Article courtesy of Newsmax Health
Sunday, December 16, 2012 5:12 PM
By Arnie Rosenberg
It’s trendy to go “back to basics.” But author Nora Gedgaudas says that for optimum health, we need to take our diet all the way back to the Paleolithic Era, which ended 200,000 years ago.
Gedgaudas, a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback specialist, says that a high-fat, moderate-protein, starch-free diet – along with nuts, seeds and seafood – helped Paleolithic man develop the physical makeup we still have today. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t have the carbohydrates, particularly grains and legumes, and processed foods that are today’s diet staples. Today, as we become more dependent on that starch-heavy diet, our bodies as well as our minds are becoming less healthy.
“We’re being subjected to things that our ancestors could never have imagined,” says Gedgaudas, author of the recent best-selling book “Primal Body, Primal Mind.”
“Our ancestors gave us clues about how we should eat based on how they ate. Their habits helped design their physical makeup, which now is our physical makeup. When we deviate, we get into trouble. And we’re in trouble.”
Gedgaudas says our eating habits and health are influenced by our environment: polluted water and air, genetic modification of food, pesticides, herbicides, depletion of soils, and electromagnetic pollution. Add to that the “agendas” of commercial interests that want us addicted to processed, high-starch diets, and society’s general health is suffering.
Not only does heart disease and cancer claim more victims each year, but auto-immune disorders, autism, ADD/ADHD, and memory disorder all can be traced to abandonment of the diet that helped make man strong and healthy in the first place and keep him that way for millions of years, she says.
Because we’ve genetically changed little from our much-healthier ancestors, our dietary and physiological requirements haven’t substantially changed, either. That’s why so-called “caveman diets” have become so popular in recent years, Gedgaudas tells Newsmax Health.
Cancer, heart disease, and auto-immune disorders are modern health scourges that were not widespread in our long-ago ancestors. Today, they are among man’s top killers.
Back to Basics
“Paleolithic nutrition has taken off because it appeals to people in a common-sense way,” she says. “Nutrition never started coming into focus for me without this foundational outlook.”
Eating a primitive diet is simple, Gedgaudas says. Avoid processed foods, factory-farmed meat, and farm-raised seafood. Instead eat grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish. Choose organic vegetables and greens.
Stay away from conventionally produced dairy products, especially low-fat milk, which is high in carbohydrates, Gedgaudas advises. And at the top of her “cut the carbs” list is eliminating sugar from your diet.
Should you cut back on unhealthy foods gradually? Gedgaudas recommends quitting cold turkey. Otherwise, “You’re setting yourself up for failure. People base their diet on foods that truly are addictive in most respects,” she says.
Likewise, she calls the old adage “Everything in moderation” no more than an excuse.
What You Can Do
Here are the first steps that Gedgaudas recommends for a healthier, primal diet:
• Eliminate margarine and commercial cooking oils “immediately, if not yesterday.” Olive oil is an excellent substitute.
• Replace soda, sports drinks, and juices with plain water.
• Avoid fast food, sugar, starches, and processed gluten-containing foods.
• Supplement with omega-3 oils, vitamins A and D, and a daily multivitamin, mineral complex or multimineral complex.
• Get at seven to eight hours of sleep a night.
With so many unhealthy foods and toxins in the environment, “There’s almost no room for error anymore,” Gedgaudas says. “Each generation is increasingly vulnerable. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own well-being.”
Read more: ‘Primal Diet’: Eat Like Our Ancestors to Lose Weight, Be Healthier
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