Diet fads change from year to year, sometimes even month to month, and one of the latest trends is the paleo diet.
Proponents of this lifestyle claim humans thrive on the “caveman” diet and should avoid any modern foods that weren’t around in the times of our ancestors.
Those who follow this diet include grass-fed beef, organic lamb, as well as seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts and oils as the sources of their nutrition.
Eating these types of foods and avoiding dairy, grains, legumes and all added sugars will reduce the incidence of modern chronic illnesses, according to Dr Loren Cordain, author of the book ‘The Paleo Diet’.
However, research from Ohio State University suggests the human body is adaptable and can handle grains regularly.
The study entitled ‘An ‘all natural’ diet? There’s no such thing’ states that modern food developments were created for a reason, to fill a gap in our nutritional intake.
“Rather than try to base a healthy diet on what we think people used to eat thousands of years ago, it would probably make more sense to look at our nutritional requirements today and find the best way to meet them,” said author Kristen Gremillion.
Grains were added into our diet after the advent of agriculture, because humans were not getting enough calories from plants and meat alone to fuel their day-to-day activities.
The paleo lifestyle also promotes the idea of getting plenty of exercise as our forebears did.
Ms Gremillion adds that the paleo diet is scientifically based, making it a healthy way to eat, but adds that the raw food diet is not.
“Cooking caught on for a reason, and there is no real reason to give it up,” she said.
She said it is fine to include grains as part of a healthy diet and emphasises we need to make sure our nutritional needs are being met.
Grass-fed meat is considered a better option because it contains high levels of essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, without the harmful pesticides or antibiotics.