Paleo: What’s So Great About Eating Like The Paleo People?

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So, about the Paleo diet. Here is a question that’s been on my mind. What is so special about humans who lived in the Paleo period – or Paleolithic era – that we should adopt their eating habits? Have you wondered that, too?

I was going to write a comparison of the Paleo diet vs the Keto diet programs. But then I couldn’t resist looking up more information about this band of humans who we are told are our ancestors and we should mimic their eating style. Who were they and what makes them so special that they are our culinary role models?

The more I read and researched, the more I felt that my curiosity was warranted. Way back in the archives of my ancient mind (that is a joke), I remembered learning that ancient man did not have a very long lifespan. I also remembered reading somewhere that scientists and archaeologists who studied mummies discovered that they suffered from serious health issues. As bones and whatever material was able to be tested revealed a rather bleak story of their existence, why are they resurrected to be our food mentors?

Supporting this, I came across the following on a history website:

“The most controversial aspect of the Paleo diet, however, are the claims its proponents make about its ability to improve overall health. While most Americans would certainly benefit from consuming more fruits and vegetables, it’s difficult to prove that prehistoric man was somehow healthier than his modern counterparts. After all, most children died before the age of 15, and only rarely did adults reach past 40. And a recent study in The Lancet revealed alarmingly high rates of atherosclerosis, or hardened arteries, in ancient mummies—47 of the 137 mummies studied were suspected of having the disease, casting doubt on the theory that our forbearers had much healthier dies than we do now.”

Some Facts About The Paleo Era

What does Paleolithic era mean?

Of or relating to the cultural period of the Stone Age beginning with the earliest chipped stone tools, about 2.4 million years ago, until the beginning of the Mesolithic Period, about 15,000 to 11,500 years ago in western Asia and southern Europe.  The Paleolithic Period. Also called Old Stone Age.

What animals lived during the Paleolithic era?

The Paleolithic was characterized by the existence of the megafauna, a fauna abundant in giant beasts, most of them extinct now, like giant sloths, mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, cave lions, cave bears, cave hyenas, horses, camels, giant deer, glyptodonts (giant armadillos), woolly rhinos.

Wow, I wonder if that saying comes from thinking of the Paleo man-eating these giant beasts: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This is another joke.

Paleo People Lived In Varied Geographical Areas

Paleo Paleolithic Prehistoric HuntersAdditionally, I became curious about the Paleo diet as it’s presented to us these days regarding ALL the people who lived in that era. There were people living in different geographical areas with different climates and foods to contend with. For example, people living in deserts would not have fish to eat. People living in the cold areas would not have fresh fruits and vegetables at their disposal as others would in more temperate climates.

Another bit of information I discovered is that the fruits and vegetables that we know of today were not what the paleolithic people ate. According to the NationalGeographic website, “ancient veggies were small and unpalatable”. They were nothing like what we enjoy today. This aspect of human food improved during the Neolithic era with the birth of farmers.

When you put all of that together, how did someone come up with one Paleo diet? Eventually, our ancestors became farmers who tilled the earth to produce crops. They would have also domesticated animals more like those with which we are familiar. From what I read, this began to happen in the Neolithic era.

When did the Neolithic era begin and end?

The Neolithic was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 10,200 BC, according to the ASPRO chronology, in some parts of Western Asia, and later in other parts of the world and ending between 4500 and 2000 BC.

Many People Do Great Following The Paleo Diet

Paleo Paleolithic fishNow, I know I am sticking my neck out here because the Paleo diet is very popular, and I am not wanting to be offensive to anyone. I am writing this research to share my curiosity with some of you who may have wondered the same things I’m bringing up here.

The Paleo diet eliminates dairy because the Paleo man did not milk the animals or make cheese, etc. All grains are eliminated from the Paleo diet because there was no milling of grains at that time. This just names a couple of foods that are restricted from this diet because the Paleolithic human would not have done that. But so what? Is the Paleo man such a healthy example for us to emulate? This is the part I don’t get.

Granted, as we all most likely would agree, refined grains are bad for our bodies today. Refined and processed foods are the bane of our humanity right now causing all sorts of health problems. Whole grains and other wholesome carbohydrates, on the other hand, are a necessary component to our health in appropriate amounts.

Please write back with your comments on this topic. I would love to hear other opinions on this topic.

Note: The ingredients that make up the Paleo diet are no doubt healthy, nutritious foods and are helping a lot of people lose weight and feel much better. For that, I am very happy and congratulate all who have achieved their health and weight goals. Maybe if it just had a different name…. ?

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