As a Doctor of Chiropractic and Nutritionist who has counseled hundreds of patients, it’s impossible to miss the fact that Americans could be a whole lot healthier. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise along with obesity, diabetes and cancer. these are present day illnesses, barely seen thousands of years ago. You are the genetic equivalent of a caveman, yet the environment in which you live is vastly different than the world in which your genes evolved. For millions of years our ancestors lived in a state of complete connectedness with the natural world. They woke with the sun and slept with the moon. They had no choice but to eat what they could forage from the woods or kill in the fields in order to survive.
The Diet Connection throughout History
The poor health of modern day humans is directly related to our modern diet. Evolutionary, historical, anthropological, and observational studies of past and present hunter-gatherers show they did not have nearly the levels seen today of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and many other chronic degenerative diseases. Modern day hunter-gatherers and our ancestors enjoyed good health not from better genes, but from a better way of living and eating that has become lost in the modern world.
Just over ten thousand years ago the agricultural revolution introduced grain products to the human genome. For the first time in human history it was possible to feed fast growing urban populations. but this reliance on grain cultivation exposed humans to high dietary levels of carbohydrates, which are easily converted to sugar, in amounts we are not designed to handle. this resulted in a decrease in the average life expectancy and even the average height of those relying on these new grain based diets.
The Introduction of new Food Processing: Good Intentions with a Negative Twist
During the 19th and 20th centuries this situation grew worse with the advent of new food processing techniques. whole wheat flour was stripped of its fiber, vitamins and minerals, and then bleached white. Unanticipated side effects resulted from consumption of these new foods. One example is that of an increase of babies born with birth defects related to rarely seen before vitamin deficiencies. Governments responded by mandating the addition of a drug-like compound called folic acid into processed grain foods such as breakfast cereal, white bread and white pasta. since this change, instances of birth defects such as Spina Bifida have dropped dramatically. however, yet another unanticipated side effect occurred, that of a growing number of cancers that are linked to an excessive consumption of this drug-like compound called folic acid.
A Positive Result of Lessons Learned
Glimpse-of-Paleo-vistas – these Paleolithic history lessons have had a significant impact on my decisions as a health care practitioner and consultant for a nutritional company with a Science First philosophy. because of this philosophy, a decision was made years ago to only use Nature-Folate – natural vitamin folates that are found in foods such as eggs and spinach. these food folates are immediately active and bioavailable to the human body. They contribute to preventing birth defects by lowering homocysteine which also prevents heart disease, while not contributing to an increase in the risk of cancer like that of folic acid, which many companies still use in their formulations.
Why choose the Paleo Nutrition Family?
In addition, we all know that fruit and vegetable consumption helps to ward off disease but it is difficult to eat the 6-8 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended daily to get their protective nutrients. For this reason, a varied mixture of organic green vegetables and brightly colored fruits as a major part of is imperative.
Various vegetables and fruits are loaded with natural vitamin C and phytonutrients such as polyphenols – known to be powerful antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Also recommended is a diversity of high fiber foods including nuts, seeds and whole grains resulting in an optimal balance between soluble and insoluble fibers.
Paleolithic man probably had more downtime than we have in today’s busy, stressful life. They likely did more walking and running (because they had to). we all know how easy it is to skip meals or to grab and go unhealthy food choices such as processed foods like bagels and pastries or fried, salty foods such as potato or corn chips. all of these foods are high in carbohydrate and low in nutrients. They break down mostly into sugar and easily store as fat.
Paleolithic Nutrition: A Road Map Worth Following
There is no such thing as a diet that has benefit for the whole population since we are all uniquely different and require different foods to keep us healthy. however, the Paleolithic approach to diet is the closest thing we have to understanding the diet our genes evolved on and serves as a good starting point in the quest for optimal diet. Our ancestral diet serves as a nutritional template for good health around which individual eating plans can be constructed. Unlike other popular dietary approaches, it is without bias, steeped in science rather than politics, and uses the natural world as a guiding context.
There is plenty of research on the ancestral diet showing that it promotes healthy gene expression.
Yours for Better Health Naturally,