Exercise alone is usually not quite enough for a healthy and fit body, diet is also an important aspect of getting healthy and one such diet is the Paleo diet, explained further in this article and in this video.
What is the Paleo diet?
At its very core, the Paleo diet, also known as the caveman diet, recommends that we eat as our ancestors did tens of thousands of years ago, during the paleolithic era. This means no processed foods, just whole foods that we can get from the produce section at the supermarket. However, beyond that, there are several schools of thought as to what exactly Paleo foods are or can comprise of. For example, most reject the consumption of grains, while others accept it based on the findings of legumes around paleolithic sites 105,000 years ago. Others advocate differing ratios of meat to vegetables that one should consume.
Human bodies, adaptation and food
One thing that the Paleo diet neglects to mention is that the human body actually can adapt to eating different foods to obtain the nutrition that we need to function. For instance, we only developed the enzyme to digest lactose in the last 8,000 years – which means that before that, we didn’t really have the ability to drink milk past a certain age. But as we herded animals and got our food and drink from them, we evolved to be able to digest animal products like milk and cheese. This adaptation of our bodies can go down all the way to a cellular level. Humans, like most other creatures, are capable of adapting to their environment as it changes, albeit on a time scale that is much longer than our usual lifespan.
Cornerstones of a diet
Another diet that resembles the Paleo diet is the Mediterranean diet. Both diets call for whole, unprocessed foods with little sugar or other modern additives. They promote eating lots of veggies, with a moderate intake of fish and meat, as well as oils such as olive oil or lard. The health results from both diets are also touted to be similar. We can see that perhaps labels aren’t so important – what is important are the principles behind the diet, which are to eat whole foods, to moderate one’s intake of meat and fish, and to drink a lot of water.
Ultimately, proponents of such diets who have benefitted from them will obviously promote their own ways of eating. However, this also means that they rarely talk about any drawbacks of their diets or certain foods which are promoted by the diet. Before embarking on any health food trend or diet, one should definitely research all sides of the argument, and make their own decision backed up by solid science and studies.
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