Whenever I give someone advice, I always make sure I am coming from a point of experience, rather than opinion. Many diet "experts" today give advice from an opinion standpoint, leaving their experience, intellect, & intuition out of the arena. Logic is important too, as long as it is has been dislodged from ignorance & opinionated thoughts and is tied to intellect. So what are the benefits of the paleolithic diet, if any? Are there any signposts to look out for if you are practicing this diet yourself? What about the health risks of consuming a paleo diet? We will look into all of these questions and leave the information for you to digest, register, and apply on your own accord.
At a first glance, it is really enticing to eat a diet that our ancestors ate. It seems natural right? Any type ideology is generally, unnatural. This is because it envisions an aspect in which we are (currently) unable to reach. If we look at our cards with a true glance, at our current state of health, life, civilization, etc, we will be able to formulate a better answer!
Whenever I am looking into something, such as a diet, I'm always sure to observe the people who promote the diet themselves. Do they look healthy? Are they in good shape, having a surplus of energy to meet their needs? Are they aging prematurely? So who is promoting the paleo diet?
Meet the paleo crew:
- Mark Sisson
First, before commenting on Mark Sisson, or his dietary recommendations, let me say that I've never read his book. I do not know much else besides the fact that he is one of the main promoters of a primal diet. One thing I can comment on, is his use of synthetic growth hormones/testosterone while taking the picture featured on his book. Is this ethical? Or does it enable people to do the research themselves without blindly following anyone all the while comparing information from other sources and doing what works well for them. I always favor the latter. This definitely makes me skeptical of the information that he is promoting, especially if it has or has not worked for him. (Not all people write books to help others, some do it for profit and for other purposes that may not have our best interest in mind.)
Next let's look at another primal guru that is leading the way when it comes to the nutriology of animal foods.
Aajonus Vonderplanitz (The Chief of the Animal Foods Diet)
Aajonus obviously practices what he preaches, so more due respect to him. I will say that I have never tried fermented flesh foods, nor do I plan on it anytime soon in this life or in another. However, Aajonus claims he has healed himself of many ailments by eating such a diet. Could it be? In the first video, as you will see, he claims to have had over 300 heart attacks. My logic has no option but to override my good heart in this case. While I'd love to believe him, 300 heart attacks is a bit much, and I'm not sure if this has even been done before in the history of the medical profession witnessed, recorded, or experienced. Besides his erroneous claims, some of the information that he says is true, such as the denatured condition of some foods when heated. However, he's not someone that I would trust personally or take advice from.
While there are many others supporting the paleolithic diet, we will not go into all of their personal information or discuss all their experiences with the diet; rather, we will fully engage with the available information & draw a reasonable conclusion.
Let me draw from my own experience before I continue any further. When I was 15, I got turned on to organic foods & was shewed away from fast foods, processed foods, unhealthy beverages, and so forth. I read a lot of books and was turned onto raw goat's milk, raw eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, grass fed local organic free range bison, etc. The diet worked pretty good, except for the fact that I didn't feel too much of a difference. It's hard to when your body is still constructed from the processed food that you ate 6 months ago. So I investigated a little further and was turned onto a book that shifted gears a bit.
I read Peter Ragnar's book "How Long do You Choose to Live? (A Question of a Lifetime). This book really drew me onto the idea of raw foods & extending human longevity. So at the same age, I switched from eating my omnivorous organic to a diet completely based on raw foods, switching from eating a bison sirloin on my 15th birthday to eating carrots & celery for dinner (no pun intended). I began working out excessively and wasn't pleased with the results of this diet either, yet I continued on it for many years up to my early twenties. At first, it gives quite a release of energy & endorphins as the body begins detoxifying and rebuilding itself on organic material. Yet, it the long run, it can deplete the body's energy reserves (jing) and can actually be depleting. So where does all this lead us?
Not the primal diet. Well, this is because both diets are polar extremes. One relies primarily on raw or cooked animal foods and the other is based on, basically, grass! We are definitely not herbivores due to our lack of multiple stomachs, yet we cannot hunt and tear apart wild animals like a tiger does. Are you confused yet? Keep reading..