The Paleo Diet: A Healthy Diet Debunked or Not?
What did our caveman ancestors really know about nutrition? Today it's called the Paleo diet and often recognized as one of the healthiest habits of eating. There has been quite the buzz this week about the Paleo Diet after evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk 'debunked' the whole theory behind eating like our ancestors did in the past - before highly modified foods and grains were introduced to humans. Alison at The Washington Post shares some of Zuk's theory behind the 'ideal lifestyle' not being so ideal in her article The paleo diet isn’t necessarily ideal, an evolutionary biologist says.
Although I'm certain this is just a very, very condensed version of Zuk's hypothesis (you can find her book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live for the longer version. Please note: I haven't read her whole book, only the Cliff's Notes version from The Washington Post.), she points out the fact that we don't know exactly what our ancestors ate and how it differed geographically. However she also doesn't deny that 'we’re going to be very unhealthy if we subsist on Diet Coke and Cheetos' which is definitely something to remember!
Since I do not personally eat a Paleo diet, I will not give my two cents on how it can impact your health. However, I do know many individuals that are either currently living the Paleo lifestyle or have spend several months living the lifestyle. They have shared their experiences with me, and testing the Paleo waters is something that I've thought about quite a few times. I just haven't been ready to limit my gluten free lifestyle even further by eliminating several key foods from my diet.
One of Zuk's statements in The Washington Post article did catch my eye. She said, 'every item in a supermarket is drastically genetically different from its prehistoric equivalent.' This fact scares me. While I do my best to shop regularly at Whole Foods and purchase only all-natural and organic foods, there are days when I'm just running into the most conveniently located grocery store that doesn't always have organic alternatives. What are we really getting at the grocery store? This is a question that needs to be posed to our government and the FDA, but that's for another post.
Anyways, if you're looking for a satirical look at the latest discussion on the Paleo lifestyle, I highly suggest the Huffington Post's article Paleo Man Debunks the Paleo Diet for the viewpoint of this 'discovery' from a caveman himself.
What do you think about the Paleo lifestyle? Would you ever try it? Tell me in the comments below!