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Everyone's Diet, A Survey Of Food Plans, 3, The Paleo Diet.

Updated on September 24, 2015

Paleo Man And Paleo Woman Posing With Food They've Hunted And Gathered

I'm so tired after shopping, aren't you?
I'm so tired after shopping, aren't you? | Source

The Paleo Diet Theory Of Evolution

Any diet plan you investigate will claim to be based on years of cutting edge scientific study. You will be guaranteed that its precepts are the way humans are meant to eat. The paleo diet is no exception. Its proponents are so sure of its efficacy, they discount any food plan that takes a differing view of human nutrition.


The paleo diet is based on the theory that we know what our stone aged ancestors ate. Not only that, if we imitate their eating practices, we will be healthy, at a proper weight for our bodies, and know the secret to life. Okay, I just added that to see if you were awake.


Our ancestors were, according to the Paleo diet proponents, disease free and physically fit. Running from a wooly mammoth would be good exercise, I agree. Getting away from a saber tooth tiger makes modern cross country training seem like a wimpy walk in the park. Hunting and gathering your dinner every day easily could have provided the 10,000 steps a day that Dr. Oz recommends.


Cave people did not suffer from tooth decay, heart attacks, cancer, or a plethora of disease that plague modern men and women. They subsisted on lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes were unknown to them. Grains and legumes were also unavailable. Obviously, processed foods and refined flour and sugar were also not found in the wild. Our forbearers were perfect specimens of humanity until they started growing their own food. Then, they were sickly, and died young.


We all would be healthier and much happier if farming hadn’t been invented. All agriculture did was introduce poison to our diets, in the form of grain and grain fatted livestock. All of our modern ills can be traced to nutrition poor and indigestible carbohydrates. Since we’ve only known farming for 10,000 years, our bodies haven’t evolved to ingest and benefit from crops. We were much better off when we had to hunt and gather our food for subsistence.


A long time ago, we did eat carbs. This was because we were monkeys, and hadn’t discovered the salutary effects of consuming more protein. Once we discovered grubs, insects and other nutritious fare, we also found that the energy we used to digest our food could be redirected to enhance brain function. We finally split off from our less educated relatives, learned to hunt larger animals and became the brilliant, if somewhat misguided race that humans are today. The rest, as you know, is pre-history.


What We Know About Our Paleo Ancestors

The Paleo Anthem

Cow, Pig And Chicken

The Paleo diet calls for lots of meat
The Paleo diet calls for lots of meat

Paleo Protein Requirements

As mentioned above, the Paleo Diet discourages its practitioners from eating certain foods. Among these are all grains and legumes. There are no exceptions. However, the Paleo gurus reserve a special place in the Celestial Barbecue Pit for corn.


According to the Paleo diet, free ranging livestock is much healthier than animals raised on cultured grain. The marbling associated with a tender (and delicious) T-bone steak is what makes it so bad for us. Fat, even beef blubber, wouldn’t be bad for you except for modern market preparation methods that enhance the ratio of bad fat vs good by substituting corn for grass.


Corn is not proper nutrition for cattle. It alters the composition in their fat in a negative way. The omega 3 that is present in grass fed beef is dominated by its less healthy counterpart, omega 6 when cattle are fed grain instead. Nevertheless, lean cuts of beef are better for you than less protein rich foods, and unless you’re friends with a knowledgeable butcher you may have to pick your way through the mass produced stuff.


Any animal is better off eating what nature intended instead of being subjected to commercial feed, artificial vitamins and antibiotics. However, it is less expensive to feed livestock a grain based diet, because there is no need for extensive pasture. The animals are penned in small quarters until they are deemed ready for market. This mass processing keeps the price of beef down for both the producers and consumers, and isn’t likely to be abandoned for the foreseeable future. Your only safe bet is to do your own hunting and fishing.


Chickens, too should be permitted to fend for themselves. They should be allowed to root for bugs, worms and grubs. When you consider that our food is composed of what it eats, free range chicken loses its appeal, at least to this non bug eating writer. Nevertheless, caged birds raised exclusively on modern chicken feed theoretically will not be as healthy as chickens that have the run of the barn yard.


Fish should be fresh. Unfortunately, our rivers and streams are polluted, and the fish harvested from them are unhealthy because of being raised on industrial waste. Farm raised fish are bland, and lacking in nutrition. By the time fish make it from the fisherman’s net to your grocer’s freezer, it may have met its maker up to 10 days ago. Sniff it before buying it. You can also protect yourself from poorly handled fish by reading the label for the assurance that it was flash frozen on the processer’s boat.


Paleo gurus don’t think you should worry about fish contaminated with mercury. The amount of mercury in any fish is so negligible as not to be a concern. Indeed, its concentration in wild caught fish is so minimal as to make it safe for pregnant women. The important thing is that fish is a lean protein, and you are better off benefitting from its high omega 3 content then you are to avoid it because of the pollutants that may also be present.


Canned or otherwise preserved fish also suffer from the blandness and lack of nutrition associated with their farm raised cousins. In the end, the only healthful fish is wild caught. Just don’t eat so much of it that you have more mercury in you than your thermometer.


The younger the fish you eat, the less time it has had to ingest industrial waste. However, ways for the consumer to ascertain a cod filet’s age have yet to be devised. Talk to your OBGYN before taking the Paleo view of mercury poisoning as nutritional gospel. As stated earlier, dietary views differ, and your baby is too important to take any chances with its healthy development.



Fresh Meat Is On Anyone's Diet

Beef should be red. It should not be dried out, or have freezer burn. If it is grass fed, the steak will have brown fat. Corn fed beef has white fat, and is less healthy according to the Paleo gurus. Always remember, the cheaper stuff is the meat they want to get rid of. You don’t want to get food poisoning because the store kept your dinner past its prime.

Corn Field

Nothing Is Worse For Thee Than Me
Nothing Is Worse For Thee Than Me

Corn: A Vicious Predator Disguised In Butter, And A Little Salt And Pepper

A stalk of corn sits in the witness chair. It has a long healthy stem. Its kernels are sweet and ripe, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Nevertheless, this vicious food is convicted of attempted poisoning of the human race.


It has had a trial. Its jury is composed of the people who have eaten it over the last 10 millennium. They have been dropping dead of heart disease and cancer since the first person encouraged it to procreate By dropping its foul seeds into our fertile earth.


Mankind wasn’t satisfied with just producing a

Harmful weed parading as a healthy food. He had to go one step more in the 1850s and refine its criminal tendencies. This has born another modern day menace, corn flakes.


Now, the Defendant has allowed two other of its wicked cousins to plot against us. These evildoers are cane sugar and her equally despised brother, Little Baby Sugar beet. These two culprits liked to pretend to be delicious, and could hide in the least obvious places, such as chocolate bars and “Sugar” Frosted Flakes. These monsters held sway over the Kingdom Of Tooth Decay for decades. Then, they were challenged by an old grass with new ideas.


Corn has been with us for eons. But, corn syrup is of recent vintage, and puts its predecessors to shame in terms of damage to the health of Homo sapiens. It is used in manufacturing because it is cheaper than either of its sweet predecessors. It is more dangerous than most of its wicked family, because you never know where it is lurking. It is in soft drinks, snacks, processed meat, and just about anything else you shouldn't eat anyway.


The grain itself shows up in many sneaky disguises. There are corn tortillas that have been poisoning our neighbors to the south for thousands of years. There is corn on the cob which pretends to be a well loved summer treat, when, in fact, it is worse for us than arsenick. And of course, there is that vicious breakfast delight, corn meal mush with a side of corn fed pork sausage, 3 eggs, rye toast and -- sorry, I was drifting.


So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Grain has done nothing but cause trouble in the ten thousand years it has been cultivated. It does nothing but create nutritional havoc, as discussed above, and as displayed in that secondary kind of food menace, the chocolate chip cookie. No, you can’t have chocolate on the Paleo diet because, frankly, it tastes kind of nasty without sugar.


Anyway, the food police will get you if you don’t watch out. So, eat that beef, and chow on those fruits and veggies. The next time you pass a corn field, show this criminal the treatment it deserves. Stick out your hand and give it your middle ---. Well, maybe not. The farmer might be out there, and he probably is carrying a pitch fork.

A Little Protein Doesn't Go A Long Way On Paleo

Like grains, these foods contain some protein, but not enough to justify including them in a Paleo diet.

Eggs

Cheeses

Legumes (kidney beans peanuts …)

Peas (lentils, split and English)

Lamb chops (I don’t know why)

Fatty hamburger

Dry salami (pepperoni)

Link pork sausage

Bacon

Whole milk

Liverwurst sausage

Bologna

Hot dogs

And just about anything else your mama packed in your lunch.

Soy Beans

And yet more Paleo Poison
And yet more Paleo Poison | Source

Yes, Even The Musical Fruit Is Suspect

Here’s hoping you’re a light sleeper. Your neighborhood grocery store may be harboring a dangerous felon, and it could sneak up on you during your sleep and -- . “PU! Honey, did you eat a bunch of burritos for lunch again?” If that doesn't wake you up, someone ought to take your pulse.


Mainstream nutritionists may genuinely believe that beans are good for you. However, they don’t know which end is up, and even though a night with your burrito eating mate makes you an expert, they aren’t likely to ask for your opinion. That is why this article is such important reading. Who else is going to tell you the story of the dangerous legume?


Like their noxious grainy cousins discussed above, legumes have no real nutritional value. What little they can claim cannot be ingested by humans. Add to that, they cause extensive damage to your gut, from the top of your tummy to you’re …


Their cousins the peas aren’t any nicer. They too add nothing but starch to your diet, which in turn turns to sugar, which, in turn, makes you commit perjury and write bad checks. But, don’t worry about the police, at least not about the non-food ones. You won’t live very long if you insist on eating these deceptive flora, because you’ll die of cancer or heart disease before you qualify for your first Social Security check.


Peanut butter can kill you whether or not you’re allergic to it. Soy beans are out to get you, and are only enticing you to the cliff’s edge with invidious products like tofu, soy milk and crumbles to confuse your body into surrender.


Dairy products are also dangerous. For the first 2.5 million years, milk, yogurt and cottage cheese were never heard of! I always thought that it was because even the fastest runner would have trouble catching a mama mammoth long enough to milk her. But, it turns out that our ancestors just drank their coffee without half and half. No, hold on – I forgot that coffee is a bean. I guess all they had with breakfast was herbal tea.


Eggs nuts and seeds are okay every once in a while. However, be very cautious if you are trying to lose weight, because nuts and seeds are loaded with fat. Almonds, pecans and chestnuts are all right, but for a real nutritional bang, stick to walnuts and mammoth meat.



Organic Chemistry Discussion Of Paleo

Apple And Pear Orchard Seen From Above

Fruit Salad In The Raw
Fruit Salad In The Raw | Source

We All Agree, Fruits And Vegetables Are Good For Everyone

There isn’t a dietitian, diet guru or doctor who would pan the benefits of eating a lot of fruit and vegetables. Both kinds of food are loaded with fiber. Fiber is a lovely thing for your bowel, and keeping that puppy working is the key to happiness. If you don’t agree, eat a pound of cheese and call me in the morning.


Vegetables aren’t all created equally. There are some that have taken a page from the grain family book, and choose to offer nothing but sugar producing starch. These include potatoes, white or sweet, and Yams. A few other starch bandits are listed below.


Fruits, such as apples, peaches, oranges and berries are great substitutes for caloric desserts, such as ice cream, cookies and cake. Dried fruits, too can be used to satisfy a sweet tooth as long as you don’t eat more than 2 or so ounces in one sitting. Fruit juices are not good for you unless you make them yourself because of the lack of fiber and sugar concentration.


Although fruits contain a fair amount of sugar they also have plenty of water in them to dilute it. They are harder to digest than candy because of their fiber content. The sugar they contain is the same as any sugar, but the vitamins and minerals that are also present make up for that deleterious ingredient.


Even things that are good for you have draw backs. Bananas are rich in potassium and high in fiber. They have many other health promoting properties. Avocados, too have a large reservoir of excellent nutrition and fiber, but, like bananas are high in calories. Pears, apples, watermelon and berries are excellent foods, and aren’t packed with sugars and starches like some of their counterparts. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to go easy on the denser produce.


The fruit and vegetables our ancestors Ate were not near as yummy as our modern selection. They were smaller, somewhat bitter tasting, and only available for a short time. Experimentation and breeding allowed the cultivating of larger, better tasting, disease resistant varieties, which are the offerings we are used to seeing in our grocer’s produce case. So, even the staunchest Paleo fan should thank his or her lucky stars that agriculture did get a foot hold, even if they believe that most modern fare is lacking in value.

The Exceptions To The Good For You Paleo Veg Rule

Cassava root

Manioc

Potatoes and all potato products (French fries, potato chips, etc.)

Sweet potatoes

Tapioca pudding

Yams

Paleo Man, Paleo Tools

This is hard! How late does Kroger stay open, anyway?
This is hard! How late does Kroger stay open, anyway? | Source

Conclusion

To say that the Paleo diet is bad for you would be an over statement. Still, it is based on premises that many experts maintain are false. Its meat, fruit and vegetable requirements are nutritionally sound, but, according to some food scientists, incomplete. The idea that no other food plan is safe, and that our ills began with the advent of agriculture just doesn’t make sense.


First of all, our ancestors didn’t avoid grains, legumes and peas. They did not live in a wonderland of lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables as the more convinced paleo advocates would have you believe. They would eat anything they knew wouldn’t kill them, and surely tried stuff that did.


Stone aged lives were rife with dangers, not the least of which was the possibility of starvation. Our ancestor’s only goal was basic survival. They had to hunt and gather enough calories to live, and were not always successful. There weren’t any foods they wouldn’t eat. They just couldn’t afford the luxury of being picky.


Few sources agree that the Paleo diet is the only, or even best route to health. See the link to US News survey which gives the Paleo regiment low scores on weight loss, sustainability, and nutrition. Ironically, Weight Watcher’s rated higher than any other diet, and it didn’t even do that well.


In the end, you should pick your food plan taking a number of factors into account. Getting away from refined grains and sugars is excellent advice. You can’t go amiss if you load up on fruit and vegetables. However, avoiding whole grains peas and legumes is altogether suspect. Their nutritional content has been researched and studied by our government, and by independent food experts all over the world. Too many have concluded that these food stuffs are, not only safe, but beneficial for their nutritional value to be denied.


We know too little about our stone aged predecessors to draw any conclusions about their life styles and nutritional preferences. There wasn’t just one population of Paleolithic people, and the ones that did exist lived in diverse climates, and thus did not have access to the same foods. Scientists can make educated guesses about our ancestor’s lives, but even they caution that much of what they think is speculative and based on limited evidence.


Although Paleo advocates maintain that our cave dwelling ancestors lived longer than their farming descendants, most would agree that their lives were short compared to modern man. Infant mortality was high, and child birth was a deadly affair. These facts contributed to shorter average life spans, all the way through to the middle of the last century. If a Paleo child survived to adulthood, he still could not look forward to being 70 unless he was extraordinarily lucky.


Much of what our forbearers did depended on where they lived. Those lucky enough to live in southern climbs had access to fruits and vegetables. They had grain, too, and did not hesitate to eat it. Their northern counterparts probably relied more on animal protein, as wild vegetation wouldn’t have been as readily available. Mankind’s ability to survive is based on his adaptability. We can thrive on the food that is in our environment, and have done so since our Paleo ancestors first swung down from the trees and made the world their own.

Comments

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    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 

      2 years ago from India

      you shared such a great hub..:)

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Lucille Uttermohlen 

      2 years ago from Indiana

      My sister swears by the "no carb" aspect of Paleo, but she agrees with me about the hipe.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i haven't heard of my friends learning the paleo diet yet, bookrmarked this page

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