What is this diet from our primal past? How did we come so far out of touch with our ancestral past. It takes anthropologists to study the bones and teeth to find out what we ate so we can understand our paleo diet a little better. The idea is to find out what we ate and change our modern agricultural diet and consume a diet that will improve our health and longevity. Roughly 10,000 years, is when we stopped foraging and began our early attempts at farming.
Most of the food we consume these days is nothing like we consumed over 10,000 years ago. A lot of the plant based food we consume today, we didn’t have back then. most of our modern versions was either inedible, or just made us sick. Before the agricultural age began our primary diet was meat based and was supplemented with some plant based foods such as nuts and oils. Foods prior to the agricultural age that we didn’t eat were foods like dairy, legumes and grains. There are remains of our ancestors dating back way before the agricultural age that showed the absence of cavities. It wasn’t till the agricultural age onwards that dental cavities became apparent.
Even though we ate meat we didn’t have a physical or genetic adaptation to meat. We have many adaptation to plants. For instance, vitamin C, carnivores make their own vitamin C. Humans don’t. We are dependent upon plants to provide us with vitamin C and a host of other vitamins and nutrients. We have a much longer digestive system than carnivores, so we can digest the plant matter properly.
Some bone chemistry studies were done that can determine what different animals and early humans ate and drank. If you have a look at the isotope values above you can see that it depends where you lived in the world, your isotope values on the equator might be different to someone who lived in Europe. Notice early humans are up there with the carnivores. It is thought that some animals that had a plant based diet that had high isotope values may have resorted eating tree bark or similar when food was scarce.
It would be true to say is that food we ate, would be animals that was available or plant food that was in season. The paleo diet in Australia 20,000 years ago, would be very different to the paleo diet in the middle east, or northern Europe.
Our paleolithic ancestors still have a lot to teach us through our scientists. One thing I do know is our paleolithic ancestors didn’t eat the sugary and processed foods that we have available to us today. If you want some Idea where to start. Do what I do when I go shopping and by-pass all the processed packed products and go straight to the fresh food section of the supermarket. Fresh is always best.
Meat and eggs should be grass fed and not grain fed. A grass fed free range chicken egg yoke is orange in color. A chicken that has been fed just grain will produce a yoke that is pale yellow in color. The meat that is grass fed has fat that is yellow. That’s why good butter is yellow. Have you noticed that fat on a grain fed meat is white. Have a look at the paleo approved pyramid? We were designed to eat whole fresh foods where possible. Early man didn’t have the option to be fussy. Most of the animal including the fat and organs were consumed.