What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the paleo diet?

Paleolithic Cave Paintings

What exactly is the paleo diet? There’s probably at least a hundred answers to that. Google “paleo diet” on Google and you get … wait for it …

2,420,000 results … TWO POINT FOUR TWO MILLION!! (wow … maybe I should have rethought even doing this blog!)

From what I have learned by reading a couple of books and LOTS of other blogs, this is how I would summarize the “paleo diet”:

Eating food that the human body was designed to eat.

Huh?  Ok, ok … let me explain a little more.  🙂

The basic theory behind the paleo diet, the caveman diet or whatever you want to call it is that our bodies evolved eating certain types of food during the “paleolithic” period. During this period of time our ancestors were primarily hunter/gatherers and their diet consisted primarily of:

meat, fish, shellfish, nuts from trees, vegetables, roots, mushrooms, eggs, fruit, berries,  etc.

Then about 10,000 years ago we had the agricultural revolution and our diets began to change. We stopped being hunter gatherers and became farmers. Today we’re not even a society of farmers anymore but rather have come to depend on foods mass produced in factories where price is the major concern and not nutrition. We still eat the above items but now we have added the following items to our diet:

grains, dairy, sugar, legumes, potatoes  and fake foods

Our bodies are not equipped to properly digest these “new” foods because we did not consume them during the first couple of million years of our evolution and the past 10,000 years are just a drop in evolutionary bucket. So even if they are “natural”, they are not necessarily healthy for us.

Hold on now! Doesn’t milk “do a body good”? Isn’t oatmeal good for our cholesterol? Aren’t we supposed to have like six servings a day of “heart healthy” grains?

A paleo based diet can certainly go against “conventional wisdom”. Not even all proponents agree on what the paleo diet is. And what if you don’t believe in evolution? The biology and science of what happens in the human body when paleo foods are consumed vs what happens when non-paleo (or neolithic) foods are consumed still comes to the same conclusion. Our bodies are designed to eat certain things and not others.

My goal with this blog is to present you with the science behind the diet. I’m not a doctor, scientist or nutritionist. I’m a software architect, aka “Geek”. I have no credentials to back up what I say here. Only my own personal experience with this diet (see my page “My Paleo Story So Far …“). However as mentioned previously, there are millions of websites about the paleo diet. Here are a few of my favorites:

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