The Paleolithic era is assumed to cover over 2.5 million years ending around 20,000 years ago. The food of this period consisted of lean meats, fowl, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts and fruit.
Our ancestors were lean, tall, strong, fit and in good health. They were also free of the chronic lifestyle diseases that afflict us today. Why is that? The key answer lies in their diet which did NOT include sugar, grains, dairy products, legumes (beans), salt, or processed and artificial foods.
Research is proving that a diet more in keeping with what our ancestors ate keeps populations healthier.
The Paleo/Primal or ancestral diet is a great guide but NOT a doctrine.
At the core are some great basic nutrition guidelines that can benefit everyone. Those are to avoid grains, sugars, pasteurized dairy, and artificial processed foods and to replace them with high quality meat, fish, eggs and vegetables.
Non-Paleo/primal foods pose problems to our bodies through allergic reactions, intolerances, or chronic problems such as autoimmune issues and systemic inflammation that can lead to disease.
Here is what you need to know about NON primal foods (Sugar, grains, dairy products, legumes (beans), processed salt, and processed artificial foods) and why you should avoid them.
Gluten is found primarily in wheat but also in spelt, bare, rye, and oats and BLOCKS the absorption of vitamins and alters good gut bacteria leading to an increased risk of yeast and bacterial infections. If you are going to eat grains they MUST be soaked overnight or sprouted (as they traditionally were) to reduce mineral binding phytates and enzyme inhibitors. This reduces the impact on the GI tract. If you are suffering from any type of inflammation or autoimmune disease its best to AVOID grains all together.
Lectins are proteins found in plants such as grains, seeds, and legumes (beans). Lectins get stuck to the intestines and can lead to leaky gut, autoimmune issues, and insulin resistance. Again soaking or sprouting can help lessen the blow on the GI tract and eating these minimally is best.
Phytates are the bad guys found in beans and peas. Phytates bind to minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium in the GI tract and remove them from the body. This means that eating these foods (if not properly soaked or sprouted) can lead to mineral deficiencies in the body, NOT GOOD!
Saponins are the toxins commonly found in white potatoes and why many people try to avoid them. Saponins bind to cholesterol molecules wth gut cell membranes. These new molecules increase the risk of leaky gut and can lead to insulin resistance.
One of the many REASONS TO AVOID SOY! These protease inhibitors found in soy and other legumes block the efficiency of protein enzymes and interfere with the breakdown of proteins into amino acids. This process affects the overall absorption of protein in the body.
No calorie/low calorie artificial sweeteners are a food product created by the food industry. Some are an incredible 600x more sweeter than sugar!! They are excitotoxins and stimulate the area of the brain that creates a desire for more. There is a ton of supportive research now that indicates the harmful side effects of these products including hypertension, cancer-causing compounds and birth defects. YIKES!
And the real big kicker…………
Dairy is a modern cultural adaptation and the only reason we currently drink cow’s milk is that modern society has drilled it into our heads that it is a “natural” food. The real facts are that when dealing with ultra pasteurized milk you find on store shelves today you have a DEAD food stripped of any and all beneficial enzymes or bacteria found in the milk.
Most adults no longer produce enough of the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in the milk, meaning they are lactose intolerant to some degree!
Health issues are not just related to the lactose in the milk. Other problems stem from the casein (milk protein) which is inflammatory to the body and the hormones found in cow’s milk (such as bovine insulin).
The Bottom line is that we DON’T NEED MILK OR MILK PRODUCTS to be healthy. There are no nutrients in milk that cannot be obtained from fresh meat, fish, fruit, or vegetables.
The only exception I would make to this rule is if you are able to obtain RAW milk or cheese from cows raised on pasture. RAW milk is a living whole food and if you are able to tolerate it its the better choice.
I hope this Paleo/Primal Nutrition Information has helped you get a better grasp on what to fuel your body with for optimal health and wellness! A balanced diet requires the right kind of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals to unlock the energy of these macronutrients. This will have a profound effect on the way our bodies function overall!
Susie R 🙂