Eating Like a Caveman – Because We Evolved For It
According to scientists, human anatomy evolved over millions of years. However, the latest round of evolutionary changes to the human body haven’t really progressed since approximately 15,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era. Basically, according to this scientific school of thought, modern human diets which developed after humans discovered agriculture don’t really match a human being’s physiology.
There is a mismatch between what we choose to eat and how our bodies are built. One of the side effects of this mismatch is the fact that the modern post-industrial American diet can easily lead to obesity, which is a gateway to all sorts of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a long list of other health problems.
According to advocates of the Paleolithic (or ‘Paleo’) diet, by going back to our ‘roots’ in the Paleolithic era, so to speak, we can reap many of the health benefits of such a simpler diet: leaner, fitter, and healthier bodies.
If you would like to adopt a Paleo diet, it isn’t as hard as you think. No – you don’t have to deck yourself out in Flintstones duds or eat bugs and grunt a lot. Instead, you need to change your diet based on the following.
Eat ‘Simpler’ Protein
Modern farming produces meat that is shot through with antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemical ‘growth boosters.’ The animals producing this meat are fed grains and feedstock made from genetically-modified (GMO) plants. The Paleo diet is all about eating wild or simpler forms of animal protein as much as possible.
Eat more fish, meat or eggs sourced from animals which were fed a grass diet on a pasture. Most Paleo diet plans recommend that organic, free-range animal-based protein form around 60% of a Paleo daily meal plan.
Eat a More Basic ‘Back to the Earth’ Diet
The Paleo diet emphasizes ‘simple’ foods that cavemen or Paleolithic era folk could have gathered. This means you should eat more nuts, roots, seeds, mushrooms, fruit, and vegetables. Be on the lookout for foods with high levels of dietary fiber. These are important to the Paleo diet.
Avoid Highly-Refined or Highly-Processed Foods
Don’t eat commercial hotdogs or other highly refined foods with additives, preservatives, colorants or fillers. Stay away from highly-processed starchy foods that are so stripped of nutrients that they have to be ‘enriched’ with vitamins.
In fact, Paleo advocates suggest you should stay off any grains. Completely. After all, grains only became a mainstay in the human diet after humans discovered agriculture. Part of this restriction involves avoiding sugar, oil, and other foods that are the result of processing or refining.
By ‘going back to nature,’ the Paleo diet rules out modern beverages like sugar-rich soft drinks or caffeine-heavy coffee. Instead, Paleo dieters rediscover the refreshing power of plain water and some herb-based all natural teas.
Of course, you must round out the Paleo lifestyle and diet with moderate amounts of exercise. Back in humanity’s caveman days, cavemen didn’t exactly just lounge around the cave. They hunted, foraged, tracked, and otherwise lived active lifestyles. Adopt as much of this diet and lifestyle as you can in your modern schedule, to reap the key benefit of a Paleo diet and lifestyle: a leaner and healthier body.
A Very Basic Introduction to Paleo
Of course, this is a very basic introduction to Paleo, but if you start choosing more natural, less-processed foods, focused on quality meat and vegetables, with little or no grain, you’re on the right track. Throw in a bit of exercise, or at least a walk. It can only benefit your health and weight.