The Paleolithic diet is one of the newer ‘fad’ diets people are trying. The theory of the diet is to eat like our ancestors ate, the ‘hunters and gatherers,’ before modern agriculture was invented. Advocates of this diet believe that our bodies were made to digest the types of foods eaten by our ancestors thousands of years ago, and that modern day food sources are destructive to our body and cause many of the illnesses seen
today related to mass food production.
The Paleolithic diet consists of consuming:
This diet restricts a person from eating potatoes, grains, dairy products, legumes, and processed salt, sugar and oils. (33)
This diet claims to offer foods with lower glycemic loads, causing less of a blood sugar spike after meals. Lower glycemic loads have been shown to lower your chances of developing certain health problems, like obesity and diabetes. The diet also claims to provide the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and more than enough fiber your body needs every day.
Critics of this diet say that there is no evidence that our early ancestors only ate these types of foods, and that some research suggests they started eating grains even 23,000 years ago (34, 35). Katharine Milton, professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, states “there is little evidence to suggest that human nutritional requirements or human digestive physiology were significantly affected by such diets [Paleolithic Diets] at any point in human evolution.” (36)
Because this diet suggests consuming more than 1/2 of your calories as animal fats and proteins, it is high in cholesterol and fats. And although modern proponents of this diet emphasize the use of lean meats, ancient ‘hunters and gatherers’ actually ate the fattiest parts of animals they hunted. Controversy surrounds the impact on health this manner of food consumption provides, and authorities conclude that it may be a difficult diet to follow with our modern day mass food production. (37, 10)
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