Is the ‘Paleolithic diet’ all it’s cracked up to be?

What is the (paleo) Paleolithic diet? In my opinion, the answer is a best guess to what our ancestors ate before recorded history. The Paleolithic era lasted two and a half million to until about ten thousand years ago before the advent of farming. What would they have eaten? Due to my own research, my best guess is that it would likely be what took the least energy to obtain and satisfied hunger the most.

For example, I would think the Paleo’s would spend time each day collecting…

  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits off trees
  • Tubers
  • Roots
  • Meat

Unlike modern humans, they would not be eating…

  • Dairy
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Oils
  • Grains

Would the paleo’s get enough energy from raw food? I wonder how healthy they were back then without junk, snack, processed or refined food? How many hours a day and how much would they have to eat as to not starve to death? Good question.

Personally, I don’t eat all raw food. I eat green salads and fruit raw. My cooked foods are beans, brown rice and potatoes. I do steam cabbage, whole mushrooms and broccoli.

I would guess you’d say my diet is about half raw and half cooked. In my opinion, this is the healthiest way to eat. Although, it works for me, to be safe, check with your doctor before changing your diet.

Cooked starches yield more energy than would raw and has increased digestibility. Although, it would be nutritious, I don’t think it would be easy to get enough calories each day on a raw food diet. You would have to monitor your caloric intake closely to be sure you received enough.

For me, it would take 2000 a day. Who can eat more than twenty large bananas! Answer: a starving monkey! My wife would require about 1800 calories. You will be different.

Many scientists are in agreement that when the caveman (for lack of another word for him and her) learned to cook his food, it gave him the calories he needed to better survive while also increasing his brain size. Cooking food apparently made humans, human.

Mankind must have mastered controlling a fire somewhere between 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago. Although, we are almost exact genetic clones of the great apes, we have three times as many neurons as do the Chimps.

If one gets more calories out of his food, he wouldn’t have to search for it as long. He would have more time to think about more fun things than foraging, scavenging, gathering or hunting (like increasing the human population?)

Our human brains use about twenty percent of our energy. It could be that cooked starches met energy or calorie demands of an ever increasing brain size in man. Larger brains than the primates require more energy.

Cooked food has more energy or calories than raw. For example, cooked meat is easier to digest than raw. But, who in his right mind would ever want to eat raw meat? What a mess! You’d have to be mighty hungry to eat that stuff!

The more refined or processed a food is and the more you cook it, the more calories you will get out of it. That’s why we have so many overweight people here in the US. That’s how the majority of us eat.

Therefore, if you want to lose weight, do the opposite. For weight loss, do increase your consumption of plant based whole food. You will also get enough fiber which is dangerously lacking in the standard American diet.

Note- consult your doctor before you change your diet.