What is Paleo Diet ?
Amongst themselves, the regulars speak of “paleo” (for paleolithic). A phenomenon in Anglo-Saxon countries, it has been declared “the most popular diet in the world” by the American news site Huffington Post. On the other side of the Atlantic, he can count on strong ambassadors such as Jeb Bush, candidate for the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential election, and actress Uma Thurman.
The Paleolithic diet consists of feeding ourselves in the manner of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It consists of fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, wild plants, as well as game (lean meat), fish, shellfish and eggs. It excludes cereal foods and dairy products, which were later introduced into the human diet – in Neolithic times 10,000 years ago – when agriculture was introduced. He’s banning industrial food.
Why avoid cereals and dairies ?
Because, according to the “pro-paleo”, the human genome has not evolved sufficiently to adapt to this nutritional transition.
According to Drs. Boyd Eaton and Loren Cordain, nutritional needs are genetically determined. However, while these ones have hardly changed since prehistoric times, diet and more generally lifestyle have changed radically: with the introduction of cereals and dairy products and much more recently industrial foods and the shift from a very active lifestyle to a sedentary one.
Only a return to their origin would therefore make it possible to fight against these diseases that affect our modern societies: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity… “The study of the bone remains and teeth of Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal showed that their health was generally very suitable. No evidence of malnutrition, metabolic diseases or even cavities.”
Who popularized this diet ?
The Paleolithic diet was popularized by two American researchers. Dr. Boyd Eaten, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta, describes its benefits as early as 1985 in a publication in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine1. Dr. Loren Cordain, a professor at the University of Colorado, became interested in the subject in the late 1990s and has published numerous articles on the subject, as well as a book 2. Since the early 2000s, other researchers have been evaluating the value of the paleo diet in the management of obesity or various metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes or hypercholesterolemia.