In this article, I will talk about the general characteristics that our Paleolithic ancestors had, and I will explain how the Paleo or ancestors' approach to what we eat can improve our overall health. Read on to find out what the hereditary diet looks like and get five health benefits if you eat more as a hunter-gatherer.
What is a hereditary diet? Check out this article to learn about some of the common characteristics that our Paleolithic ancestors possessed and learn about the five health benefits of using paleo. #chriskresser #paleo #optimalhealth
Chronic disease affects the modern world – and diet may be to blame
Chronic disease has reached epidemic levels in developed countries. The incidence of type 2 diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, mental disorders and much more is growing rapidly. Six out of 10 American adults have a chronic illness, and four out of 10 suffer from two or more chronic illnesses. (1)
According to the best archaeological data, our ancestors did not develop these inflammatory, chronic diseases. And not one does modern hunter-gatherers. Consider the following examples:
- Citizens in Bolivia have atherosclerosis levels 80 percent lower than residents of the United States. (2)
- In Tanzania, less than 2 percent of adult Hadza are overweight (compared with nearly two-thirds of adult Americans), and diabetes is virtually non-existent. (3)
- Masai in Kenya do not get sick with cardiovascular diseases, despite a diet based on red meat, blood and milk (4) (so much for theory that saturated fats and cholesterol cause heart disease …). (5)
What has changed between then and now? When we do not live and do not eat, as our ancestors did, the discrepancy between our genes and the environment kindles the fire of chronic diseases. The health of ancestors – and the diet of ancestors – is the solution to this discrepancy.
With the industrial revolution and technological advances, quality of life has improved in many ways, but our health continues to deteriorate. Although food is only one of the factors that affect health (movement, sleep, and stress are some of the others), we cannot escape the true phrase “you are what you eat.” The standard American diet, veganism and even Vegetarianism are far from what our ancestors ate, and what our genes and biology do not require. Instead, you are created to thrive on a hereditary diet.
A generic approach to diet and lifestyle can prevent or reverse a chronic disease. And when this approach is combined with the support of a trained functional health trainer, he can make a difference. As part of the ADAPT Health Trainer Training Program, we are training the next generation of functional health trainers. If you want to make a living by making changes, this may be the career that suits you. To learn more.
What is a hereditary diet?
The nutritional composition of our ancestors varied greatly depending on the geographical location, the availability of food and technology. Even the ratio of macronutrients (percentage of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) was significantly different among hunter and gatherer populations. But some key features unite almost all the diets of our Paleolithic ancestors and modern hunter-gatherers.
Our hominid ancestors ate animal products for at least 2.5 million years. (6) Animal products are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Some of the nutrients they contain in large quantities are difficult to obtain elsewhere, as plant varieties are poorly absorbed and / or transformed. Some of these nutrients include:
- Vitamin B12 (liver, seafood, red meat)
- Choline (pasture eggs, liver)
- Gem iron (red meat, liver)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) omega-3 fatty acids (cold water, fatty fish)
- Vitamin K2 (herbal oil, pasture eggs)
- Selenium (fish)
- Preformed Vitamin A (liver)
- High quality protein (meat, eggs, dairy products)
It is important to note that animal products include more than just “meat”. Eating from nose to tail better reflects a nutritious, hereditary diet. Bone broth and cartilage cuts are rich in the amino acid glycine, which helps balance the high methionine content in meat. (7) Organ meat, like the kidneys and heart, are superfood rock stars. The liver can be the most nutritious food on the entire planet.
Animal products are not only rich in nutrients, but also contain more bioavailable forms of many nutrients, including protein, calcium and iron, compared to plant sources. (8, 9, 10)
Starchy and non-starchy vegetables
For our ancestors, the ratio of calories in plant and animal food varied greatly. In one field study of 229 hunter-gatherer groups, researchers found that animal products provide on average more than two-thirds of their calories in the range of 26 to 99 percent. (11, 12) Only 14 percent of these societies derived more than 50 percent of their calories from plant foods.
Contrary to media coverage of the “paleo diet,” vegetables should occupy the vast majority volume your plate, as they are not as high in calories as animal products. Even if you want to get 50 to 70 percent of calories from animal products, plant foods should make up two-thirds to three-quarters of the space on your plate. Plant foods nourish your microbiome and aid digestion.
Vegetables are the main sources of many nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Plant sterols and stanols
- Isothiocyanates and Indoles
- Prebiotic fiber
- And more
Sometimes cereals and legumes
Many are surprised to learn that grains and legumes can actually be paleo. Data on the consumption of wheat, barley and rice dates back millennia. (13) But these grains are not what you will find in the aisles of the grocery store – oatmeal, flour and white rice. Cereals and legumes contain high levels of antinutrients that bind nutrients and inhibit their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. (14)
The cultures that ate these foods were first soaked, germinated, fermented and / or loosened to destroy natural nutrient inhibitors.
Sometimes fruits, nuts and seeds
In season, modern hunter-gatherers eat wild berries, nuts, and seeds, if geographically available. Fructose from whole fruits in moderation is good for health and not harmful, like adding sugar to food and drinks. (fifteen)
May be milky
Well, you understand me – dairy products are definitely not paleo or hereditary in the traditional sense. Resistance to lactase, or the ability to digest lactose from dairy products into adulthood, appeared only about 10,000 years ago. (16) However, fatty, grazing dairy products are rich in many nutrients, including hard-to-reach vitamin K2, and can be part of a hereditary diet if well tolerated. This is an example of where more modern food to be able match our genes.
Organic and local
Our ancestors did not describe food in these terms, because all their food was "local" and "organic." But with the advent of concentrated animal, pesticides and antibiotic farms, today we must assume that the food is not organic or local, unless it is clearly labeled as such.
Organic, sustainable farming and farming practices produce products that contain more micronutrients, are more economically and environmentally friendly, and contain less pesticides and other toxins. (17, 18) it what our ancestors ate.
No refined sugar, flour or seeds
No hereditary diet or modern hunter-gatherer diet ever contained refined sugar, flour, or seeds. Period. Together, these “Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse” contribute to overeating and inflammation, which is the root all modern disease. (19)
Unfortunately, vegetable oils and sugar together account for 36 percent of the standard American diet. Moreover, these foods are almost devoid of nutrients. Not surprisingly, a third of Americans are at risk of at least one vitamin deficiency or anemia. (20)
Sewing your paleo pattern
Humans are complex creatures consisting of billions of cells (and trillions of microorganisms!), Which require approximately 40 different trace elements for normal metabolic function. Since the diet of our ancestors varied greatly, today healthy primary diets also vary depending on individual needs and sensitivity.
This is why I use the term paleo “pattern” rather than “diet”. People vary in genetic composition, gene expression, health status, activity level, goals, and more. Individual dietary requirements will vary between 20-year-old athletes, 80-year-old women with mild activity, and 2-year-old babies. You do not expect them to follow the same diet as others.
Finding the best “diet” may require some changes. Your goals, activity level, age, and even genetic differences can affect your dietary needs. If you suspect food intolerance, eliminate the suspects for 30 days, and then slowly enter one at a time to pinpoint the culprit. Some common triggers include FODMAP, nightshade, dairy, and eggs. I delve into how to create your own dietary template in my book, Paleo Cure,
Five benefits of a hereditary diet
Nutrition research faces challenges: bias for healthy users, unequal comparisons, conflicts of interest … the list goes on and on. However, the clear benefits of whole food, ancestral diets, have been demonstrated in studies that compare hunter-gatherer diets and / or modern paleo diets with modern diets such as the standard American diet, vegetarian and vegan diets, and diets recommended by national health associations. ,
1. Longer period of health
This is a common myth that our Paleolithic ancestors lived only until the age of 30. (21) In these studies, the shorter life expectancy was severely distorted due to higher rates of infant mortality, lack of antibiotics, emergency care and much more. In fact, anthropologists report that if modern hunter-gatherers survive in childhood, their average life expectancy is between 68 and 78 years, which is very similar to ours. (22) And without the development of a chronic disease, these later years were probably of much higher quality than most older people today. A generic diet combined with the benefits of modern medicine is likely to result in many life / health is higher than the US average.
2. Weight Loss
More than two-thirds of the US adult population is overweight. Calorie calories, birth diets tend to saturate more, which leads to the consumption of fewer calories and contributes to weight loss. (23, 24) Although low-carb and ketogenic diets are all in fashion, a study from Stanford found that on average, people who reduce their sugar intake, refined grains, and processed foods lose weight for 12 months, regardless of the ratio of macronutrients. (25)
3. Reducing inflammation
Refined sugar, cereal and vegetable oils increase chronic inflammation and cause chronic diseases. In contrast, ancestral diets that exclude these foods and instead focus on nutrient-rich, whole foods, including both plant and animal foods, reduce markers of inflammation. (26, 27, 28) A 2019 meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials on a paleo diet showed a significant decrease in the inflammatory marker of C-reactive protein, as well as an improvement in blood pressure, waist circumference and lipid profiles. (29)
4. Treatment of metabolic syndrome
Metabolic syndrome affects one third of adult Americans and is characterized by the presence of at least three of the following five markers: (30, 31)
- Large waist circumference
- High blood pressure
- Increased fasting glucose
- Elevated triglycerides
- Low Density Cholesterol High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
In clinical trials, ancestral diets outperform other diets recommended by national health organizations, such as the American Heart Association. A series of studies lasting from weeks to two years show that the Paleo diet improves blood pressure, body weight, waist circumference, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). (32, 33, 34, 35, 36)
5. Better bowel health
Intestinal health, which encompasses the integrity of the intestinal wall, the diversity of microbiomes, and more, is associated with an improvement in overall health. (37) 2019 study published in Plos one found very diverse microbiomes in people who ate modern paleo diets, and even compared them to traditional populations such as Inuit, Hadza and Matses. (38)
Studies of ancestral populations that feed on both animal and plant foods show greater microbial diversity compared to those on an industrial diet. (39) Cellular carbohydrates, such as refined flour and sugars, damage the intestinal microbiome. (40)
Ancestral diet reduces the risk of chronic diseases
Following a hereditary diet provides a variety of nutritious, whole foods that our biology and health thrive on. Measurable health benefits from a hereditary diet, from reducing inflammation to improving the diversity of microbiomes, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including: (37, 41)
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Diabetes and obesity
- Neurological disorders
- Mood disorders
Together with other aspects of an inherited lifestyle, following a primary paleo-type diet can help you live a life free of chronic diseases.