The Caveman diet emphasizes nutrient-rich, high-fiber foods that our ancestors apparently ate: namely lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Okay, this diet is indeed healthy, particularly because processed foods containing excessive amounts of refined sugars and sodium are excluded. The growing trend in obesity and type-2 diabetes (the combination of these two lifestyle-related and preventable diseases is now commonly referred to as "diabesity") can largely be attributed to the over-consumption of processed and junk food (e.g., sodas, fast-food, fruit juices, candy, etc.).
The problem with the Paleo diet is that it excludes dairy products, legumes (beans and peas) and grains. Dairy foods (e.g., milk, cheeses, yogurt) contain good sources of calcium, potassium as well as vitamins A and D for strong bones and muscles. Legumes and grains are an excellent source of calcium, iron, zinc, and some B vitamins needed for healthy nerve function and energy. It's thought that the grains we eat today have been dramatically altered due to modern agricultural techniques causing a greater gluten content. But research has NOT shown that the amount of gluten in grains has increased. Instead, more people today have either a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease than our ancestors did but the reason for this is not fully understood. Possible causes may be attributed to changes within our environment and within our gut as well as the growing reliance on antibiotics.
Many of our ancestors ate whatever foods they could kill or lay their hands on and many did not die from heart disease and cancer that plague humans today. But this is because few of our Stone-age ancestors lived long enough to have these lifestyle-related diseases. Instead, many died from starvation or suffered from nutritional deficiencies due to a lack of important vitamins and minerals. It's NOT true that our ancestors ate more meat than grains. Rather, they spent a lot of time hunting for meat but the kill was rare. In fact, gathering grain-based foods was much more commonplace. Eating mostly animal-based proteins as the Paleo diet recommends could raise you saturated fat and cholesterol intake which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Everyday it seem there's a new diet advertised that will magically cause dramatic weight loss or cure you of your ills. Don't believe the hype! The reality is most people cannot follow a diet that is regimented or restrictive like the Paleo diet for a long time. This is the problem. If you cannot follow a diet for very long than what's the point? Instead, develop the habit of eating healthy foods each and every day and make it your lifestyle.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.