Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WTF Is #Paleo?

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

Let me quickly demystify Paleo

It's kind of too late to rename the idea, so for better or worse we're stuck with the term Paleo. There's nothing wrong with the term, it just makes people focus on the diet and not the concept. Sometimes arguments over it are really over semantics.

The concept is this; if evolution is the central unifying doctrine of biology, and health, diet, wellness all fall under biology, why aren't we asking about how we were evolved to eat?

The Paleo Diet is all about posing this question. It seems like a no-brainer now, but this wasn't really being asked prior among the mainstream diet experts. Let's not worry about it, while the country got sicker and fatter.

Call it what you will, but everyone can benefit from posing the question of evolution in regards to diet.

The early pioneers of modern Paleo were also the people with the least confirmation bias. They weren't trying to prove anything. There was something wrong with the American diet and they wanted to see the data for themselves. To question where the "experts" really got their facts from.

Are all the interpretations of modern Paleo correct? Maybe not. But what's more important was this attempt to use evolution as the framework to judge any health theories. That's the heart of biology.

It's become difficult to near impossible to adhere to the strictest guidelines of Paleo. And if you get too strict and dogmatic, then it defeats the purpose. That this diet was supposed to be based on science not on dogmas and food politics. It gave us the rules, and once you know the rules, we can begin to modify the rules to our own unique individual bodies and lifestyles.

If we are to be scientific, then regions where people came from matters. Technology can aid us with services like InsideTracker that allows users to test blood biomarkers.

Different people can tolerate different things, that needs to be taken into account. Some people do fine on a vegan diet and on the opposite end of a the spectrum, some people do well on a very non-restrictive seemingly unhealthy diet. We are the same species but there are many variables at play, especially as we begin to learn more about the gut microbiota.

There are more methods to track how our health is doing in real time for us to know how we're being affected. Technology is more and more removing the guess work.

But we all need a starting point. How did early man (or woman) eat?

Sam Yang writes about efficiency, mindset, science, habits, and martial arts to improve optimal well-being. If this resonates with you, join his newsletterYou can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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