So why not go back two and a half million years to the Stone Age to see what our bodies were naturally designed to eat? Those days, humans were hunters and gatherers so their diets focused on what they could hunt and gather: the occasional wild animal and the frequently gathered wild plants.
The Paleolithic Diet, also known as the Stone Age diet, is based on mimicking the hunter and gatherer’s diet and lifestyle. For us this means staying active by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and not eating cereal grains, dairy, and processed foods. This is no small task, especially since 70% of the western diet consists of “non-paleo” foods and 50% of our diet consists of high glycemic carbs. As a comparison, hunter-gatherers only had a 20% intake of low glycemic carbs – mainly from fruits.
Implications of eating high-glycemic, processed foods include obesity, acne, diabetes, and certain cancers (breast, colon, and prostate) that are believed to be food related.
Those trying to follow this caveman diet find it hardest to part with dairy, but just remember that animal milk is designed to support rapid growth for the respective animal. Our bodies are not designed to breakdown all the sugar that is found in milk. After all there is a reason why 65% of the global population cannot consume milk without having gastric upsets.
What’s the easiest way to follow the Paleolithic Diet? When grocery shopping, walk only the exterior isles. Stay out of the middle isles where everything contains preservatives. Also, while buying meats, look for meats labeled grass fed free-range to avoid ingesting antibiotics and hormones that may have been pumped into the animals by farmers looking to expedite the animals’ growth.
Photo courtesy of thepaleodiet.com