About the Paleo Diet

Amongst the variety of diet ideas that have gathered great attention in the last ten years it is hard to find any that have been bigger than the Paleo diet. The purpose of this diet is to mimic as best as possible the diet of wild plants and animals eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era (a period of time between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago) – all within the confines of the modern food industry. Thus, proponents of this diet try to avoid foods that were not around to ancient peoples, including dairy products, grains, legumes, processed oils, refined sugar, and high caloric foods.

salad-374173_640The theory behind the diet is fairly simple. Supporters of this diet claim that human metabolism has not adapted or evolved fast enough to accommodate the rapid changes in food that have occurred since humans domesticated animals and developed modern agriculture. They also believe that modern day foods and the body’s inability to process these efficiently are responsible for many of the current maladies affecting modern day humans, like diabetes and heart disease.

Because this diet seeks to emulate the food intake patterns of ancient humans, it goes by other names like the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet.

There are compelling arguments on both sides of the equation about whether or not the diet is effective. There is little dispute that, as agriculture got better, humans got fatter and have suffered associated diseases. However, the average lifespan in Paleolithic times was somewhere between 32 and 54 years old, whereas current life expectancy in many parts of the world is in the 70’s and 80’s. However, one thing is for certain – because the Paleo diet emphasizes healthy, natural foods, it does have positive effects on the bodies.