Recently, a whole series of diets and ways of understanding nutrition that promise miraculous results to those who follow them has appeared. Examples include losing weight without having to count calories and without being hungry, or increasing life expectancy and health. One of these best-known approaches is called the Paleolithic Diet.
Gold, What does this form of diet really consist of? Does it have any beneficial effects or is it just a deception to sell books and make money? In this article, you will discover all you need to know about this fashionable food style.
The Paleolithic Diet: What is it?
The idea behind the Paleolithic diet (or "paleo diet" as it is called in the sporting circle) is that our genetics play a fundamental role in the effect that food has on our body. So, according to the advocates of this nutritional approach, Foods that appeared after the establishment of agriculture would not be suitable for humans.
According to the defenders of the Paleolithic diet, the new foods that our ancestors began to consume from the Neolithic era would have a detrimental impact on our body. This would be due to the slow changes caused by the evolution on our body.
For this reason, these advocates propose to eat nothing more than what our ancestors ate at the time of the caves. This would therefore include mainly all types of meat and fish, vegetables, fruits and seeds, as well as some tubers and some roots.
Although at first glance the list of foods accepted by the Paleolithic diet is well accepted by the public (as it is in fact about adopting a healthy diet again), the controversy over this food stream revolves around the negative view it has of cereals. And especially wheat and all its derivatives.
Why are cereals considered bad?
For lovers of the paleo diet, cereals are one of the worst enemies of health. This point of view was popularized by the work of Robb Wolf, one of the first to propose this way of feeding. Followers of evolutionary nutrition argue that agriculture was one of humanity's worst welfare mistakes.
The main reason the advocates of the Paleo diet have tried to demonize cereals is that on the one hand they have only a low nutritional density (they do not provide us with the necessary nutrients), and on the other hand they are filled with antinutrients. These substances interfere with the absorption of any type of vitamins and minerals and make us sick.
For that and although in our culture we have always considered bread and cereals as something good, all those who follow the Paleolithic diet have totally eliminated them from their lives. Now, does this way of eating really work?
Scientific evidence on the Paleolithic regime
One of the biggest problems in nutrition is that it is a science still in development. For this reason, and because of the difficulty of carrying out clinical studies to test the effects of different diets, there is no official consensus about what is really healthy and what is not.
However, the latest evidence regarding progressive nutrition is that this form of diet could have very beneficial effects on both our physical and mental health. For this, experts recommend to do an experiment: try to eat according to the paleo diet for a period of one month. Depending on the results, we may decide to follow this diet permanently or not.
So according to this diet, what am I allowed to eat?
The principle of the Paleolithic diet is rather simple: eat everything your ancestors could get from nature. By eliminating the cereals we have already discussed, this assumes that you can eat virtually any food of animal or vegetable origin.
Another precaution to follow is that of not consuming processed foods. In the end, in the environment in which we evolved as a species, it was not possible to find French fries or sweetened refreshing drinks. These foods, appeared recently, moreover do more harm to our body than cereals.
Although many modern regimes do not record any scientific evidence, the Paleolithic diet seems to be an exception. Nevertheless, before making a radical change, it is best to seek the advice of a specialist who will know in each case if this approach is viable or if it is not.