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Basics question

Answered on August 14, 2017
Created August 08, 2017 at 10:29 PM

Hi!

Is Paleo basically just eating whole foods? I've been doing this on my own for some time. Nice to finally have somewhere to go where people don't think I'm a modernized hippie!

Charissa 

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on August 14, 2017
at 04:37 PM

Paleo is the idea that the last 10,000 or so years have seen huge changes in the way humans live, and evolution lags behind. This means there are possibilities for genetic mismatches. Some modern practices may be harmful, and understanding how our distant ancestors lived may give us clues about how to be healthier.

Eating whole foods is certainly one prescription that can be consistent with paleo. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors weren't doing a lot of food processing. On the other hand, many foods, even in their whole form, were not available to them. So those neolithic foods are suspects for genetic mismatch.

Going beyond narrow paleo and looking at the broader "ancestral health" community, we may be able to learn from more recent ancestors. In the last few decades, change has accelerated. Maybe you don't have to go all the way to the Paleolithic era to find a healthy template. Your grandparents almost certainly ate more whole foods, and their population of origin may have adapted to local foods in ways that other populations have not. Or they may have deveoped methods to make some foods less problematic.

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