Healthful Reasons for Avoiding a ‘Paleo’ Type Diet

The paleolithic era lasted more than two and a half million years. That’s a long time. But, no one knows exactly what the caveman ate before then and if our bodies have changed that much since then.

The question is, have our bodies adapted to modern foods? If you look at cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease rates and a host of other ailments, conditions and diseases, it appears we have serious medical and health problems in our society as a whole. There is a problem someone is either not addressing, ignoring, denying or simply doesn’t see.

Processed and refined food have not been in existence that long, at least compared to how long the paleolithic period lasted. People in all ages had to eat and likely ate what was available to them. We modern-day westerners eat the standard American diet full of animal protein, processed grain, fat, sugar and salt. The paleo diet was somewhat different from ours currently is…

‘The principal components of this diet are wild-animal source and uncultivated-plant source foods, such as lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, roots, eggs, and nuts. The diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils, all of which were unavailable before humans began cultivating plants and domesticating animals. Observational studies of modern-day Paleolithic types of populations support a conclusion that a Paleolithic diet prevents obesity and metabolic syndrome [1 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787021/]’.

In paleo times, of course there weren’t preservatives or additives in food. Processed and refined food didn’t exist, neither did access to grain and dairy. Furthermore, there’s the ongoing debate as to what percentage of their daily calorie intake was from meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc..  In other words, we don’t know how much animal products they ate compared to plant-based whole food.

We also don’t know if they were healthier than modern-day man. It’s my best guess they may have been healthier, depending upon if they ate enough foods providing enough calories and nutrients.

‘People who follow vegetarian diets can get all the nutrients they need. However, they must be careful to eat a wide variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Nutrients vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12 [2 medlineplus.gov/vegetariandiet.html]’.

I have found there are substitutes for meat, eggs and dairy which are legumes like beans, seeds, nuts and soy products like tofu. But, I personally do limit nuts, seeds and soy because of the high fat content. And, I also limit beans because they are high in protein. Go and take a quick look at the  USDA My Plate Tips for Vegetarians

‘Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12 [3 choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians]’.

To conclude, from my point of view, since I eat mostly a vegetarian diet through the year except for holidays, birthdays and special events, I feel no need nor desire to eat any animal products whatsoever. The evidence is clear I’ve researched from reliable sources that we can thrive on a plant-based whole food diet.

‘Based on the current evidence, the optimal dietary pattern to reduce CVD is one that emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, poultry, and moderate dairy and heart-healthy vegetable oil intake; this pattern will likely reduce the CVD risk by about a third. This healthy dietary pattern needs also to be low in refined grains, added sugars, trans-fats, SSBs, and red and processed meats. The traditional Mediterranean-type diet provides a well-tested prototype for this healthy dietary pattern [4 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4597475/]’.

Source- 1 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2787021/
Access Day 26
Access Month December
Access Year 2018
Article Title The Beneficial Effects of a … – PubMed Central (PMC)

2 URL medlineplus.gov/vegetariandiet.html
Website Title MedlinePlus
Article Title Vegetarian Diet
Date Published March 01, 2018
Date Accessed December 26, 2018

3  URL choosemyplate.gov/tips-vegetarians
Website Title Choose MyPlate
Article Title Tips for Vegetarians
Date Published March 07, 2018
Date Accessed December 26, 2018

4 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4597475/
Access Day 26
Access Month December
Access Year 2018
Article Title Food Consumption and its impact on … – PubMed Central (PMC)

Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet.

 

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