sugar, processed oils and salts.
In an article titled, Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet, it is stated, "This diet was developed by Loren Cordain, PhD, a researcher from Colorado State University, who started doing studies in the 1970s. He says that the paleo diet is the way humans were genetically designed to eat. " During the 1970's there was a big emphasis on going back to nature as a society within the campus's at a lot of liberal arts colleges. This represented the growing separation of what had been the scientific/medical community into two separate philosophies. The natural medicine movement was looking to "get back to nature," whereas the traditional medical community was more focussed on developing drugs and pharmaceuticals to treat symptoms that were beginning to be experienced by people.
The 70's were marked by a push to create more efficient and greater yielding crops. Our obsession with convenience foods had already begun to take a toll on our health. Eating wheat and grains with every meal was in full effect. Vegetables were bought frozen. Packaged foods were the norm as 2 working parents in the home had little time and energy to create meals from scratch. In another article, State-Of-The-Science On The Health Risks Of GM Foods, it states;
"We all know stories of tobacco, asbestos, and DDT. Originally declared safe, they caused widespread death and disease. Although their impact was vast, most of the population was spared. The same cannot be said for sweeping changes in the food supply. Everyone eats; everyone is affected. The increase in several diseases in North America may be due to the profound changes in our diet......GM foods were made possible by a technology developed in the 1970s whereby genes from one species are forced into the DNA of other species."
The 1970's split in the natural and medical scientific fields of food production and health were the beginning of the chasm we live in today. The GM (genetically modified) foods are being attributed to many dietary problem, and the rise of gluten related issues is alarming. The paleo diet offers an eating set of guidelines that can help you get away from many of these GM foods, and back to the way our parents ate. Taking charge of our health isn't a trend, it is a necessity. Try it out and see if you feel better. I know I have benefitted from it.