The Paleo Diet: Might our future lie in our past?

These days columns inches, film reels and supermarket shelves are filled with a constant stream of ‘fad’ diets which promise ‘too good to be to true’ weight loss results and remarkable health benefits, whilst lining the pockets of celebrity endorsers, media companies and corporates. The ever-popular Atkins diet still raises its ugly head and even cabbage soup seems to be in fashion.  Everyone seems to have something to say.

One diet which has been around for centuries though, far before you or I, is the Palaeolithic diet and I believe it may hold the key to the body and lifestyle we all crave.

The Paleo diet stems from our caveman ancestors and advocates eating all lean meats, most vegetables, eggs, fish, nuts, good fats, berries and clean water.  All processed foods are out and so are sugar, salt, dairy, grains and fast food, all of which were only introduced into our diets millions of years later when the Neolithic period started and agricultural practices changed our diet considerably.  Research has shown that prior to the introduction of these foods into our diet there was little or no cardiovascular disease, obesity or osteoporosis, all of which are mainstays in our modern day lives.

.Unlike the majority of fad diets we are bombarded with, the benefits of the Paleo diet are backed up by very credible research and sound biological reasoning. Without boring you too much with the details, the general consensus is that we have not adapted genetically to handle many of these modern food types, grains in particular. Grains have been linked with what is known as ‘leaky gut syndrome’, a condition where substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules leak through an abnormally permeable gut wall. These out of place substances then produce an adverse reaction in the body or inflammation in the gut which have been linked to a string of diseases such as asthma, autism and diabetes

Many authors have written books on their own personal experiences or views on this kind of diet, one of which is Robb Wolf, author of ‘The Paleo Solution’. He states that by following this age old ‘natural’ way of eating you can aim to; lose weight, look years younger with healthy looking skin and hair, experience far more energy, sleep better and feel a general sense of overall well being.

Having followed this diet myself now for months I can agree wholeheartedly with Wolf’s theory. By following this more alkaline based diet I have never felt better! I am not saying that it is a diet suited to everyone, and it does require considerable effort to eliminate the banned food groups, but if our ancestors could cope, why can’t we?

I have never seen this as a so called ‘diet’ more of a lifestyle change and one of which I intend on carrying on with for many years to come. Even if you do not need to lose weight this way of eating can improve health in ways you would never deem possible.

Go on, give it a try. For what have you got to lose?

–Adam Jones

 

2 Comments
  1. Very insightful. Great writeup!