The stone age diet (paleolithic diet) is a diet which believes that we will stay healthier if we follow the route of our ancestors. Million years ago, our ancestors haven't recognized agriculture thus still relied on vegetables, lean meat, fish and fruits for staples.
The argument behind this diet is that our body has tuned well for over 2 million years with the foods in the paleolithic era (fish, lean meat). On the other hand, our body has only 10,000 years to tune in with the 'modern' food (grain)after the invention of agriculture. Thus by tuning with the stone age foods, we can be healthier. Let's take a closer look on this caveman diet before we deem this as unhealthy.
This stone age diet advocates the consumption of lean meat, fish, fruits and vegetables which are edibles in raw state. For practical reason, many followers of this diet don't really emphasize on how the foods should be prepared. The only concern is that the food should not be processed using corn oil (olive oil is fine). The consumption of animal's organs such as kidney and liver is also encouraged since our ancestors tend to consume these organs also.
This diet prohibits the consumption of grains (pasta, rice, cereals), alcohol and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Not only that, this diet even goes further by discouraging the consumption of dairy products (cheese, milk). If you think life is hard for our paleolithic ancestors then it is in fact harder. This diet also discourages the consumption of sugar and salt.
The benefit of this diet is a healthier body. This is further justified through a research done by Lund University. The research compared two groups of people who have diabetes type 2 and coronary heart disease. The first group is fed meals based on paleolithic diet while the second group is fed a diet similar to Mediterranean diet for three months. After three months, the paleolithic group showed a significantly lower blood sugar rise compared to the Mediterranean group. Other benefit of this diet is weight loss as illustrated by L.Cordain in 'The Paleo Diet'.
My first concern is that our meat is not as fresh as it used to be 2 million years ago. Nowadays our meat is probably gathered from hormone injected poultry or chemically enhanced cow. It's not fresh and for sure it's not healthy if your diet involves an extremely high number of meat.
Another concern that I have on this diet is that although we eat like the cavemen, we aren't likely to get the same result if we don't do a lot of physical activities like our ancestors back in the hunting and gathering era.
Our ancestors were used to walk for miles everyday and do rigorous psychical activities such as digging, climbing and hunting. Even though they consumed a large number of meat, organs and vegetables they are sure to burn out a lot of fat that way. They have to do a lot of physical activities everyday just to survive (or to chase other cave women). Compared to our state right now, it's hard to emulate our ancestors. In addition to eating, we need to do tons of exercises also.
Last, life without wine and cheese seems pretty miserable for me so I'll stay off from this diet and just do my 'common sense diet'. Eat in moderation, do proper exercises and indulge yourself occasionally.
Labels: diet tips