What is the Paleo Diet?
The Caveman diet comes from the Paleolithic era, so is often called the Paleo diet. It derives from the basic hunter-gatherer diet that we used to live on for millions of years before a growing population, intensive agriculture and modern farming changed our diet.
The foods that we consider to be normal today, including wheat, oats, barley, dairy, legumes, soya and maize are all relatively modern foods, developed more because they can be grown cheaply in bulk than because they are good for us.
As our population grew, it became necessary to develop of farming processes in order to be able to feed the ever increasing numbers of people.
Corn and grains we a cheap solution to meeting our immediate needs but little thought was put into the long term implications of how this would alter our core diets.
A Natural Hunter-Gatherer Menu
Up until the last few thousand years, we lived by hunting our food or eating nuts, berries, roots and vegetables that we gathered. Our bodies are designed to eat foods that we have hunted or found, this is because this way you tend to eat one type of food per meal, nuts one day, fruit the next, meat the next and so on.
Depending on whether you are eating carbohydrates or proteins, your body will produce different enzymes to digest your food. It is only in the past 10,000 thousand years or so that we have been mixing our food groups into complex meals, which is no time at all in evolutionary terms, and many of us find that our bodies struggle to properly digest mixed meals.
The enzymes necessary to digest proteins and carbohydrates don’t work together very well, so when you eat combined foods you create two enzymes that can’t digest everything you have eaten.
What Do You Need To Avoid
The Paleo diet is centered on avoiding modern processed foods and foods we aren’t naturally accustomed to digesting, including; wheat, potatoes, grains, legumes, refines salts, dairy, refined sugars and refined oils.
Our bodies are not designed to eat these foods, which are mostly modern, and difficult for us to digest in volume. The refined foods are really difficult for us to digest and is in part responsible for the obesity epidemic that seems to be sweeping the developed world.
Only organic, natural foods should be in your diet, you shouldn’t eat anything that has been processed or refined.
What Can I Eat Then?
To be healthy, energetic and full of vitality, your diet should include; meat (organic naturally), fish, fruit, fungi, eggs, roots, nuts and vegetables.
These foods are our ‘natural’ diet and the foods we are designed to consume. We would usually eat these foods as we found or caught them rather than combining them into complex meals as is the modern practice.