Paleolithic diet also has detractors who have favored disinformation.
Confusion is typical among those who do not fully understand the evolutionary idea on which the diet is based.
We are going to clarify some ideas that often cause a lot of doubts by demystifying false beliefs.
You don't have to go hunting with a spear
The Paleo diet is a conceptual framework created from the study of our evolution as a species. This therefore refers to eating as we have done for millions in the Paleolithic era. This does not imply that you have to hunt your own food to be paleo, far from it. And although it is very obvious, it is the most often repeated complaint.
In today's environment we have many options for eating, so we should eat as close as possible to what our ancestors ate.
Reconnect our nature, act in favor of our genes and recover our health through real food. No doubt about it, the food we have been eating for millions of years of our evolution is very different from what we eat today..
Food is the basis of health, and going back to the food of our primitive era will help us to recover our health levels.
We now live longer than in the Paleolithic era.
Studies place the life expectancy of our Paleolithic ancestors at around 30 years, but this is only an average and the context must be taken into account:
- Without the medicine we have today, infant mortality was very high and this distorts the average age calculation. Studies show that those who reached adulthood and lived to be over 30 lived to be 60.
- Something that we now have under control, such as infections, used to be the cause of highest mortality.
- We are not currently fighting to stay alive, but they had no choice.. They had to scavenge for food and shelter on a daily basis, and had to fight against larger predators.
Undoubtedly, this environment is much more hostile than the one we live in today.We have all our basic needs covered.
You can't eat anything!
If you mean food that is not healthy... in that case you can't eat anything 😉.
There's a lot more to it than cereal and milk for breakfast, a plate of pasta for lunch and a whole-grain sandwich for dinner. It's a menu based on what the industry has been preparing for us, but let's not forget, that's not real food.
The change may come as a shock and the first impression if you eat as we have said is that "you can't eat anything anymore". But on the contrary, the assortment of real food is enormous. You just have to get used to these foods again.
Eating well is very expensive
If you eat outside of the paleo diet, a shopping cart with a wide variety of products is:
- soft drinks (with sugar, or sweeteners, or both)
- whole grains
- potato chips
- frozen food...
In its place you will buy fresh and real food:
- local fruit and vegetables, preferably in season
- quality meat and fish
- eggs from free range hens
- nuts and seeds
You can make a shopping list more economical or more whimsical, depending on the pocket of each one. You can buy kombucha or not, because you don't need it to be paleo.
You can buy mangoes and avocados every week or on an occasional basis. You can buy monkfish or anchovies... Within all the options you have in paleo. the shopping basket can be more or less expensive.
But in general terms if you follow the paleo diet you will save on untraprocessed foods and you will be able to invest that money in buying higher quality foodstuffs..
And in case you don't find that convincing, there is nothing more expensive than losing your health. Filling yourself with low-nutrient food, full of unhealthy ingredients, ends up being very expensive. Not only because you have to pay for future treatments for illnesses, but also because health is priceless. It is one of those truths that one sometimes understands when it is a little too late.
Only meat is eaten
We know from the tribes that still live in isolation that not all of them consume the same proportions of meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. And it has an overwhelming logic, depending on the region where they are located, one food is more accessible than another..
Some populations build 90% of their diet from animal sources, such as the Inuit (Eskimo). Others are on the opposite side with almost 70% from plant-based foods such as Kitava. The further away from the equator, the less carbohydrate was consumed.
In addition, our carbohydrate intake varied according to the seasonWe now have year-round access to fruits and vegetables of all kinds.
So there is no single paleo dietIn the case of the vegetables, each one attributes the weight he/she wants to the different foods, although in general the vegetables have a good proportion of the plate.
Paleo is low carb.
This idea comes from the comparison with current diets in which large amounts of carbohydrates are consumed. In the food pyramid, cereals appear as a base, and by eliminating this step it seems that we are eating a low-carbohydrate diet.
Carbohydrates are consumed from natural sources: fruit and vegetables and are much lower in density compared to the modern diet. But as we commented before, the ratios depend on how each one feels good.
Paleo diet consists of the consumption of nutrients for which the human being is adapted, it is not a distribution of macronutrients..
There are no paleo foods
It is true that species have evolved over the years in search of more productive domestic varieties.
And it is true that the wild foods are still more nutritionally dense than cultured foods, but they will always be a better choice than something completely made up of flour, trans fats and sugars..
Conclusion: is paleo a healthy diet?
Paleo diet is a way of understanding our biology as humans, based on our evolution. It promotes the consumption of foods that our body expects and restricts more modern products with the aim of enhancing health.
But there will always be people who don't like this diet and find reasons to criticize paleo. The rationale is quite logical. The diet is not miraculous nor does it want to sell you shakes.
The paleo diet is a conceptual framework to understand our nature, the starting point for improving our health and it is clear that staying away from ultra-processed food is the best way to avoid unprocessed food.or whatever name you want to give it.