What are Paleo and ancestral health? (This page is a work in progress).
I view Paleo or ancestral health as a template, rather than a rigid set of rules or dogma.
We are living with an evolutionary mismatch–between our hunter-gatherer genetic code and our modern lifestyle–and it’s killing us.
Diabetes and heart disease rates are sky-rocketing. About one third of the population in the US is obese, and another third is overweight. Perhaps 50% of us are pre-diabetic.
In our quest to reduce our intake of fat, we are packing in more and more sugar and carbohydrates.
We are trying to sustain ourselves with industrial processed food, filled with sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
We’ve exchanged healthy fats for unhealthy pro-inflammatory industrial fats.
The sugar, HFCS, and elevated carbs we eat drive insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardio-vascular heart disease. High fructose corn syrup goes straight to the liver and produces fat. HFCS elevates tri-glyceride levels, which in turn lead to heart disease.
The dietary advice we get from the “experts” and our Government is based on speculation and anecdotal evidence, rather than solid science.
Correlation is not causation.
That statement is a bedrock principle of science. However, while we are advised about what we should eat to maintain health and prevent disease, that advice is not based on solid evidence, see here, here, here, and here.
Paleo harkens back to the time when our way of life aligned with our evolutionary biology. A time when we ate real food, not processed corporate food out of boxes and plastic packages. A time when we lived closer to nature and the Earth. A time when we walked and moved and used our bodies, instead of sitting hunched over in front of a computer screen all day.
Paleo nutrition is ideally about 75% fresh vegetables and fruit, in addition to about 25% animal products (pastured, grass-fed meats, eggs, some dairy, ocean-caught fish and seafood). Paleo is real food. It also includes some nuts in moderation, seeds, tubers, and sea vegetables.
By virtue of avoiding processed foods, Paleo is lower in sugar and carbohydrate than the Standard American Diet (SAD).
Paleo eschews industrial vegetable oils, but embraces eating healthy fats–grass fed butter and ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and animals fats.
Paleo avoids grains, replacing them with more nutrient-dense plant and animal alternatives.
Eating Paleo often leads to weight loss and maintaining that weight loss. Paleo nutrition avoids foods which are often the cause of intolerance, allergy and inflammation.
Paleo foods are satisfying and delicious!
On of my favorite blogs is Mark’s Daily Apple, written by Mark Sisson. Today, Mark posted The A-Z Guide to Leading a Primal Lifestyle. He wrote the list for those who are curious about Primal/Paleo/ancestral living. It’s a great introduction, check it out!
Thank you so much for reading,