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My Paleo Experiment, Part 2 of 4

1 Jul 2010


Something to Chew On…no Pun Intended

-by Elizabeth

Okay maybe a little pun intended

  • What do I think of the diet and its philosophy?

I love the idea behind the primal blueprint of connecting more to the earth and our ancestors and eating 100% natural as our body was intended to eat. I think this philosophy fits well with the idea of living in a sustainable way that is in harmony with the earth and its bounty.

However, I do have a problem with the reasoning behind certain food choices. I definitely understand and support the idea of cutting out enriched and refined grains and sugars. Those substances lose touch with nature and become processed, nutrition-lacking calorie bombs. However, there is much more that is limited than this.

Legumes, for example, are not allowed because they are toxic in raw form. Yes, our paleolithic ancestors may not have cooked them, but nowadays the foods that are allowed to be eaten raw are allowed to be cooked because our lifestyles and palates have adapted to that. Have they not also, then, adapted to cooking poisonous raw food and making it edible?

Same type thing with dairy. Our adult ancestors could not drink milk because there were no domesticated cows around (try milking a buffalo…), and therefore lactose wasn’t readily available. At one time, nearly all adults were lactose intolerant. However, over the years many of us have evolved to be lactose tolerant. Why? Because it was advantageous to be. It seems that it could be argued that natural selection was in favor of humans developing an acceptance of milk.

However, I understand that there is more involved in the philosophy beyond what was available. Glycemic index and the amount of nutrients versus antinutrients can also serve as good arguments against such things as legumes and milk. True, legumes are high in carbs. Yes, milk is naturally very sugary and is not the single best source of calcium as the milk ads have marketed, etc. Still, there are a few redeeming qualities to find in these foods, and this is one part of the philosophy that I feel may be too strict for my liking.

These exemplify the struggle I’m having with the paleolithic philosophy. Just because something was not available then, does that really necessarily make it bad? Shouldn’t the specifics on how food affects our bodies be more important than looking at whether this was available in the past? Going by that notion, vitamins, medicine, protein supplements, and the cure to the common cold were also not available. Something to consider!

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