|Three Reasons For Trying the Stoneage Diet|
1. Natural Selection
Our gene pool was shaped by natural selection for optimal function in past environments far different from the ones in which we now live.
2. Slow pace of genetic change.
There have been some genetic changes since the beginnings of agriculture, but natural selection is slow so most of our genome remains adapted for ancestral conditions.
The resulting mismatch between our ancient bodies and the circumstances of modern life in affluent Western nations fosters development of chronic degenerative diseases.
What is it?
Whilst we can’t really know with 100% certainty what our ancestors ate, and their diets would have varied in composition according to what was available in the local habitat, we can be sure of the following guidelines: they ate wild meat (including internal organs and bonemarrow), fish, fruits, vegetables, roots, eggs, and nuts. They did not eat any dairy, grains, legumes, refined fat and sugars – although they might have had access to honey at certain times of the year. They certainly did not consume any food products that require sophisticated processing, such as refined sugars and vegetable or other processed oils, milled grains and any grain based products.
To get near to our ancestral diet, without resorting to adopting the full-on hunter gatherer lifestyle (for which you’d undoubtedly get arrested in modern day Britain anyway!) these are the basic ground rules, taken and distilled from numerous sources:
1. No Grains. Here's why. Also, which grains to eliminate, and what to expect.
2. No Sugars. Here's why and more details.
3. No Grain and Seed Derived Oils. Here's why and more details.
4. No Legumes. Here's why and more details.
5. No Dairy Here's why and more details.
6. Eat Meat, Eggs, and Fish.
7. Eat Fruits, Vegetables, Roots.
8. Eat Nuts, Berries and Seeds.
9. Exercise Daily.
Not Low-Carb or Atkins
A stoneage diet is often high in protein, typically 15 - 35% of energy, but not necessarily low in carbohydrate. It should not be confused with the Atkins diet or similar programmes based on the assumption that a high intake of carbohydrates promotes insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia. Our primate ancestors are considered to have been specialised fruit-eaters for more than 40 million years, and it is unlikely that our metabolism has lost the capacity to handle high amounts of carbohydrates in the relatively short periods as paleolithic hunters. Thus stoneage diets do not consist of meat in exchange for vegetables: both are included.
Keeping a Diet Diary
When conducting the initial inquiry during the first thirty or so days of the paleo diet, it is very useful to keep a diet diary, to note both exactly what you have consumed, and to measure or gauge any symptoms that you might experience.
In Stoneage times, natural sugars would have only been available for a few months a year during the Autumn, and it would have important in cooler climes for people to eat as much as they could to build up fat reserves for the coming winter. These days we can get sugar whenever we want, and for those of us that have central heating, winter ain’t what it used to be either.