Paleo diet food is essentially exactly the food that our ancestors evolved to eat due to the existing circumstances that prevailed for thousands of years before the use of agricultural practises.
If we conjour up an image of the quintessential caveman of the Paleolithic period, what he looked like and how he spent his day, it might be a scene from “One Million Years B.C.” with Raquel Welch wearing designer fur but it’s likely to be a less stylised version with a lot of clubbing, grime and uncivilised behaviour. (The dinosaur age ended about 65 million years before what were to become humans left the chimp line).
But humans where living on the first diet, the paleo food diet, a healthy diet and were beautifully adapted to live from whatever environment they found themselves in, moving on to the next place when the local food source became used up.
This meant a diet of whatever was “locally available”, which is now the mantra of all the current crop of so-called celebrity chefs. The paleo diet food list was made up of nuts, fruit, berries and edible plants supplemented by the catching and eating of the available protein in the form of hunted animals.
This was before it all got complicated with farming grain and the domestication of livestock which came about around 10,000 years ago.
It takes thousands of years for an animal’s genes such as ours to adapt to the change in living patterns such as nutrition and we have seen a rate of change in our lifestyles and eating habits that has increased exponentially.
So what is paleo diet food and what does it allow us to eat so that we can stay within our evolutionary programming? Paleolithic man didn’t have sheep, goats or cattle waiting in the field to be milked so no milk, cheese or butter; he had no fields of corn swaying in the breeze so no bread, biscuits or cake (oh no!) but what he did have was the stamina and ability to not only roam the land searching for food sources but also the fitness and energy to hunt down and kill paleolithic animals.
Obviously the diet didn’t do Raquel any harm. Paleo diet food consists of a very similar diet to that of paleolithic man which fundamentally means fruit and vegetables, nuts and berries, meat, fish and eggs.
The meat should be lean with little or no more than 7% fat and come from pasture fed animals with no added hormones.
As well as the obvious lean cuts of cow, sheep and pig, poultry such as chicken and game can be used in the Paleo diet making sure that the game meat is from the breast. Offal is a great source of protein and cuts like liver is very low in fat.
The Paleo diet is an evolutionary climax to man’s nutritional needs even today as the body has become adept at taking in the nutrients efficiently and processing the many excellent vitamins and minerals. With the weight towards fresh fruit and vegetables and lean meat the body processes the foodstuff at a steady pace thereby maintaining a stable blood sugar level as well as keeping your appetite controlled so that you don’t “pig out”.
Maybe we will adapt to our current largely SAD (standard American diet) of high fat, high sugar and high processed everything in many thousands of years but for the moment it’s probably best to eat what and how our body needs now – the Paleo Diet food or the “Caveman Diet”.
Author – B. Sweet