The Caveman diet

Published:December 24th, 2011


There are plenty of unique diet plans that have gained worldwide following and recognition, and one of them is the Caveman Diet or Paleolithic Diet. Basically, this diet is about nourishing our bodies with foods resembling what our ancestors had for their daily needs centuries ago. At that time our progenitors are believed to have fared on meals high in animal protein and low in  arbohydrates.

Humans are designed to eat the way our ancestors did

According to proponents of this kind of diet, diseases of civilizations, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, etc spring from the “unnatural” diet we now have; one that is obviously different and quite the opposite of what our ancestors used to have. They espouse the idea that our bodies are specifically designed to ingest and take on food the way our ancients did; and the reason why we are having these so-called diseases of civilizations is because our genetic makeup or composition has not really adjusted and grown accustomed to the type of foods we now have, thereby creating havoc at the cellular level which in turn results to various illnesses or diseases.

Paleo Diet and its benefits

A Paleolithic nutrition is one that consists mostly of fish, grass-fed meats, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, minus the grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Apart from being hailed as a very healthy form of diet, paleo diet has many other benefits. Studies prove that this type of diet can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, inflammation; aids in weight loss; reduces acne, and enhances overall health.

Though it is quite hard to really copy and achieve a “true” Paleolithic diet, a modified version of it will suffice for those who would like to try it. Under the “modified” version one may include lean meat, organ meats, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and nuts in their daily meals. Foods to avoid are salt and alcoholic/fermented beverages and/or drinks other than water, coconut water, or organic green tea. Individuals with sweet tooth may indulge in raw honey or coconut palm sugar occasionally.

Other variations of this diet encourage fasting, consuming raw foods, and removing nightshade vegetables. There are versions that allow adding in some processed oils from fruits and nuts in the diet. Staunch supporters recommend consuming organic plant foods, fishes caught in the wild and free-ranging meat because of the proximity of their overall nutritional value to those  consumed by our ancestors thousands of years ago.

Followers and would-be followers of this particular diet regimen are encouraged to eat a wide variety of plant foods to prevent high intakes of potentially injurious bioactive substances, such as goitrogens, which can be found in some roots, vegetables and seeds.

Because the Caveman diet is rich in lean protein and plant foods, it is by nature very filling and satisfying. This quality helps in preventing weight gain and diabetes, and plays a huge role in controlling blood sugar levels. However, would-be dieters would have to supplement this diet with vitamin D and calcium.

Same as with other forms of diet, the Paleo diet is also shrouded in controversy. Its critics question the accuracy of its underlying evolutionary logic. Moreover nutritionists assert that mankind has already “adapted” to a broader diet that includes whole grains, dairy, and legumes, thereby, directly contradicting and attacking the premise behind it.

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