Paleo Madness

The recent surge in Paleo popularity is disconcerting. Promoted as the diet of our ancient forefathers, it advocates weight loss by consuming as much as 35% animal-based protein. 

Here’s what you need to know: the diet is completely counter to a vast body of scientific data which links diets high in animal-based foods to a markedly increased risk of various chronic diseases.

Take a look at the link between meat consumption and colon cancer:(i)

Meat vs colon cancer 

There are major problems with the assertion that Paleo is the optimal diet for us today:

  1. The claim that animal protein was ever a food mainstay runs counter to reality. Hunting wild animals is perilous and it is unfathomable that animal protein was consumed daily by any of our ancestors.
  2. The diet is not necessarily optimal for longevity. A nomadic tribe constantly hunting and being hunted could not survive if it were slowed by an ever-growing population of seniors.
  3. When was the last time you hunted anything? 

Finally, focus on health not weight loss. Choose an evidence-based eating plan that prevents and, in some cases even reverses, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and dementia. Keep daily protein intake below 10% of calories and maximize fruits, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds — this is the true recipe for health. And you’ll enjoy weight loss to boot. (ii)


References:
(i)Armstrong D, Doll R:  Environmental factors and cancer incidence and mortality in different countries, with special reference to dietary practices.  Int J Cancer 1975: 617-631
(ii)Campbell TC:  The China Study.  BenBella Books. 2006

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