What Exactly is a Paleo Diet?

Posted by: Scott Ko

It’s almost New Years Revolution Time, which means people are thinking about losing the christmas food belly and starting fresh for 2016. From gluten free to carb free to protein rich, the range of diets available on the market is staggering and confusing. The latest fad is the Paleo Diet popularised by celebrities (as always).

But what exactly is a Paleo Diet? You probably have heard it being referred to as the ‘ Caveman Diet’. The diet is designed to emulate the diets of our early ancestors during the Paleolithic era. This means no processed foods, no dairy, grains, legumes, processed oils and refined sugars. The premise is that the metabolism and nutritional needs of humans have not evolved fast enough to handle the high degree of grains and processed foods that we now ingest. It is suggested that physiology, genetics and metabolism of modern humans have changed little, or at all, since the Paleolithic era, hence, the high rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Advocates of the diet claim that eating more protein and fewer carbohydrates leads to a healthier and longer life. Critics argue that the life expectancy of early humans were not long enough to develop the diseases mentioned today and that their lifestyles were much more active in foraging and hunting. There is also evidence that early humans did in fact eat grains and legumes, but this may differ between local populations. All-in-all, I’m still confused about the whole thing. There doesn’t appear to be any hard scientific evidence to support the diet. I don’t think we should blame evolution (or lack of) for high incidences of weight related illnesses. Modern humans have gotten fat because of inactivity and over-eating. Simple as that. I prefer to stick to basic healthy eating and exercise, than to follow the latest overcomplicated fad diet. Also, I will never give up cake.

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