Eating the Caveman Way
By Lisa Metzgar, PhD, Nutrition Tidbits
Not many “fad” diets come along that I would recommend to my clients. The newest craze actually makes a lot of sense to me and I do recommend it to my clients as well as follow it myself…The Paleo Diet also known as the Caveman Diet.
This diet is based on what we presume and know from scientific proof about what our caveman ancestors ate. The human species back in the Paleolithic Era (about 2.5 million-40,000 years ago) were primarily hunters-gatherers. This means that they ate what they killed and what they gathered from the land. Agriculture did not exist until about 10,000 years ago. With the development of agriculture came grains and legumes. The Paleolithic diet consists mainly of wild meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts, and seeds. Some nutritionists believe that this diet is optimal due to the fact that our genetics haven’t changed from the time humans ate this way.
Agriculture brought about a way to mass produce food like corn, wheat, and rice. It was a cheap way to feed the growing human population. With the consumption of more grains came the appearance of more metabolic diseases. Our typical American diet is mainly grains which has lead to a society that has an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and even cancer. Most of our disease is caused by our modern day diet. Many people have some sort of corn or wheat sensitivity due to eating too many grains. Their immune systems seem to react to the protein (gluten) in the grains and it affects many people. Paleo nutritionists claim that it is because we aren’t genetically designed to eat a grain based and processed food diet. The health of the animals we mainly eat is also affected by the grains we feed them. Processed foods are also wreaking havoc on our health.
Unlike most high protein-low carbohydrate diets, the Caveman diet emphasizes the importance of eating fruits, vegetables, and roots. Our bodies need carbohydrates…just not the processed kind.
Here are a few rules for eating the Caveman way:
Eat free range, grass fed, organic meats
Eat free range or omega 3 eggs
Organic fruits and vegetables
Raw nuts and seeds
Avoid processed foods
Avoid processed oils
Avoid all grain foods (breads, pasta, cereals)
If it doesn’t come from nature…don’t eat it!
Many people lose weight when they eliminate grains from their diet. This is due to the reduction of insulin and blood sugars. Many nagging little symptoms like insomnia, eczema, acne, low energy, and mental fogginess are improved with the elimination of grains.
There are many recipe books on the market to help you eat the Caveman way. You can check out my website at www.conceptsinwellness.com for more ideas and free recipes.