Friday, September 17, 2010

Cavemen In the News Episode #3

Recreating the Caveman Diet 

Here are some quotes from the above linked BBC News article. 
So are we programmed to eat what we do today - or are we better suited to the diet of our ancestors? 
Global brand giant Unilever has brought scientists and experts from fields as diverse as evolutionary genetics, anthropology, food science and botany together to find out the answer.
Dr Mark Berry, who is in charge of the research at Unilever, says the aim is to create a healthier diet for people today, drawing inspiration from that period.  
So was it a healthier diet?

"It seems so," said Mark Thomas, professor of evolutionary genetics at University College London. "Palaeolithic man may have died earlier than we do now, but he didn't die of bad nutrition."
Previous research has shown that the diet and lifestyle of hunter-gatherers was characterised by a lower incidence of "diseases of affluence" such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. 
"We need to decrease our reliance on refined sugar and a heavy carbohydrate diet, and replace some of the things we have lost," she says.  
By looking into the past, we may just discover how to lead healthier lives. 
Wow, when a $50 billion dollar consumer products and food company like Unilever takes notice and invests in the Paleo way of eating, conventional wisdom and the mainstream have to take notice.  My fear is they will figure out how to shoe horn processed foods into what they deem as a healthy, paleo friendly option.  I hope they aren't trying to capitalize on a new diet fad because paleo is not a fad.  

In my opinion, this is a huge milestone for the paleo way of eating.  I believe it gives it much credibility when recognized by a very large and well known food company with brands like Bertolli Pastas, Country Crock Butter, Hellmans Mayo, Lipton Teas, and Slim Fast products.  I doubt the products they come up with will atract many dedicated paleo enthusiasts who rely on whole meats, and whole produce as the staples of their diet but the saying that applies here is A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships.  It will bring more exposure and hopefully convert more people over to living a healthier more vibrant life.  


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