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What is Paleo?
Essentially, the gist of the paleo diet is eating as the cavemen once did. Our ancestors lived off of anything they could hunt or pick… hence the term “hunter-gatherers” for all you history nerds out there. This means: meat, fish, nuts, berries, regional veggies, leafy greens, and seeds. Sorry, no candy, pizza, and cereal allowed!
Humans thrived eating animal protein, fat, and vegetable-based carbohydrates. The human body functioned beautifully because the flora in our gut (intestines) was healthy and accustomed to that diet. Then came the Agricultural Revolution when farming became the way of life. While the amount of food increased with this method, the nutritional value did not. This occurred about 10,000 years ago and grains were then incorporated into our diet. It was a radical dietary shift for mankind because for 99% of our existence, humans had lived on a grain free diet.
Thus, grains are a relatively “new” food and most people are ill adapted to digest grains. It is not a coincidence that many modern diseases of civilization- including autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and unbridled obesity- have accompanied the worldwide spread of processed foods.
Why? Grains actually have “anti-nutrients” that our gut does not absorb well. For the grain, these serve as an evolutionary strategy to prolong its survival. This quality is one of the reasons why grains can be so harmful. Therefore, living without them brings innumerable benefits.
So, what do I eat?
If you’re thinking that it sounds like a lot of meat, then look a bit further. We are definitely not saying that you should eat a T-bone steak every night. A big concept behind all types of healthy eating is eating in moderation: balance your diet. Eat whole, nourishing, unprocessed foods.
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