By: AARON RILEY
The Paleolithic diet, also known as the Caveman diet, is the articulation of a broad collective desire to create a better lifestyle alongside burgeoning skepticism of conventional wisdom about food and nutrition. The Caveman diet is unlike many diets that would be dismissed as fads. This diet seeks to imitate the foods eaten by man before the Agricultural Revolution, which was marked by the replacement of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle with that of the creation of settlements and the domestication of animals and crops.
The post-Industrial diet includes cereal grains, dairy products, sugars, starches and other foods high in carbohydrates. These foods can cause insulin resistance. According to Loren Cordain, Ph.D., “Diseases of insulin resistance are frequently referred to as ‘diseases of civilization’ and include: obesity, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia”. It is likely that the metabolic syndrome may extend to other chronic illnesses and conditions that are widely prevalent in Western societies, including: myopia, acne, gout, polycystic ovary syndrome, epithelial cell cancers (breast, colon, and prostate), male vertex balding, skin tags and acanthosis nigricans. Diseases of insulin resistance are rare or absent in hunter-gatherer and other less westernized societies living and eating in their traditional manner.
The Caveman diet instructs the consumption of a low-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet. Mark Sisson, triathlete, author of “The Primal Blueprint” and a central figure in the Paleo movement, argues that saturated fat in beef is not the problem, but rather the prevalence of carbohydrates in animal fat is the problem. Moreover, the high-carbohydrate nature of modern animal fat is due to grain-fed livestock. Animal fats today contain growth hormones, feed additives, pesticides and antibiotics. Additionally, animals have been exposed to industrial gaseous pollutants, and also dioxins from acid rain; even grass-fed organic beef may contain dioxins.
College students are not always privy to the latest nutritional facts. Health food stores and Vegan food stores are expensive so it is assumed that any assessed or elaborate diet would require big spending. However, the aforementioned foods of the Caveman diet are certainly attainable on a student’s income. Of significance is the student’s dependence on cafeteria food. Cafeteria food is high in salt and sugars and low in fruits and vegetables. Cafeteria food may also contain polyunsaturated fats, which can cause inflammation and stress on the body due to becoming oxidized, or rancid. Taking the steps to rectify an unhealthy lifestyle by emulating the food choices of our ancestors can rebuild the energy of fatigued college students.
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