I can’t repeat it often enough: The Primal Nutrition is not a diet!
Diets don’t work!
Eating primally or paleo works.
EATING PRIMALLY means that you eat real food, with a particular emphasis on the word REAL.
Living primally means you live and eat in accordance to your genetical imprint.
The Evolution of human life ….
…. lasted about 2,5 million years and the actual human (homo sapiens) DNS has existed for approximately 160.000 years. Our primitive ancestors lived from hunting and gathering. There were no towns or agglomerations. There was only nature with all its dangers and some specimen of the early Homo Sapiens. Life was dangerous: a simple injury like a sprained ankle meant a certain death, as hunting and gathering became impossible. Furthermore, an impairment, as trite as it might be today, put us on the menu of a predator like, for example, a saber-toothed tiger, bear or other natural ennemy. Let’s add a high infant mortality and we have the main reasons of the short life expectancy of our ancestors that the critics of the Primal/Paleo movement love to refer to. But let’s be clear: not many of the modern humans would be capable to survive one single day under such hostile conditions or environment. We are just too weak and slow!
“We” exist on the basis of “survival of the fittest”
Those who survived – and there is no doubt about this anymore, as archeological discoveries prove – had a life expectancy that was very close to ours. It seems that a critical age was around 34-37 years. Those who passed this age could achieve 80 years and even more. It seems that this is a selection process: only the best genes survived and were passed down to our generations. The analysis of the historical skeletons even show that at that time they did not suffer from degenerations that are common to us: from bad teeth to diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and other degenerations we commonly associate with old age. They were fit until they dropped dead or got caught. Their quality of health and fitness was substantially better than ours and it goes without saying that they did not lose their wind whilst walking miles and miles to find something to eat.
What we we had at our disposal at hunter-gatherer times came directly from nature and the meat we ate, before having weapons to hunt it down by ourselves, were the remains after a predator got the prey before us. We even more often than not had to content ourselves with the brains and the marrow (lots of fat, indeed). There were even times (ice ages) where we did not even have vegetables or fruit at all. We would not exist any more, if we had not eaten the remains of other animals. At that time the remains that were left for us were mainly the brains and the bone marrow – very fatty but nutritionally dense animal proteins. This is proven to be the period where our brains grew bigger – separating the humans from the apes. We started to be able to produce weapons in order to catch the one or the other prey on our own.
The food we ate 10.000 years ago had nothing to do with what we find in the supermarkets today. Our genes are made to eat vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, some seeds and fruits. Proteins, fats and the carbs from vegetables is all we needed to evolve, thrive and pass only the best genes on to us until….
160.000 years versus 10.000 years
Almost 10.000 years ago, thus quite recently in the eye of the Evolution, we settled down and developed agriculture. We added grains and legumes to our nutrition. And that’s more or less the period, where the degeneration of our health and fitness began. Our genes did not change that much during this period. They adapt. That’s correct. But studies show that this happens over a much longer period of time than a time fragment of 10.000 years. The genetical code needs approximately 50.000 years to change by only 1%.
And then: the last 100 years …
As if what we did was not bad enough, we added genetic engineering to what nature provided: the grains we ate 10.000 years ago were dramatically different from the grains we eat today. We appropriated nature, crossbred the initial wheat germ to make it more productive and resistant, with grasses. The wheat we consume today has 42 chromosomes compared to 4 approximately 10.000 years ago and 14 at biblical times.
The meat/poultry/fish today is more often than not coming from the horrible industrial factory farming that makes me cry every time I think about it. Those animals are not correctly fed and suffer from extreme stress. Not only does this show that we are not as intelligent as we think we are but it also means that their meat is not recommendable anymore in terms of a healthy source of protein and animal fat.
Today’s convenience food is stuck with sugar and/or derivatives of it and grains with so many anti-nutrients that they simply make us sick – either on a short term or on a long-term basis. Even the fruit is not the same anymore. An apple 10.000 years ago was as bitter that it was hardly comestible. Today it is one of the sweetest fruits you can find. Most of the fruit is stuck with loads of fructose, the type of sugar that goes right away to the liver to be transformed into fat. Today, food is processed bo be durable in the supermarket as long as possible. The load of sugars, starch and grains such as the chemicals added to make them taste like something real lead to more hunger, overweight, insuline- and leptine resistence. There is some very positive side effect to report: the food-, -pharma and fitness industries are making more and more money. The price we pay is our health.
Any report of the WHO shows that – even if we are getting more and older – we get sicker and our fitness declines dramatically.
The positive news: we can change that! Even today it is possible to eat primally, in accordance with our genes and our evolution. There might be a small effort to do before it becomes a routine but the gratification will be immense: a normal weight, an improved fitness and a better health.
What about a (R)Evolution?