You, dear reader, really are an amazing organism; a work of art, say some; a beautiful machine prefer others. Either way, the problem is that your body is now outdated. We have simply not had enough evolutionary time for our DNA to adapt to the current modern lifestyle. Heck, our body hasn’t even really had enough time to evolve with the advent of agriculture. What this means, is that collectively we modern warriors are faced with a reality that requires we stray from the norm, or stay with the pack; accruing a chronic health deficit. You can’t force your DNA to change to fit your lifestyle, but you can change your lifestyle and biochemistry to suit your DNA.
Paleo of late has gotten a lot of attention and is ever-increasing in popularity. At its heart, this is because the Paleo diet is simple in concept, with a compelling truth as the rationale. The tenet is: you should eat as if you are a caveman (which, really your body thinks you are). That means avoidance of processed foods, grains, and pretty much anything that you can’t conceive of as existing in nature without the intervention of humanity. That, in a nutshell, is Paleo, and eating this way brings the dietary portion of our lifestyle back in tune with our genetic design.
There is a lot of biochemistry justification for health on the results side of Paleo, and we’ll certainly get into those details as this blog progresses. For now, though, ask yourself honestly, be brutally honest: do you think the modern diet and lifestyle is geared to optimal health?
Without delving into micronutrient breakdowns and phytochemical content: broadly speaking, what should the modern citizen be eating more of? What should we be eating less of? In your heart of hearts, on some foundational level, probably you instinctually know that more veg and less processed junk is what our body craves. That is because fundamentally, you are still a caveman.
Grains are not an essential food group. The food pyramid was wrong. Get it, and it’s grains out of your head, and body.
The Paleo concept can be extended a little further, towards other aspects of the modern lifestyle. The exercising habits and sleeping patterns of our Paleolithic friends are probably something we should pay attention to. At the same time, we can probably consider the dangerous hunting and conflict aspects of life as a relic from our past. Probably we should also stay attached to our modern clothing.
Or should we…?
Cold thermogenesis theory suggests we could do with a little more Paleo-like exposure to the elements, as does the concept of grounding—more on those in future posts. Until then, keep your clothes on, caveman.
Primary Paleo reading – Western Diet and Diseases of Civilisation