The Caveman

Good morning all,

Most people when they think of the cave man conjure images of a skin clad body building type bearing a club and maybe dragging his missus behind him by the hair.  Well I can’t speak about much of this, but I would like to take a look at the presumptions made about the diet.

You can save yourself the bother of reading what I have to say and just watch the following great piece called Debunking the paleo diet by Christina Warriner

She basically concludes by suggesting that we can take three things from this study:

  1. That no paleo diet would have been the same.  Eskimos would certainly have eaten meat especially when there was little plant life to be had through the harsh winters.  Yet closer to the equator there were plant and even grain based diets in place.  It was all about variety and circumstance.  Christina comments that there has been a huge decrease in the variety of species eaten in the modern American diet,   Almost all foods eaten come from three main species; corn, soy or wheat.
  2. That the foods that they were eating were fresh and seasonal.  Over thousands of years we have developed many methods of preserving our foods in order to maintain foods year round.  We use salt, sugar, smoking, drying and pickling techniques to keep our foods and to this we have recently added artificial preservatives.  Christina is concerned of the effect on our gut flora by these techniques that essentially work by inhibiting bacterial growth.
  3. They were eating wholefoods.  The husks, fibres and tough stems were all very much part of the digestive process and important signals to the brain of feeling full, of satiety.  Christina explains that in order to achieve the same sugar content as that provided by a 34 oz (1 litre) can of fizzy drink; we would need to eat  8.5 feet (2 1/2 metres) of sugar cane and that there was no physical way that we could achieve this. Modern methods of refinement have created foods that are calorie dense and concentrated.  In small packages we can consume many more calories than would be the case with eating wholefoods.  We are therefore short circuiting the brain function and losing that sense of fullness.  We are losing the balance.

So variety, freshness and wholefoods.  On that note.  I’m going clubbing….

Gemma x

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