I've been hearing a lot about the Paleo Diet (also known as the Paleolithic Diet, or Caveman Diet) lately, so I thought I'd check into it and see what it's all about. Here's my review on this new diet fad that's sweeping the nation.
The idea behind the Paleo Diet is that ancient people ate natural foods, and were leaner and healthier than we are today, with our myriad of modern diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The kind of diet they ate was high in raw plants, fruits, vegetables, and meat. They, of course, did not eat all the suedo-foods we find in the grocery stores today, full of refined starches, chemicals, and preservatives.
Some people argue that ancient people were not healthier than we are today, and it's true that some cultures ate more "refined foods" and had more health problems to show for it, or just didn't have the foods available to make healthy choices, but most traditional cultures all over the world did have an ancient wisdom about their food and lifestyle choices. The Weston A. Price Foundation has tons of scientific research that backs up the idea of the health of ancient and traditional diets versus the modern diet.
The Paleo Diet argues that farming and the foods it produces, as well as food processing, the cornerstones of the modern diet, are the enemies of health. The Paleo Diet believes in cutting out milk, grains, beans and potatoes, as well as modern processed foods.
I disagree with some of this and believe instead that modern farming practices, such as striping the soil of natural nutrients and adding chemical fertilizers, pesticides and weed killers, not to mention franken-foods and gmo's are the true enemies of health today. Traditional farming, as practiced by most cultures for centuries (and organic and bio-dynamic farming today) produces very healthy foods to eat.
Of course, I agree that modern food processing, which kills live food and strips away any nutrients that are left, and then adds even more chemicals such as preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and synthetic vitamins, does indeed produce food that is unhealthy and should be avoided.
I also disagree with the Paleo Diet about avoiding milk and milk products. Certainly the over processed, homogenized, pasteurized dead milk you find in the grocery store is unhealthy, and should be avoided. But raw milk and raw milk products from reputable organic grass-fed dairy farms are wonderful additions to any diet.
The idea that we should be go back to eating a more natural diet, like our ancestors did, is not really a new idea at all. I've been preaching a similar diet for almost 10 years now with my Enzyme Health Diet Plan and my Coconut Oil Diet website. The Weston A. Price Foundation has tons of scientific research that backs up the idea of the health of ancient and traditional diets versus the modern diet.