What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo DietWhat is the Paleo Diet and is it Right for You

 

You have to travel back in time to get a real understanding of what the Paleo Diet is.  The Paleolithic Age started over 2 million years ago and came to an end in some regions around 10,000 years ago.  During this period of time our Paleolithic Ancestors developed many stone tools and began communal hunting and fishing groups.

Artifacts that were discovered and the interpretation of Paleolithic cave paintings show that communities in the Paleolithic age were made up of talented game hunters and fishermen.  It should come as no surprise that these communities of people got almost all of their energy from natural food sources such as plants, nuts, wild game and fish which makes up the Paleo Diet.

Modern Agriculture and the Paleo Diet

Our caveman brothers and sisters were probably a lot fitter, leaner and healthier than what we can imagine.  Spending days in the outdoors while breathing plenty of fresh, unpolluted air and eating the most organic meats, fish and plants that have ever existed on this planet.

Sometime around 10,000 years ago modern agriculture started to develop.  New tools were developed that let people harvest various grain food sources and to raise livestock.  This also lead to a division of labor and communities of people who didn’t have to hunt and gather as much of their food anymore began to form.

Analysis of Paleolithic period fossils show that our hunter and gatherer brethren could have been living well into their 90’s as long as they didn’t get attacked by a wild animal or experience some sort of other misfortune.

There are still tribes of people that live on a hunter-gatherer diets that are living well past their 70’s and 80’s without the help of modern medicine.  When modern agriculture started to develop all of sudden average life expectancy plummeted.  Average life expectancy was only 18 between 3300 and 1200 B.C. and increased into the 20’s around 500 to 300 B.C. and then finally reached between 30 and 40 as late as the early 20th century.

It was around the early 20th century that medical advancements like antibiotics, sanitation requirements and modern hospitals began to really develop and life expectancies saw a sharp increase.

Survival of the Fittest No Longer Exists… We’re Fatter and Lazier than Ever!

If you just look around you’ll notice that obesity is out of control.  Childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic in some parts of the world.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years.  The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.

My guess is that our modern sugar and grain based diets and inactive lifestyles have something to do with it.  According to the American Time Use Survey from June 2011 we spend an average of 2.6 hours engaged in a leisure activity with a majority of that time planted in front of the TV or computer.  Our Paleolithic friends didn’t have TV or computers.  They also didn’t have a big bag of potato chips to snack on while they watched episodes of Family Guy.

What is The Paleo Diet Insulin Effect

The Paleo Diet could also be referred to as a low insulin diet or at least a regulated insulin diet.  You need to understand that if you have high insulin levels within your body you are training your body to be inefficient at burning fat and glycogen as fuel.  When you eat tons of processed carbohydrate foods, as found in a typical American diet of bread, pasta, rice and other high carbohydrate foods, your pancreas is working over time to produce insulin that will transport the glycogen to major organs and muscles to be used as fuel.

The problem is that the average person can only store about 400 grams of glycogen in the liver and other muscle tissues.  When the liver and muscles are full the glycogen gets converted into triglycerides and is then stored as fat.  These high insulin levels also send the message to our fat cells to not release any fat as energy, therefore we just store more and more fat.  You have basically turned your body into a fat storing machine but constantly feeding it a high carbohydrate diet.

So what can happen when your body is a fat storing machine?  How about Type II Diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and cancer.  Americans are adding, on average, one and a half pounds of fat to their waists every year.

The Paleo Diet Will Help You Break FREE

The Paleo Diet is based on the concept that you should eat like a caveman.  You should eat a majority of natural food sources such as various animals, plants, fruits, eggs, nuts and healthy fats.  Eating this type of diet will keep you from inflicting the insulin torture most people’s bodies experience every day.

There is also a big emphasis on lowering your foot print if you choose to eat a Paleo Diet.  Ogranic foods are usually emphasized when it makes sense financially and geographically.

If you wanted to start your own Paleo Diet meal plan today you could start by cleaning out the cabinets of all the processed junk food such as sugary cereals, bagels, cookies and the likes.  Also cut out unnatural beverages such as sugar-laden sodas, teas and punches.

Get serious about your health and well-being with a Paleo Diet Meal Plan!  Nobody else is going to do it for you.

 

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