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Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are just a few of the health conditions that can be directly impacted by one’s diet and lifestyle. Impact statistics for all of these health conditions have risen in the past 50 years, now that diets have drastically increased the levels of sugars, fats, and processed foods in one’s daily dietary schedule. Humans, as physical beings, evolve at a radically smaller rate than our lifestyles. According to the theory of evolution, humans have existed for millions of years, and before they evolved through the “survival of the fittest”, we no longer need to live by those laws.
With science and innovation, humans have dramatically increased both mortality rate and lifespan. Yet, due to science and innovation, humans have created other reasons for lower lifespans and high mortality rates.
These manmade health conditions that affect millions of people worldwide may be prevented by participating in what can be referred to as the best diet, the Paleolithic diet.
The diet discussed in this paper is the Paleolithic diet. Also known as the Paleo diet or caveman diet, this diet is derived from the way early human ancestors ate, in a hunter-gatherer style. The paleolithic diet is a nutritional plan that eliminates processed foods from your diet, in means to mirror the ways our ancestors ate. The Paleolithic diet is comprised of lean cuts of beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, fruit, nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Not only are these foods rich in nutrients and beneficial calories but they also hold have been linked to beneficial results on well-known health conditions.
During the Paleolithic Era, the main cause of death was the spread of infectious diseases, such as smallpox, polio, and measles, and had short lifespans. Only now do humans have the technology and resources to prevent such diseases, increase lifespan, and drop the mortality rate. However, due to knowledge, technology, and resources a new set of obstacles are in the way of worldwide health. These man-caused health conditions include: obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Obesity has numerous causes, but the most prevalent is aggressive marketing, eating too much, and not moving enough. While some may argue that not moving enough is a societal cause, innovation plays an unconscious role because we no longer have to put as much physical labor into doing daily activities to survive as we did during the Paleolithic period.
Aggressive marketing plays a major role in processed food consumption which then puts people at a greater risk of developing obesity. Bit companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing their message that consumers should be eating more. The book The Omnivore’s Dilemma goes into depth about what humans as consumers currently eat versus what they should be eating. The author mentions how the food industry, government and advertisers have created one of most economically beneficial enterprises, but place profits over consumer wellbeing. Big businesses in the food industry pay off the government so that they won’t have many regulations and can build a bigger profit by selling more. These companies have used science and technology to place ultra-processed foods on our tables.
In a cross-sectional study done by the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health, they found that the consumption of ultra-processed food resulted in higher BMI and waist circumference: obesity. The Paleolithic Diet eliminates processed foods from one’s diet and lowers the risk of obesity. And while it was not designed as a weight loss diet, when paired with regular exercise, results in healthy weight loss. The term “healthy” currently holds a controversial meaning. Having a healthy body does not only mean having a “fit” outer appearance but it is important to also have a healthy physical inside. Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietitian who received her Bachelor of Science from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Science from Boston University, has helped millions with their body outlook. She says that “when it comes to losing weight, it’s more about what you put in rather than what you burn off”.
And the Paleolithic diet full heartedly supports this claim. Ultra-processed foods are simply designed to lower costs of production so that companies can produce more for a lower cost. Human bodies were designed to consume and digest natural ingredients, and our Paleolithic ancestors followed this. Dietary patterns, like the Western Diet, have significantly high quantities of sugars, fats and processed foods. These things lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The cardiometabolic disease is currently the number one cause of mortality around the world. The Paleolithic diet is higher in fruits, vegetables, fibre, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, tree nuts, and potassium. According to the Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society the Paleolithic diet, diets high in these components, is known to lower the risk of cardiometabolic syndrome, CMS.
The cardiometabolic syndrome is a multifactorial risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, because the Paleolithic diet includes red meats, if you do not limit the intake of red meats this could lead to an increase in risk for heart conditions. This is especially the case for people with diabetes. Although the paleolithic diet is all around high in these ingredients that lower the risk of CMS, people argue that because the paleo diet is rich in red meats it too is detrimental to your heart. If you have diabetes and do not limit your consumption of red meats then it may cause a negative effect on your heart. According to the findings published in Current Atherosclerosis Reports, meats high in sodium levels pose a serious health risk for people with diabetes. However, in a journal published by better nutrition, they found that the Paleolithic diet actually lowers the risk of diabetes and promotes longevity.
Along with health benefits that result from the Paleolithic diet, the diet also has environmentally beneficial impacts. The diet promotes organic farms and natural ingredients. Not only do these lower ones economic footprint, pollution, and but it also lowers animal cruelty. Because the diet has extracted diary from ones dietary pattern, now people do not have to While intellectually advancing both humanity and technology is a vital goal for the future, it is important to remember that our bodies were designed to consume natural ingredients. We now have the medical technology and research to combat disease and prolong life, yet we are faced with the challenge of being manipulated by profits and big companies. In the Paleolithic era, people did not value wealth over health. The Paleolithic Diet reverts us back to our past and allows us to live longer healthier lives. The only thing stopping us from a healthy future is our dietary choices. The paleolithic diet is the best diet for the advancement of humanity and the environment. Eat natural, eat healthy, eat the Paleolithic Diet.
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