There’s been a lot of talk about the hunter-gatherer style of eating dubbed the “Paleo Diet” to indicate pre-industrialized food consumption. The premise is simple – think caveman, going out each day to hunt your dinner or find enough plant nourishment to sustain you. The Paleo plate is typically devoid of grains, dairy, and refined sugar, and loaded with foliage, fruits, and a palm size serving of unadulterated, grass-fed meat. Because cavemen we’re often nomadic, always moving from place to place, I imagine it’s also much more varied diet as well; Depending on the season, you can’t always hunt, or feast on a bounty of berries and greens.
Advocates of the Paleo Diet attest to health benefits attributed to better digestion and absorption of nutrients. They lose weight, have more energy, notice less pain, bloating or inflammation, all, they say, because they are eating according to their genes. It is argued that some genotypes have not evolved to digest grains, dairy or other products of the industrialized agricultural age. Sounds vaguely like the Eat Right 4 Your Type (Blood type) plan.
The thing is, to maximize the benefits of the Paleo Diet, you must know your type, e.g. your genetic background. An all-you-can-eat meat buffet doesn’t work for everyone, nor does a mainly vegetarian or vegan diet. You need to know if your ancestors Vikings or Mongols, Mayans or Aborigines? Were they among the first to cultivate livestock, milk cows or goats, or grow rice? Did they consume fermented products, alcohol or cane sugar? You could really have fun with digging deep into your family tree to find out who you really are! Or, you could just ask your grandparents what their parents ate and mimic their traditional diet.
Veering away from modern, processed food that seems to always just be overly sweet or overly salty is always a good idea for your health. I believe it also makes food much more interesting with more unique flavour combinations and textures. To read more on the idea of personalizing the Paleo diet to make it more of an “Ancestral Diet” check out this article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health/new-health/health-nutrition/nutrition-features/is-the-caveman-lifestyle-a-healthy-choice/article2241453/