What is the Paleo diet?
The idea of eating Paleo originated in academia in the 1970s
Its founder is considered to be the American gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin (Walter Lyle Voegtlin), who considered that people were more carnivores and should eat a low-carbohydrate diet based on animal fat and protein (considered that humans are anatomically closer to a predatory dog than to a herbivorous sheepi). That is, we would be much healthier if we returned to the eating habits of the Paleolithic, which ended about 11,000 years ago. For this reason, this diet is also called the Stone Age diet.
The main idea of the Paleo diet is as follows: our bodies have not adapted quickly enough to modern agricultural practices and all the subsequent offers of the food industry.
It is recommended to stick to the (possible) eating habits of our ancestors - you need to eat a lot of meat and fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as eggs and nuts. But the diet is very restrictive, excluding grains, refined sugar, processed foods, dairy products and even legumes such as lentils and beans.
Proponents of the diet believe that eating this way can help people avoid many of the problems of modern life, from obesity and heart disease to diabetes, cancer and even pimples.
Today The Paleo Diet® advertises itself as follows: “The Paleo Diet® is the diet that humans as a species are best suited to. In other words, by following the Paleo diet, you eat the optimal foods for your body that are literally programmed into your DNA. ”
Well, quite ambitious - isn't it? Read on and find out how true it all is.
How did our ancestors actually eat?
- Our diet today makes us chronically ill because it does not fit our biology;
- We must therefore abandon the eating habits that have developed over the course of agricultural development and eat as our ancestors ate more than 11,000 years ago;
- The authors of the Paleo diet know what the eating habits were like in the Stone Age - they believe that at that time people mostly ate meat, supplementing their diet with vegetables and fruits and some types of nuts, but they certainly did not eat grains, legumes and dairy products;
- If we eat like people ate in the Stone Age (according to the dieters), our health will improve and we will live longer.
It is really surprising that there are still people who believe these statements - they believe that people in Africa ate like those who lived on the Chukchi Peninsula or in the deserts of the Middle East. There are probably millions of different Paleo diet variations. Of course, meat played an important role in the menus of all tribes, but at least as much cereals also played an important role and the legumes, which were also gathered and used for food, were not in vain called man-gatherers at that time.
Also, the claim that people are more biologically adapted to eating meat does not stand up to criticism. A simple example - Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is needed by absolutely all mammals. Carnivores (who do not eat plants) can produce it themselves, but humans can only take it with food. We have a longer digestive tract than predators because plant food is harder to digest and therefore has to stay in our body longer.
Has our body evolved and adapted to other foods
The assumption that we are adapted to eat only the same foods as our predecessors 11,000 years ago is more than strange.
One of the basic principles of evolution is that those who are able to produce more offspring survive. Respectively, natural selection favors only traits that improve our ability to have more children - who are able to survive and in turn give birth to children, thus passing on genes to future generations. So I would say that we are fine with adapting to modern food, and that many, if not all, assumptions about the Paelo diet are foolish and, in particular, that the evolution of humans as a species has come to a halt at the beginning of the agricultural era.
Another thing is that we have become less physically active and lazy, that we crave the conveniences that we receive from INDUSTRIALLY PROCESSED food, that we consume TOO MUCH of sugar and salt and contaminate our bodies with a variety of fully synthetic and non-natural substances. This is really a PROBLEM and that is why I tirelessly urge people to cook more themselves using fresh, unprocessed food.
But I am clearly not in favor of justifying an unhealthy diet and lifestyle with a lack of time and all sorts of self-inflicted allergies, food intolerances - and the search for 'miracles' that will get rid of both the weight gain and the associated health problems 'quickly and effortlessly'. problems.
Do Paleo Diets Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, just like any other restrictive diet. There are also some studies that following the Paleo diet loses a little more weight compared to some other diets, but does this prove that Paleo is better than e.g. Atkins or Keto, or any other low carb diet?
Weight loss is not due to the exclusion of dairy products, cereals and pulses from the diet, but to the fact that less energy is consumed than is consumed and the body begins to process its 'internal reserves' to meet its energy needs.
The menu must be balanced - eating mainly meat, fruits and vegetables without bread for a long time, dairy products, pasta, beans - is not realistic, and returning to previous eating habits is likely to return excess weight. In addition, excluding legumes, cereals and dairy products rich in vitamins and minerals from your diet will increase your risk of various nutrient deficiencies, which in turn can lead to various health problems. Is it really worth torturing yourself and hoping for a miracle based solely on vague logic and misinformation?
The UK Association of Nutritionists warns of the dangers of the Paleo diet and also in the US News annual diet review, the Paleo Diet is rated a paltry 2.4 out of 5, including:
- Criterion 'Ease of compliance': 1.9 out of 5. Most experts considered that the exclusion of whole groups of foods made the Paleo diet 'extremely difficult' significant;
- Criterion “Treatment or prevention of diabetes” - 2.6 out of 5. Experts considered that most other diets are better for the prevention or control of diabetes. Also, the lack of studies proving the value of the Paleo diet did not allow for a better assessment;
- Criterion “Heart health” - 2 out of 5. Experts were not convinced that the Paleo diet could prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This was one of the lowest ratings in this category;
- Criterion “Long-term weight loss - 2.3 out of 5. Experts considered that there was no convincing study that the Paleo diet could provide sustainable weight loss;
- Criterion “Nutrition” - 2.4 out of 5. Although the diet focuses on vegetables and lean meat, experts could not circumvent the fact that the diet excludes whole groups of foods, such as dairy products and cereals;
- Criterion “Safety” - 2.8 out of 5. One of the lowest ratings in this category, because by excluding an entire product group, dieters also lose the nutrients they need;
- Criterion “Short-term weight loss” - 3 out of 5. Although there are some small studies on the effectiveness of the Paleo diet in terms of short-term weight loss, they did not convince experts about the effectiveness of the diet. The rating in this category was below average.
Unlike, for example, Mediterranean diets, which has developed naturally over the centuries in the Mediterranean - the Paleo diet is artificially created based on the views of some theorists about how their ancestors in the Stone Age may have eaten and assumptions about how this style of eating could affect us today.
In the Stone Age, the processing of products was significantly different, with practically the only treatments being the frying and / or drying of meat and fish.
Then, well, proponents of the Paleo diet - be consistent - eat, as in the Stone Age - raw, fried and sun-dried meat and fish and raw, fresh vegetables. Remember that no sauces, dressings, etc. nor was it - so that in one hand raw meat or fish, in the other unpeeled beet and forward, towards a healthier life -.
Eat healthy and be healthy!
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