The term “paleo” is relatively new. It originated from the Paleolithic period of human evolution and coincides with the appearance of domesticated animals. These include sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, and the like.
Humans were primarily hunter-gatherers at this time and relied on the fruits and other foods available in the wild to satisfy their animal husbandry needs. The fact that animal husbandry became domesticated led to a change in lifestyle and food preparation, a shift that would eventually become what we know as civilization. However, there was one critical difference: before, the meat was left in the sun, which is how it got rancid.
After the discovery of fire, early humans began preparing meat in more elaborate ways. They would use fire to dry the meat and protect it from the elements while adding herbs and spices to the meat. With the new technique, they started to prepare the meat of various animals and began to grow their own grains. In turn, grains grew grain, which produced some of the earliest cereals and breads are known to man.
Although the caveman diet was based on meats, vegetables, and nuts, it was actually quite restricted. Only about 10% of the Paleolithic diet consisted of fruits and vegetables. Vegetables had to be killed in order to be used in a meal.
In addition to meat, humans learned to cook different species of plants, which allowed them to create a vast variety of dishes. Today, most people eat fish, chicken, lamb, beef, pork, eggs, and cheese on a regular basis.
Before the invention of smokeless cooking methods, meat would have been cooked on an open fire and smoke from the dog’s stomach would have been trapped in the fire. The smoke would have provided the flavor for the food.
As with other scientific understandings of our prehistoric past, the Paleo diet has its critics. Many say that pre-agricultural man was not properly hydrated and lacked the necessary vitamins and minerals needed to live healthily. In fact, the Paleo diet does not require the consumption of fruits and vegetables at all.
Others advocate the inclusion of fruits and vegetables in a healthy lifestyle, arguing that the Paleo diet has a high sodium level. They state that many diseases are caused by an excess of sodium. This may be true, but it’s not the same thing as saying that fruit and vegetables are unhealthy.
I enjoy eating veggies, even those rich in salt and starch. The Atkins Diet is not Paleo, and neither is the South Beach Diet. Even the Paleo-dieter cannot be accused of depriving himself of vegetables, which provide most of the body’s vitamins and minerals.
Fruit, on the other hand, doesn’t even qualify as a vegetable, since it has no nutrients. Eating fruit is like starving the body of essential nutrients, which isn’t really a way to go. Besides, fruits are highly perishable.
Overall, the Paleo diet is an ancient way of life. Its dietary philosophy is based on scientific evidence and the results are quite appealing. Whether you enjoy the taste of real fruit or hate it, there is something for everyone in the Paleo diet.