I’ve been eating a mostly paleo/primal diet for several years now, and I used to accept the generic justifications. Several months ago I decided that these “paleoisms” weren’t good enough for me, and I went on a quest to find some science to back up the blogosphere’s claims. I am somewhat sad to say that the science was largely lacking from many sites, with some notable exceptions. There isn’t much out there that falls somewhere in between an overly in-depth analysis of biochemical pathways and inaccurate references to those things called “lectins” and “phytates” (more on these later). I recently discovered some amazing individuals in the paleo/primal community who truly know what they’re talking about, but some of the information out there still needs to be digested. My hope is that in some small way I can fill in the holes (heheh leaky gut anyone?) in your knowledge.
I feel fairly confident in assuming that for those of you who stick to the paleo principles, you’ve been asked at some point “why” you eat this crazy “diet.” I mean COME ON, what the hell? Someone made a delicious cake for a friend’s birthday and you won’t eat it? You don’t dive into that homemade baklava your aunt made especially because you were coming? Ok, maybe that one’s just me. Food is central to our social culture, and many people find it distressing to meet someone whom they can’t feed. CRAZY, right? Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter, because that’s how it is.
SO, next time you’re confronted with WHY you eat paleo/primal, wouldn’t you love love LOVE to have a solid reason, other than “because our ancestors ate a diet high in animal protein and vegetables, and the diseases of modern civilization only emerged with the advent of agriculture.” Few people find this reason acceptable, and I hope I can help show you that you don’t need to fall back on such a weak explanation.
I am not one of those individuals who were cured of an autoimmune disease by a paleo diet. I’m a “normal” 20-something female who just likes eating this way, but recognizes that this justification won’t fly in most audiences. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology from Harvard, so I know a little something about science. There’s always more to learn though. Hopefully we can learn together.