Agriculture has introduced wide‐sweeping changes in the way we eat today, yet our genes have not changed as rapidly. Our bodies are still designed for the high‐protein, low carbohydratefood consumption pattern of our hunter gatherer ancestors. This means we are genetically ill‐equipped to handle the high‐carbohydrate, low‐protein diet of modern times.
This state of better health is true even among the indigenous cultures that have survived into the present day and continue to follow a diet of foods available to them in their natural surroundings. When anthropologists compare these primitive, hunting‐gathering peoples with their modernized, grain‐eating neighbors, the close association between diet and disease is very clear. You will not find heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis or other “diseases ofcivilization” among the hunter gatherers. But all these conditions exist among their modernized relatives, with their diets of grain products, sugar laden and processed foods.
Modifying our diet so it becomes closer and more similar to the dietary patterns of our paleolithic ancestors, who ate only natural — not manufactured — foods, our body will be healthier and we will be at lower risk of suffering from the many illnesses and diseases insociety today.
The paleo diet provides the body with healthy low‐GI carbohydrates from natural food sources, while avoiding our modern diet’s over‐consumption of highly processed carbohydrates. Our bodies are not genetically equipped to handle processed carbohydrates, let alone an excess of them. Yet, we are often consuming excessive amounts which can result in a weakened immune system, diabetes, obesity and many other chronic illnesses.
Excessive carbohydrate consumption is rare with the paleo diet. The main source of carbohydrates is fruits and vegetables — the same way it was for our ancestors. Fruits andvegetables generally have a much lower glycemic response than cereal grains and dairy products while providing plenty of antioxidants and assorted phytochemicals which protect against free‐radical damage and the carbohydrate need for the body on a daily basis.
The paleo diet will provide the body with a higher proportion of fat than the average Western diet which provides for an additional health benefit as this is the body’s preferred energy source and is what will help the body perform optimally. The fat sources found in our modern diet is generally unhealthy; consisting largely of trans fats. It is important to realize that the human body needs a certain level and quality of fat to enable many body processes, for example; fat‐soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K and the coenzyme CoQ10 cannot be absorbed without fat, and each of these vitamins (and many more) are extremely important in order for the body to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
If you found this post interesting, then do not miss: Growing up and the Paleo Diet by A.Lee.