The “Paleolithic Diet” is an eating program designed to emulate the diets that humans had during their early evolutionary stages (i.e. cavemen). It revolves solely around the “hunter/gatherer” model. According to the theory of this program, humans are at maximum health when they only consume meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. They urge the complete avoidance of dairy, cereal grains (wheat, corn), legumes (peanuts, beans) and starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams). The theory is that this is the diet that humans had over their millennium of evolution.
Sounds accurate, right? I thought so at first, but I always ask questions before I completely buy into something.
Firstly, trying to claim that this is what humans ate over the course of their evolution is risky business. Nobody knows where humans came from. There are theories out there, but little evidence support them. The oldest and most reliable source of history people possess is the Bible, which leads us to believe that the human diet has stayed relatively the same for thousands of years. In other words, as far as written history is concerned, human have been eating bread for thousands of years. And were people thousands of years ago as heavy as they are now? Not likely.
On the same topic, the Paleo diet claims that humans who ate this diet were the “perfect specimens”. They picture humans under this diet as lean, muscular, athletic and healthy. Again, there is no evidence to support this claim because nobody knows what “cavemen” would have looked like. Also, what was the supposed lifespan of the caveman? Eighteen years? If most of the cavemen died prematurely due to disease or environmental hazards, how can we know that their diet truly benefited them?
My name is Matt Brisebois and I am a student of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at UNT and an avid Crossfitter. I began working out in high school when I started wrestling, then after that switched gears and tried my hand at bodybuilding, and then later on switched gears again and now exercise with the purpose of becoming as fit as possible.