The Paleo Diet or hunter-gatherer diet’s theoretical basis stems from the fact that man started farming and using domestic animal husbandry around 10,000 years ago. Up until then, humans hunted and gathered wild animals, plants, nuts, and berries. That was the Paleolithic or prehistoric period.
Evidently, the pro-Paleo people assert that our genetic make-up hasn’t had enough time over those 10,000 years for DNA conversions to take place to properly metabolize those foods. Therefore, we shouldn’t eat foods that are farmed or domesticated.
This is not necessarily completely true, of course. But there are some partial truths. For example, the wheat of just a little over a half-century ago contained under than five percent gluten. Now the gluten content is 50 percent, thanks to sophisticated horticultural cross breeding non-GMO techniques.
The inability to adapt genetically to his hybrid in 50 years is obvious. High-gluten foods such as wheat have made a mark on lowered health with its digestive issues. But not all grains contain gluten. (Related: Just how beneficial is a gluten-free diet for those without celiac disease?)
Many are claiming success from the Paleo diet. Much of that success is from excluding glycemic starches and gluten in grains and lectins and saponins in grains and beans that can create leaky gut syndrome or trigger autoimmune diseases.
But we don’t all have the same body types. Ayurvedic medicine has been able to assign diets for optimum health according to different constitutional make-ups over many post-Paleolithic centuries. They do include grains, legumes, and support vegetarian eating while allowing meat consumption.
More recently, a few holistic practitioners have developed constitutional typing for dietary choices.
Avoid overindulging meat eating with Paleo
In order to simulate the flesh bearing beasts of prehistoric times, Paleoists advocate eating meats from animals that graze on grasses or poultry that is free range. Prehistoric animals ate leafy plants and grasses, and they were not shot up with hormones and antibiotics.
If you’re Paleo inclined, meats from other sources are dangerous for your health and inhumane to animals. Those CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) harm the environment and factory farm animals are fed grains, including GMO corn, instead of grasses.
All red meat proteins are difficult to digest and demand more pancreatic enzyme activity, which can lead to problems with the pancreas or distract pancreatic enzymes from neutralizing cancer cells.
Eggs and poultry are good for whole proteins, but again, only from those healthy sources. Seafood is a great protein and omega-3 source, but many ocean areas have been heavily polluted. Farmed fish are usually not fed their natural foods. Buyer beware.
Proteins are vital, containing 20 amino acids, with only around half made in our bodies while the other half are considered essential and need to be obtained from outside sources.
All the amino acids are predigested to form complete proteins in the meat, fish, and egg sources. Just how much whole proteins are needed daily has been exaggerated in our culture.
Eating too much meat is common to Americans. Asian meat eaters consume much less. Seaweed, bananas, Goji berries, avocado, and various nuts and seeds offer all the amino acids, and there are amino acid supplements available also.
Vegetarians obtain all the amino acids needed for complete proteins by combining grains and legumes (rice and beans). It’s easier for the body to synthesize amino acids to form complete proteins rather than break them down.
Maybe stretching the Paleo rules a bit by using overnight soaking techniques for rice and legumes to get rid of the elements that can create digestive problems could work.
Here’s a starter list of veggies, fruits, and nuts that contain various essential amino acids. Simply cross out the grain and legume sources.
Sources for this article include: