The Paleo Diet, also known as the hunter-gatherer diet (which I prefer) is accelerating in popularity. For a while, some considered it to be just one of those passing fad diets, but now even medical doctors who previously advocated more grains and less meat in the diet are changing their tune. In the next few paragraphs, I will briefly describe this way of eating and some of the many health benefits that are coming out of it.
What is the Paleo diet?
A strict Paleo diet forbids any grain, legumes, dairy or processed foods, and restricts the consumption of natural sugars, such as honey and fruit. Some people follow the diet in a modified form, perhaps consuming legumes sparingly or drinking raw milk.
This lifestyle came about from the realization that our bodies are adapted to meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and low-glycemic fruits because that was our primary food for millennia. Only recently did the human race begin to grow and consume grain, and Paleo fans believe that this is when people began to lose their stature and longevity.
Health benefits of a Paleo diet
Does this theory hold water? Well, so far I have heard nothing but good from people who have cut grains and other sugars from their diet. Some testimonies are more powerful than others, as some people went from the Standard American Diet to the Paleo diet, while others went from a whole foods diet that included grains and more fruit and simply cut out the starch and sugars and increased their meat intake.
Here are some of the results I have heard or read about:
- Terry Wahls, M.D., healed herself from Multiple Sclerosis.
- Weight loss and a more even temperament.
- No more PMS.
- Longer-lasting satiation after eating (this is my testimony, as well as that of many others).
As grains – even whole – are very inflammatory, their consumption can lead to arthritis, nerve dysfunction, and hormone disruption. The glucose it eventually breaks down to can lead to obesity and diabetes.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What about all the rice the Asian people – who are traditionally very healthy – eat?” According to Sally Fallon in her book, Nourishing Traditions, Asian bodies have adapted to grains consumption with a larger pancreas than non-Asians, and therefore their systems can handle more starches and sugars without causing disease.
But if you are not of Asian descent, you would be wise to find out more about the Paleo diet. It may end up saving your life – if not giving you many more disease-free years of it.