Tuesday, March 12, 2013

“Paleofantasy”: Stone Age delusions

“Paleofantasy”: Stone Age delusions - Salon.com:

'via Blog this'

This article makes a compelling case for the science- or more precisely, the hypotheses- behind Paleolithic diets and lifestyles being off-base, since evolution is ever working on us and we are always adapting to our conditions.  I haven't ever considered Paleolithic ideas to be the be-all and end-all, and I knew the science was pretty bad.  I really love the way the evolutionary biologist here analyzes it.

Still, the one thing I will stick up for is that the Primal Blueprint got me really thinking about what and how I eat- and also how I sleep, move and play. Now I'm eating probably five or ten times as much fresh fruits and vegetables now, and doing almost all my cooking from scratch.  I focus more on fueling my body, resting it significantly, and moving it in meaningful ways.  The Paleo folks reminded me to reconnect my brain to my body and my body to my environment, and that's key to well-being.

It's important to separate the wheat from the chaff, and in the arena of health, there is a lot of chaff going around.  But almost all diets come back to some basic fundamentals:  protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods.  It's easy to get confused when every faction, from the zero-carb group to the raw vegans, is waving "scientific results" that show happier, healthier humans!  But not everyone is built the same, and for most people the healthiest diet is a variety of fresh, homecooked or raw foods, covering all the bases of the food groups.

For me, I avoid grains because I'm avoiding sugar, and I've found I can't manage the one without the other.  And that works for me.  It's possible that at a later date I'll add in whole grains like quinoa and wheatberries, but for now, ditching grains entirely has been the best way of avoiding processed foods and added sugars for me.  Sugar really makes me feel sick- mentally and physically.  I find it's the number one culprit of my irritable bowel syndrome.  So, heave ho!

What do you think?  What has worked for you in trying to eat a healthier diet, and what constitutes healthy for you anyway?

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