Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet• Current Benefits of a “Healthy Diet” continue to be issued by government and private sources.• Unfortunately, many people have not benefited from following the most popular diet recommendations.• Human DNA remains largely unchanged from our pre-agricultural homosapien relations, who were hunter-gatherers, with a significantly different diet.• The solution to modern diet considerations is the “Paleo-Diet.”
Paleo Man, Simplified• Fossils of Modern Man have been found in Africa which date to 160,000 years ago.• Anthropologists speculate that for most of modern man’s existence, we have been hunter-gathers.• The DNA genotype of the hunter-gatherer favored a diet rich in protein, high in fiber, vegetables, nuts, and relatively low in sugars found only in fruits and berries.• Benefits of this type of diet include better weight management, a decrease in cardiovascular disease, less risk for diabetes, lower cancer growth rates, and optimal performance for the human body.
Paleo-Diet Recommendation Nuts & Berries provide vitamins, fiber, minerals, and good fats. Fruits & Vegetables provide vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and good carbohydrates. Meat for a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids, the building blocks for the Human Body
Claire Cassidy PhD case study: Hardin Village v. Indian Knoll• Compared two Ohio Valley native American communities.• Indian Knoll were hunter-gatherers.• Hardin Village were farmers.• Both were only separated by time and diet, but all other factors such as, climate, water, and vegetation were the same.• Neither interacted with European influence.
Conclusions of Hardin’s Study• The bones of the hunter-gatherers of Indian Knoll had stronger bones, better teeth, a lower infant mortality rate, a longer life-expectancy, and healthier children.• The Hardin Village agricultural community, with a diet based upon milled seed of grains and corn, suffered from similar maladies seen in our current, 21st Century, population.
Dr. Loren Cordian, Colorado State University• Dr. Cordian is a professor of health and exercise science, and author of over 100 peer review studies on the diet and lifestyle of Paleolithic Man.• “The adoption of diet and lifestyle that are very different from what shaped the human genome for more than 2 million years is a major factor in the widespread prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases that are epidemic in western countries”.• “Giving support to this notion, four recent human intervention trials and one animal trial have demonstrated that a diet composed of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, roots, tubers, nuts, and seeds may be superior to so-called healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet”. (Cordain 1980)• “When I initially became involved in evolutionary nutrition, I knew that common diseases of civilization like hypertension, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases could be reduced or totally prevented by maintaining a contemporary Paleo diet.”
What is the problem with our post agricultural diet?• Grains, beans, legumes and dairy are the mainstay of the modern diet.• Many people cannot effectively digest these food types efficiently.• People can experience bloating, cramps, and stomach aches.• Long-term issues arise as proteins called lectins from wheat impacts the physical health of the digestive tract and blood circulatory system.• The body’s immune system will often make antibodies against this form of plant protein, and an inflamed gut will result. (Relief is often realized when individuals eliminate wheat from their diets.)• Sugar is another significant concern, because grains are broken down into sugar by the digestive system.• Excess sugar, glucose, is stored as fat, and results in weight gain, which can lead to numerous health issues, such as, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.• According the Dr. Dwight Lundell, heart surgeon, “ The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated” (Lundell 2012).
Paleo Diet v. Arguments Against• For developing nation, if starvation or diet is the question, preventing starvation is more important than diet.• However, in the western world, obesity is becoming the number one health issue.• While studies may support more complex carbohydrate diets, paleo diets control glucose blood levels better than grain based diets. (Wolf 2010)• Ethically, a paleo diet may not be appropriate for vegetarians, however, this does not mean that the paleo diet is less healthy than one which avoids animal proteins and fats.• For the modern world, a balance between the more popular agriculturally based, processed food diet, and the paleo diet makes sense especially for that part of the population that is sensitive to the impact of processed grains and dairy products.
Paleo Diet Conclusions• While significant research continues, some conclusions can be made regarding paleo diets.• A more robust diet that recognizes our anthropological DNA has beneficial effects related to lowering health risks associated with the lifestyles of modern man.• Health is related to diet and lifestyle, the lower the level of carbohydrates and by extension, sugars in the human body, the more healthy the body becomes.• Together with exercise and proper levels of sleep and stress reduction, current studies conclude that the paleo diet can add significantly to the health of individuals.• People who are now following both the diet and the lifestyle are experiencing life changing improvements that range from better diabetes control to lowering cholesterol levels in the blood stream.
Works CitedCordian, Loren, Pedro Carrera-Bastos, James H. OKeefe, Staffen Lindeberg, and MaelanFontes-Villaba. "The Western Diet and Lifestyle and Diseases of Civilization." ResearchReports in Clinical Cardiology (2011): n. pag. WebJerome, Norge W., Randy F. Kandel, and Gretel H. Pelto. Nutritional Anthropology:Contemporary Approaches to Diet & Culture. Pleasantville, NY: Redgrave Pub., 1980.117-45. Print.Lundell, Dwight. "World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really CausesHeart Disease." World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes HeartDisease. N.p., 01 Mar. 2012. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.<http://www.preventdisease.com/news/12/030112_World-Renown-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out-On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease.shtml>.Wolf, Robb. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. Las Vegas: Victory Belt, 2010.Print.