Paleo diets. It turns out ‘clean eating like a caveman’ is a myth, and paleoanthropologists are amused by sites and celebrities espousing the traits of paleo diets. Research into the hominid evolutionary patterns during the Stone Age find they didn’t eat so clean after all. Fantastic. So, prove to me that I can blitz a buffet with no consequences. No takers?
The new research, published in The Quarterly Review of Biology dinged the idea early humans had one eating pattern. It varies based on what was available and on the region. Coming to a fitness site near you – Regional Paleo Diet. What the Vikings ate.
Northern populations had a diet heavy in animals, while southern population areas ate more plants, thanks to a longer growing season. For early humans, it was all about survival, not clean eating.
Study author, Dr. Ken Sayers, commented on the diet and the mythical twinkie tree. “Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees. They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce.”
In reality, the diets of early humans didn’t have the effect it does today. Life expectancy was around 30 years, so it wasn’t like they were trying to avoid diabetes. It was starvation and being killed on a hunt. Studies have shown that the teeth of early humans weren’t ideal for meat or plants. So, the diets are similar to that of a scavenger animal.
“Some earlier workers had suggested that the diets of bears and pigs — which have an omnivorous, eclectic feeding strategy that varies greatly based on local conditions — share much in common with those of our early ancestors,” Sayers continued. “The data tend to support this view.”
A lot of people reading the story thinks it’s a ding against the dieting principles. It’s not. You get the suggestion that a healthy diet is just that – healthy. Should you eat that entire dozen donuts this morning? Nope, but it won’t kill you to have one every now and then.
Paleo dieters go for one guiding principle. Avoiding processed foods. If you can do that, I’m not sure there’s a scientist out there that will go, ‘Man, your twinkie levels are too low. You need to fix that.’
Yeah, us mortals can wish a doctor’s conversation would go like that. Instead, eat your vegetables.
If you are staring at pile of Christmas cookies and prepping your 5,000 calorie Christmas meal, head over to Nerd Fitness to see what you’ll be promising yourself next in about two weeks.