Did you know?

The Paleo Diet May Not Be Paleo At All

by Meaghan posted September 24, 2014

Given that THIS article just came out in the NY Times, we thought it necessary to shed some light on the topic of the current diet trend known as “Paleo.” Did you know that regardless of its potential health benefits, the “Paleo” Diet might not actually be Paleolithic in nature?

is-it-paleo

If you actually read the research, there’s no real evidence to show that our ancestors – at least not everyone’s ancestors – ate a diet of predominantly meats, vegetables and berries. Read THIS review paper on the subject and you’ll learn that studies suggest our ancestors ate what was available, and this varied greatly across regions and changed greatly across time.

Think about it: When survival is at stake, you’ll eat anything – and that’s likely what they did. Much of the problem today is that people still do this even when they’re far from starvation… True, we have processing methods today  that we didn’t have back then, and processed foods are surely causing a host of health problems. But I have a very hard time believing that our incredibly adaptable species has not also adjusted its regulatory mechanisms over the years to better utilize what is available today in order to continue surviving.

Additionally, even way back when, we see evidence that diet was mostly learned behavior and passed on, much like it is today. Go figure.

Bottom line: While eating a diet like Paleo that is rich in lean meats and vegetables is certainly better for health than a diet high in processed meats and sugars, the health benefits of eating “Paleo” have more to do with the promotion of nutrient-dense whole foods and banning of nutrient-void, calorie-dense “food” than with the premise that this is how we are “meant to eat” based on ancestry.

To learn more about the Paleo Diet and other nutrition trends, check out our new Nutrition Facts and Fallacies course at FPTI. We sold out the first one last weekend, so we’ll be running another in November. Stay tuned for details!

 

Filed under: Did You Know?, fitness commentary, health, news, nutrition

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