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article imagePaleo diet: Eat like a caveman and feel better

By Eduardo Arrufat     Aug 11, 2013 in Food
London - The Paleolithic diet is a modern nutritional concept based on ancient diets before the development of agriculture. It consists mainly of animal protein sources, vegetables, roots and nuts. Benefits include weight loss, control and better overall health.
The Paleo diet is based on the preagricultural era of the human being, when we were hunters and gatherers. Although today’s conditions make it available through modern foods, it still includes cultivated plants and domesticated animal meat. It consists of foods that can be hunted and meat like fish, seafood and offal, and foods that can be gathered like eggs, fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs and spices. The main drink for the dieters is water, although tea is considered by some a healthy drink as well. Alcohol and fermented drinks are forbidden and so is milk. Common proportions have a practitioner ingesting around 60 percent of his/her energy from animal food and the rest from vegetables.
High levels of physical exercise are introduced in addition to the dietary process. Frank W Booth, PhD in Biomedical Science from University of Missouri, proposed that human genes "evolved with the expectation of requiring a certain threshold of physical activity," therefore, a sedentary life would result in an abnormal gene repression.
Among the many cases that prove its benefits, worth mentioning is the case Doctor Terry Wahls. Wahls was diagnosed a case of Multiple Sclerosis, and just on a paleo based diet, she reversed her irreversible MS within a year, going from riding a tilt-recline wheelchair to competing in an 18-mile bicycle tour with her own version of the paleo diet without prescription drugs. She told an audience of TEDxIowaCity that "we can continue to eat delicious, convenient processed food" but that it will lead to a rapid decline in the American population's health. Although a paleo diet could be costly, the price paid for the food to restore your "health and vitality" will give you a clean bill of health.
But the paleo diet and style of life is not for everyone, according to Stephanie Karl, a Dubai-based nutritionist. With diets, she says, “you have to take it step by step. No diet, can be recommended as a prescription for the rest of your life.” She follows a very close paleo style diet, but adds a bit of yoghurt for variation. “We can eat across all food groups,” she says. “We are not like carnivores that have enzymes only for digesting meat, or herbivores that ruminate and have two stomachs.” Our bodies can break down the starches.” The Paleo, however, is not suitable for children, as they need more carbohydrates for growth and energy. “But as we grow into adulthood, we do not need energy from starches. Any plant-based diet can provide us a lot of carbohydrates.” Stephanie is still in favor of the wheat and grain prohibition of the diet, “It increases the burden on the body to break it down. Food manufacturers have been clever with things like corn, soy and wheat and have infiltrated into so many processed foods. If anyone has allergies it is best to eliminate casein (a protein found in milk), dairy and wheat,” she advises.
Being purely academic and following only facts and results obtained from the scientific method, we can refer to the recently published Harvard Healthy Eating Plate. It goes against the U.S. government nutrition advice originally shaped as a pyramid. According to Harvard, their recommendations were based on out-of-date science and influenced by people with business interests in the messages the icons sent. Business interests should not be writing the healthy dietary guidelines of the whole Western world. Maybe, after so many centuries of evolution, the human being should look back at the history of its lunch plate to realize that caveman had it all figured out.
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Harvard School of Public Health
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