Diet fads are common, there was juicing, raw food, there was even a phase when supermodels started eating tapeworms to lose weight, but what about the real paleo diet. This is one in particular that since the 1970s has gone in and out of fashion and seems to pop up all over the place.
The idea behind the Paleo diet fad is that we evolved eating a certain type of food, and therefore because we are not eating that now, we aren’t healthy, or as healthy as we should be. Despite the fact that we definitely are healthier now as a species than we were back then, there is some reasoning behind this idea. The issue lies with what nutritionists class as the diet of evolving humans.
The Real Paleo Diet was very Diverse
When nutritionists determined the paleo diet, they seemed to be working under the assumption that all humans existing at one point on earth ate the same things. This is obviously not true and studies of over 200 hunter gatherer cultures have helped show this. researchers in 200 found that the amount of carbohydrates eaten by hunter gatherer humans ranged form making up 22% of their diet to making 40% of it. There was a similar variance in the amount of fats eaten by these people and protein ranged from making up 19% of a diet to making up a massive 56% of it!
Because these cultures lived miles and miles apart, sometimes across continents it makes sense that they had very different diets, sop which should we be following? Should we eat milk, meat and blood only like the Masai? Or should we be eating nothing but raw plants like other tribes from other areas of the globe? even if we tried to follow one of these diets many components aren’t even available to us nowadays.
Our bodies are versatile, adapting to the diets we have as times change, they have evolved to tolerate lactose and gluten and we shouldn’t be trying to copy what the palaeolithic people ate as much as trying to maintain a health balanced diet of natural carbohydrates, proteins and fats.