We are animals not far removed from the jungle. Genetically, we are nearly identical to primitive man.
Our bodies have been shaped by our environment to make the best of the resources available to us. Our genotype (the DNA) only develops a healthy phenotype (our body and mind) in response to the environmental inputs it evolved to thrive in. The trouble with our modern, industrial lifestyle is that it is very different from the environment our bodies evolved to thrive in.
As a result, most of us are plagued by chronic illnesses that our ancestors never dealt with. If they survived childhood illnesses and accidents, our primitive ancestors could expect to live almost as long as us without the help of any modern comforts.
What are the sins of the modern lifestyle?
- We eat terrible, non-human food: our bodies are adapted to handle a diet of mainly whole animal carcasses, leafy greens,nuts & berries. Modern man eats a diet full of grains and starches – full of carbohydrates that were a rare delicacy for primitive man.
- We evolved to eat whatever food is available and to handle occasional fasts – not to gorge ourselves multiple times a day on substances engineered to directly trigger our pleasure hormones.
- We evolved to tone our bodies with hours of daily activity, but today we fight every exertion with door to door transportation.
- Most people who try exercise programs follow stressful, repetitive and boring workouts which can be counter-productive and do not match the natural workouts our bodies adapted to.
- We evolved to handle occasional intense stresses (chasing prey and escaping predators) but we are overwhelmed with constantly stressful modern workplaces and hectic schedules.
- The substitution of a physiologically proper diet with highly processed modern foods and toxic, synthetic sweeteners has destroyed our health as well as our sense of taste: we can no longer taste or appreciate the natural sugars and flavors in many foods.
So, why Paleo?