Paleolithic Nutrition is gaining popularity, almost bordering on fad diet status in some places. This is actually the second time for the Paleo 'craze' with Dr. Cordain's first book in 2002 being quite popular, albeit not as popular as the last year, with the help of Robb Wolf! This is all for the better as a Paleolithic Nutrition Strategy has the potential to greatly reduce mortality, morbidity and increase health and performance.
I have followed the Paleolithic Nutrition Strategy since Cordain's first book, I have made some mistakes along the way and fought with the 'un-Paleo' demands of endurance sport. Over the last many years, through my own experimentation and also the help of great resources, like Robb Wolf and the Paleo-Diet for Athletes Book, I have come across some great principles to help the endurance athlete thrive on this strategy, without making the mistakes I made along the way!
Following a Paleo Strategy shouldn't be a badge we wear but a lifestyle. Looking at the Paleolithic era as an example of how to live. It is not 'because the caveman did it' but rather an avoidance of problematic and/or allergenic foods and/or prioritizing nutrient density.
We can look at:
- social trends (not overworking, managing stress, seeing family and friends outside of Facebook!)
- Sleep/Seasonal Trends - Respecting cycles of food and darkness
- Activity Trends - Not over doing any one mode of movement, mixing up intensities, actually moving
- Nutrition Trends - Avoiding foods that are potentially harmful, each person should establish what this means for them based on their body and goals. Most would benefit from trying 30 days 100% Paleo and then adding in small, controlled amounts to assess changes from a 'pure' paleo state. You might be surprised what you learn.
Below are some further reading/resources.
This is a Great Summary from a recent Journal Article on Paleolithic Nutrition:
There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (eg, in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry 10,000y ago
occurred too recently on an evolutionary time scale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural,
and activity patterns of contemporary Western populations,many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. In particular, food staples and food-processing procedures introduced during the
Neolithic and Industrial Periods have fundamentally altered 7 crucial nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets: 1) glycemic load, 2) fatty acid composition, 3) macronutrient composition,
4)micronutrient density, 5) acid-base balance, 6) sodium-potassium ratio, and 7) fiber content. The evolutionary collision of our ancient genome with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods may
underlie many of the chronic diseases of Western civilization.
Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:341–54.
Dr. Cordain at Crossfit Football Video Lecture
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