Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Paleolithic diet -- worth knowing about

Well, I am still learning about this, but I am very intrigued by the so-called Paleolithic Diet. It seems that our ancestors during the pre-agricultural age didn't eat beans or any grains like wheat, rice, etc. Which kind of makes sense when you think about it, because these things are all grass, which is not exactly intuitively appealing. They also didn't do dairy. Can you imagine chasing and catching some giant wild animal ... and then MILKING it?? LOL. Although people have been drinking goat milk for a really long time, but not apparently during the paleolithic or before.

I think it's interesting because:

* well, the paleolithic diet happens to be, among other things, casein free and gluten free

* it is naturally low glycemic index, so it probably makes you less likely to get diabetes

* it is naturally high in fruits and vegetables, which we already know are good for us.

They DID eat a lot of meat though! The catch here, though, is that their prey animals were all wild game, so they were very lean. (similarly, the fruit was all wild, so it wasn't nearly as sugary as what you get in the grocery store)

Apparently this means also ... a diet naturally low in saturated fat.

So ... it's interesting to study. Here's a really nice, thoughtful article:

The major downside to this diet? no sandwiches! no crackers! no cereal! how does one feed a toddler/preschooler?? what do I pack on the way to the playground? so far my best ideas are: (don't laugh ...) beef jerky (if I can find some not full of horrible chemicals), dried fruit (if I can find some without too much sugar), and maybe some of those vegetable chips (you can get beet chips and sweet potato chips now with no trans fats, only canola oil). For crunchy snacks I guess you get nuts and maybe carrot sticks? crudite?

My problem is that we also suspect food sensitivities, so I think we need to do an "elimination diet" where you only eat certain limited things and then add foods back one at a time to see what happens.

Throw in the chronic constipation in one kid with frequent diarrhea in the other, and planning a diet/nutrition plan gets really complicated.

So I'm not sure yet exactly what I'm going to do, but in the meantime, I think the paleo diet is definitely worth knowing about.

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