The Paleo Diet For Beginners
More and more people every day are hearing about and looking into the paleo diet. With books written by Lauren Cordain, PhD and blogs like marksdailyapple.com created by Mark Sisson about this relatively new trend but old concept, a lot of information is available to the public. So what is it? And why is it gaining so much momentum?
The concept of the paleo diet is about getting back to our more primal way of eating, as hunter gatherers. Our paleolithic ancestors ate primarily vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and of course lean meat. The thought of domesticating animals and growing grains was foreign to them. Grains were actually more of a starvation crop, used as a last option for food. The agricultural revolution that took place around 10,000 years ago brought on these trends we know today of domesticating animals and growing grains. The theory behind paleo eating is that our genes carried on from our hunter gatherer ancestors haven’t caught up with the drastic change in our diet in the recent 10,000 years. I say recent 10,000 years because this is just a drop in the bucket in relation to the millions of years of hunting and gathering that we were once accustomed too.
Some of the leading causes of disease and illness like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and others weren’t even on the radar at one time, but they are the top culprits now. We humans are one of the sickest inhabitants on planet earth. Much of this can be related back to the overwhelmingly promoted and consumed amount of grains and other high glycemic carbohydrates in relation to low glycemic carbohydrates in our diet.
Paleo eating promotes low glycemic carbs, particularly vegetables as well as certain fruits. These promote a slow rise in insulin to get blood glucose out of our bloodstream to be used and stored. High glycemic carbs, like grains, promote a fast spike in our blood glucose, which also requires a spike in insulin to remove and store blood glucose, creating a burst of energy and crash soon after when the sky rocketing insulin bottoms out the body’s blood sugar. When this occurs over and over, the cells in the body begin to become resistant to insulin. This is the precursor to hypoglycemia, then insulin resistance, then diabetes if the cells in the body are constantly being bombarded with insulin. Thus the increase in lifestyle diseases such and heart disease, blood vessel diseases, diabetes, and a whole host of others.
Of course there are other lifestyle practices that contribute this picture. Sedentary lifestyles, 9-5 jobs sitting all day, lack of exercise, etc. But the foods we eat everyday spearhead this dilemma. So what do we do? It’s not very easy, available, or socially accepted for that manner to walk down the streets, spear a rhinoceros, and run barefoot to the park scavenging for crab apples. We might miss a scheduled meeting for work. The times have changed…..sigh. What we can do is hunt and gather in the grocery store. Stay on the outside isles where the meat, seafood and produce are. That would be a great start.
The best place to start would be to learn a little more about paleo living, and focus on starting small. Add good things; don’t focus on taking away bad things, until you eventually become more and more accountable. Good luck!