I have spent the last couple of blogs talking about digestive issues, how to eat to improve them. Specifically, the Paleo diet and what that is but I haven’t talked about why Paleo.
Paleo is an ancestral diet.
Our ancestors evolved on a Paleo diet. Our bodies developed over time eating whole, clean, nutrient dense foods. Clean meats and fats and plant-based foods. Freshly killed or picked, eaten at the peak of their nutrient density. Our bodies which are little miracles machines operate efficiently when we eat this way.
The industrial revolution changed our food. Instead of people growing foods for themselves or each other, we now have industry feeding the masses. To make it more efficient, both cost and process efficient, they began working to change the foods to make it easier to mass produce. The soil was treated to limit weeds. Plants are sprayed to limit insect infestation. Picked vegetables and fruit are traveling long distances to their final destinations losing nutrients all along the way. Fruits and vegetables are at their peak of nutrient density the moment they are picked, unless they are frozen. So different from the food we evolved on. And that is just the plants.
The animals that provide our meat have experienced similar changes in their feed and the way they are raised, completely changing the meat that we eat.
The invention of the TV dinner in 1953 started the meal of convenience and convenient food has certainly changed a lot since then. Now we have fast food joints on every major corner. And, the grocery stores are full of fast, processed meals. As a matter of fact, much of the foods on the inner isles are foods of convenience and not always clean, whole, and nutrient dense.
Maybe before I continue I should define what I mean by Clean, Whole, and Nutrient Dense.
Clean means free of chemicals
Whole means intact and unprocessed. Meaning as it was picked.
Nutrient Dense, well, that means as close to when it is picked or butchered and not junk food.
Ok, to continue. Processed foods have gone even a step further. There is a book out there called Salt Sugar Fat, How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss. It is fascinating and infuriating. Essentially, they figured out how to hit the pleasure center of our brain using salt, sugar, and fats addicting us to those fabulous tasting but so bad for us processed foods. They’ve done an amazing job. The obesity and chronic illness statistics prove that.
I was in the movie theater this weekend and was watching a family that was in front of me. I couldn’t help it because I was fascinated by them. Altogether there was about 7 of them between the two families. They had 3 or 4 large popcorns between them and each of them had a large soda. Each of the popcorns was refilled once before the movie started and again during the movie. Each soda was filled at least once. I felt so sorry for the children and wondered how their genetics were going to play out as it was inevitable.
I know, I got carried away down a little bunny trail, but it is an applicable example of the food we are putting in our mouths today compared to where we all started. And the changes in our food source have happened so fast, the blink of an eye from an evolution perspective, that our bodies have not been able to evolve fast enough. We have not evolved to accommodate the changes to our food.
So, what do you do? You eat an ancestral diet, a Paleo diet. It is not always easy, but it is simple. It actually doesn’t get more basic when it comes to eating. It provides your body what it needs to move towards health and to stay there.
I am always available to answer any questions from the YHMS tribe. You can always reach me at email@example.com