Think eating large amounts of meat is the natural human diet? For the majority of the human race most of the large populations evolved eating primarily fiber-rich, low-calorie vegetables, fruits and beans.
People refer to the “caveman” diet (the paleo diet is meant to mimic this) but is it true that we all evolved to eat a meat-centric diet? Many researchers believe that the popular embrace of a Paleo diet is based on a stew of misconceptions. After many studies it was confirmed that actually the “hunter-gatherers” or “caveman” so to speak, often had not much success as hunters and therefore bringing home meat to eat was an exception. When meat was not available much of their food actually came from plants.
It is important to note that diet differed between different areas of the world. If you lived in the Artic region or near bodies of water, fish was a large mainstay of diets during this period of time along with plants and nuts.
Many paleoanthropologists say that although advocates of the modern Paleolithic diet urge us to stay away from unhealthy processed foods, the diet’s heavy focus on meat doesn’t replicate the diversity of foods that our ancestors ate – or take into account the active lifestyles that protected them from heart disease and diabetes.
Many books and articles have been written on this subject, and of course, not everyone agrees exactly what are ancestors ate, and a good part of this is because it varied from region to region, but more importantly everyone agrees on what our ancestors did NOT eat. A big one is processed foods. Processed foods contain non-nutritive fillers, artificial ingredients, and synthetic chemical additives (many of which are banned in other countries due to health effects). Almost all processed food is loaded with refined fructose, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup. There is now even a category system of processed foods. Minimal processing, Semi-processing & Ultra-processing. Ultra-processed foods would be sugary soft drinks, cakes and pastries, burgers, pizza and chips.
Scientists say the main purpose of ultra-processing is the creation of shelf-stable, ready-to-eat products, which are problematic in two ways. First, they are too high in saturated or trans-fat, sugar and sodium, and too low in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Second, they tend to be calorie packed per bite, readily available, often super-sized, and heavily marketed.; which all adds up to overeating by throwing off our normal appetite, hunger and satiety mechanisms.
The moral of the story? You cannot go wrong with whole, unprocessed foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.
So return to your nutritional roots by eating lean cuts of meat occasionally, eat nuts and double all of your daily vegetable and fruit portions and cut the serving size of all fats, such as oil and butter and high-fat and high calorie foods, like desserts and fatty meats. It will set you up to live a long and healthy life.
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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