What is Paleo?

The Paleolithic diet is a diet based on what human eat during the Paleolithic era. This period in our history extends from the earliest known time where the humans used stone tools which is probably about 2.6 million years ago to about 10 000 before present. The diet includes lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat and organ meats. Foods that were accessible in nature or by hunting.  However foods like dairy products, legumes, alcohol and grains are excluded. It is believed that the digestive track of the modern human beings did not evolve in pace with the modern diet which includes food from farming as well as processed food. Diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancers (!) has developed in an alarmingly rate lately. It is believed that the modern diet is involved in causing this increase in the health epidemic of modern people to not mention obesity and complications related to obesity.

I believe that just because we can process something that was previous uneatable to become eatable or consuming high processed foods that we have access to today, like cereal grains, industrial seed oils, sugar it might not be good for us. Interestingly these foods comprise the bulk of the modern diet. E.g bread, pastries, cookies, soda, fruit juice, fast food and other convenience foods. When we started cooking inedible plants, new toxins (or anti-nutrients) entered the diet. These toxins most often exist naturally in food since they have en evolutionary function in these foods (like preventing predators to eat them…!). However an overconsumption of these food sources can be harmful and cause an overload of toxins in our body. This puts a lot of pressure on your detoxification system which occurs mainly in the liver but also in other sites in your body. The result will be exhausted biological functions which can eventually lead to food allergies as well as different diseases such as autoimmunity and worse case scenario it might lead to cancers.

The Paleo diet/lifestyle makes sense to me. It focus on adding nutrient dense food and excluding foods that are fairly new for us modern people or processed to make it edible. Eating a nutrient dense organic diet will naturally provide you with building blocks that are essential for your body. Importantly, the paleo “lifestyle” as I prefer to say also represent a more holistic approach which to me includes a more balanced lifestyle with focus on quality time. Mindfulness, physical activity (especially in nature), reducing stress, having fun and quality sleep are all important components in creating a sustainable good lifestyle.