I’m not a fan of dietary labels (“Paleo”, “gluten free”, etc.), as those terms quickly become hijacked by slick marketers and the focus becomes more about selling products than improving health. Beyond that, labels often provoke controversy, pigeon-holing and an us-versus-them mindset. As a result, the nutritionally-confused among us get fatter and sicker.
Though there is some disagreement as to what exactly our ancestors ate, there seems to be more of a consensus regarding what they didn’t eat, as well as the notion that our DNA has largely remained unchanged from the pre-agricultural era (the idea being that our genes haven’t had time to adapt to neolithic foods, resulting in modern disease). There’s scientific evidence to support the benefits of paleolithic eating in the areas of cardiovascular health, weight management, blood pressure and diabetes risk. The food is satiating and anecdotal reports abound of increased energy, improved mood, more favorable body composition and the elimination of nagging health issues like acid reflux, headaches and skin problems. For me, this way of eating just makes more sense.
While my diet may not qualify as strict Paleo (I actually prefer the term “traditional human” or “ancestral” diet), I’m in favor of any meal plan that emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods, devoid of disease-promoting toxins and high in nutritional value. Informed eaters understand that the “healthy” diet long pushed by government experts is anything but, however this infographic put together by NordicTrack and Robb Wolf makes it clear that the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is at best inconsistent with human evolution and, at worst, a crime against humanity!