Do you want to be healthier, more fit, but refuse to give up meat? Then, maybe Paleo is for you. This summer, a friend told me about his Paleo diet while waiting for his Jamaican meal. This cross-fit muscle man stressed the importance of controlling insulin for fitness and optimal health. I became intrigued by this modern push towards the hunter-gatherer diet and read the top two Paleo Diet books to learn more about this latest fitness trend.
I had already learned from Arnold Ehret, the health effects of starches. In fact, the fruitarian healer wrote, “But whoever finds it impossible to entirely give up meat and alcohol is, if he takes them moderately, still far ahead of the vegetaric eater.” In the preceding paragraphs, he writes how detrimental meat is, “Meat is not a foodstuff but only a stimulant which ferments, decays in the stomach. The process of decay, however does not begin in the stomach but, at once after the slaughtering.”
So why would Ehret advocate a meat diet over a vegetarian diet? He found vegetarians to be over-eaters of starch and dairy. Both dairy and starch alone create greater mucus in the system than meat’s “poisons of decay.” He pointed out, “Dr. Catani, an Italian physician, made up a diet of fruits, green vegetables and meat, eliminating all starch, and healed, more or less, including cases of rheumatism and gout.”
Although Paleo is a recent cross-fit trend, gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin first popularized the diet in the 70’s. The fundamental Paleo belief is that we have the same genetic structure as our prehistoric ancestors and we cannot digest agricultural foods introduced 10,000 years ago. They claim, “…it takes roughly forty thousand to one hundred thousand years for human genetic expression to adapt significantly to such a major change. ” –Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT Therefore, the goal is to eat the way our bodies were designed to eat.
Paleo advocates have research indicating a post-agricultural decline in health. “At some archaeological sites, it’s possible to follow health trends as hunter-gatherers become more sedentary and adopt farming. As the farming groups settle down and grow larger, the incidence of malnutrition, parasitic diseases, and infectious diseases increases. At other sites, it is possible to compare the condition of hunter-gathers and farmers living alongside each other. The settled farmers are invariably less healthy than their free-roaming neighbors.” – Tom Standage For more on post-agricultural effects, see: “Addicted To Starch? Ten Reasons To Gain Control Now.”
Grains and legumes (including soy) are excluded from the Paleo diet. Both grains and legumes contain very high levels of phytic acid which deplete the body of minerals and goitrogens (thyroid-inhibiting substances like gluten and gliadin). Cereal-based carbohydrates have been linked to many illnesses; including, brain diseases, colon cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, pancreatic disorders, myopathies and rickets. Legumes contain protease inhibitors, which inhibit digestion, potentially leading to pancreas damage. Soy dangers are listed here, “I Learned The Hard Way How Dangerous Even Fermented Soy Is.”
So, what do they eat? The Paleo diet mostly consists of humanely raised grass-fed meat, wild caught seafood, eggs, nuts, organic fruit and vegetables. Small amounts of raw, grass-fed, anti-biotic free and unprocessed dairy products are allowed if they are well tolerated.
I applaud Paleo and any other diet encouraging a shift toward healthier eating habits. However, if they really want to eat foods that our bodies were designed to eat, it seems they should reverse our dietary calendar a little further. Our genetic programming is very close to our 100,000 year old ancestors who existed when there was no controlled use of fire and the menu consisted purely of raw food. Were they eating raw flesh or were they eating, “The Original Diet…?”
THE MUCUSSLESS DIET HEALING SYSTEM, Arnold Ehret
PRIMAL BODY, PRIMAL MIND, Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT
AN EDIBLE HISTORY OF HUMANITY, Tom Standage
THE MILK LETTER, A MESSAGE TO MY PATIENTS, Robert M. Kradjian, MD