The Paleolithic Diet

18 September 2007 · 6 comments

I keep forgetting that one of the reasons I chose this blog template is so that I could post some smaller entries. I also thought that this new format would be a great way for me to leave notes to myself. For example, somebody — I can’t remember whom — forwarded me a link to The Paleolithic Diet. I haven’t had a chance to read through this, but the premise intrigues me:

For millions of years, humans and their relatives have eaten meat, fish, fowl and the leaves, roots and fruits of many plants. One big obstacle to getting more calories from the environment is the fact that many plants are inedible. Grains, beans and potatoes are full of energy but all are inedible in the raw state as they contain many toxins. There is no doubt about that — please don’t try to eat them raw, they can make you very sick.

[…]

The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:

Eat none of the following:

  • Grains, including bread, pasta, noodles
  • Beans, including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas
  • Potatoes
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Eat the following:

  • Meat, chicken and fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)
  • Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)
  • Berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.

Try to increase your intake of:

  • Root vegetables: carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes
  • Organ meats: liver and kidneys

I haven’t read this entire article, but it intrigues me. I have to wonder, however, if our modern diet doesn’t have something to do with our increased life expectancy. (I’m not saying it’s the only factor — but might it not be one factor?)

Here’s some additional information on the paleolithic diet:

See? I want to make entries like this more often. Stuff for me to refer to in the future…

1 Bruce Lewin September 21, 2007 at 05:36

I’m investingating this too :-)

2 Joel September 26, 2007 at 10:08

So, are you allowed to cook the meat? ‘Cause that’ll drop your life expectancy down a little. Also, why no string beans? They’re edible raw.

3 Tamwise September 28, 2007 at 08:56

Joel: There are various ways to practice the paleolithic diet, but in one version you would exclude vegetables that entered the human diet relatively recently. One class of these includes so-called “new world” vegetables like tomatoes. Corn is also usually restricted. I don’t know the history of string beans, but maybe the explanation is something like that. (Some versions of that diet are really picky.)

4 gale October 6, 2007 at 20:26

Why are potatoes, tomatoes and beans not included in the diet?

5 HEATHER August 3, 2008 at 19:45

I have switched to a Paleolithic diet for the past 3 weeks and still don’t feel well. I am wondering how long before I can expect to start feeling better. For sure it does help with sugar addictions. HP

6 Christoher Hall November 4, 2008 at 12:15

To answer one of your questions Joel, the reason they don’t allow any beans is because they contain lectins and enzyme inhibitors in them. IT has nothing to do with raw or cooked. However, nuts and seeds contain them to so I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind that.

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