Common Sense Solutions for Health
The word Paleo refers to the term Paleolithic which was coined by the archeologist John Lubbock in 1865. It comes from the Greek word Paleois meaning old and Lithos meaning stone. So it literally translates to old age of the stone, or old stone age. Today Paleo is more commonly referred to as a grain free diet.
The Stone Age or Paleolithic era occurred from 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago. It was a time that our ancestors had to hunt and gather for their survival. The agricultural era that we live in today makes up only the last 10,000 of those 2.5 million years. 99.99% of your genetic blueprint was formed during the Paleolithic era. In other words your genetic make-up, which was shaped over the last 2 million years is virtually identical to your Paleolithic ancestors. That means that certain foods and nutrients, the same ones your ancient biological ancestors consumed, are literally part of your biology today. When you feed the body the foods to which it is genetically adapted; health vitality and the ability to maintain a lean body comes naturally.
Dr. Boyd Eaton of Emory University, wrote a landmark paper called “Paleolithic nutrition”, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. The basic premise of that report was that our genetic code determines our nutritional needs. For 2.5 million years we ate what we could hunt and gather. Today we eat what looks good, tastes good and what is sold to us thru multi-million dollar ad campaigns.
The average American eats 150 pounds of sugars and sweeteners per year; and hundreds of pounds of grains. The medical doctor James Braly and Mr. Ron Hoggan wrote a book called Dangerous Grains. They showed how grains are linked to more than 200 chronic illnesses and conditions including Type 2 Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Arthritis, Auto Immune diseases, Brain Disorders Intestinal disease, Chronic pain, Infertility and Problematic Pregnancies… just to name a few.
Our Paloelithic ancestors were strong, lean and had great athletic bodies. They survived on animal proteins like meat, fish, and fowl. They had fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and good healthy fats. Bread, Bagels, Pasta, Muffins, Croissants and Cereals didn’t even exist.
Here is our problem, the plants that produce our common grains, like wheat, rye, and barley, have compounds such as “lectins”, “phytates” and “gluten” that can damage your digestive tract and even trigger an autoimmune reaction. Grains and legumes contain a substance called Lectins that can ward off attacks from Bacteria, Insects, Worms, Rodents and unfortunately even Humans. Over millennia certain Insects, Birds and Rodents have genetically adapted to digesting these grains and legumes. Their bodies can neutralize these toxic anti-nutrients without damaging the animal. But because these foods are so new to humans we’ve not developed the same adaptations.
Gluten is another problem. Gluten is a protein found in Wheat, Rye and Barley. Approximately, 1 out of every 133 people in the United States have “Celiac Disease” which is a digestive disease triggered by eating grains with gluten. When a person with Celiac eats gluten it reacts with the tissue of the small intestine causing an inflammatory reaction. This damages the small intestine leading to mal-absorption and even malnutrition. Dr. Braly and Mr. Hoggan estimate that 90 million Americans may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That means close to 1 out of 3 people may have problems with Gluten without ever having Celiac Disease. This is a staggering number when you consider that Braly and Hoggan have referenced a list of 187 medical conditions that are linked to Gluten.
The Paleo way of eating is the only diet that matches what we should eat according to our genetic blueprint and that is precisely why this diet works. And I am not just talking about weight loss. I am talking about people able to reclaim their health. To turn back the clock to a time when their bodies looked good, felt good and weren’t sick and tired all the time. Start off with eating Paleo for 21 days and see what it does for you.