The Paleolithic Diet
The Paleolithic Raw Food Diet
Some of the diet plans showing up nowadays are based on the idea that food types that only became available in the last 10,000 years (since the onset of agriculture), should be avoided. The thought is that humans didn't evolve with these foods and they can have all sorts of negative effects on us that lead to things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes etc.
A slight problem with man going back to his REAL paleo diet might be selling people on eating not just certain types of fruits and vegetables, but also bugs, worms, raw carrion meat that has been out in the sun a couple days and raw marrow from bones.
Humans didn't evolve with supermarkets and microwave ovens. They evolved as gatherers and scavengers, and then perhaps later on as hunter/gatherer/scavengers.
It appears that the paleo diet idea has a lot of value in indicating that humans are in deed asking for trouble when they feed on things that wind up supplying nutrients that sharply differ in kind and quantity from what we evolved with. However, nobody is going to go back to a real paleo diet unless they're lost in the wilderness and eating for survival whatever is available - with or without the nicety of a cook fire.
People with persistent health problems and allergies associated with food might benefit from shifting away from foods that man has acquired during the agricultural age of the last 10,000 years.
Non-Bug Foods Generally Consistent with a Paleo Diet
Here's a summary of non-bug foods that are generally consistent with a paleo diet. The basic idea is to only eat foods the same or similar to what was available to man before the agricultural age. Cooking methods should cook fat out of food, not into it as frying does.
- Seeds (not processed)
- Nuts (in the shell, not processed)
- Lean red meat, fish, fowl
Summary of foods that are NOT consistent with a paleolithic diet.
- Dairy products, including milk, butter, cheese
- Cereal grains including bread, rice, corn
- Beans, peas or other legumes
- Packaged "manufactured" foods
- Sweets, candy or soda, nothing with refined sugar
- Alcohol of any kind
You can see from this list of non-paleo foods that following this diet would involve a major food change for almost anyone. If someone wanted to further replicate early mans' diet, then some other eating changes would be in order. Occasional fasting would replicate spells when no food was available. Intermittent periods of feeding on only one food type would simulate periods of limited food availability. The body no doubt evolved means of dealing with episodes like these, and they might have beneficial side effects that have gone unrecognized.
Smart Paleo Swaps
Consider trying these paleo approved food swaps.
- Instead of pasta, try spiralized zucchini.
- Instead of bread or sandwich wraps try lettuce leaf wraps.
- Instead of rice try cauliflower "rice".
- Instead of hummus try guacamole.
- Instead of peanut butter try almond or sunflower butter.
- Instead of soy or cow's milk try almond, cashew, coconut or flax milk.
- Instead of diet soda, try naturally flavored sparkling water or kombucha.
- Instead of French fries, try baked carrot or sweet potato fries.
- Instead of ketchup, try hot sauce without sugar.
- Instead of croutons, try toasted nuts.
- Instead of butter or margarine, try avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil or ghee.