Paleo Diet or Paleofantasy?

I was listening to CBC’s Quirks and Quarks and heard this segment on Paleofantasy where they discuss one of the current trends regarding our ancestors – the paleo diet. Dr. Marlene Zuk, Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour at the University of Minnesota, believes that human evolution has never been in sync with our environment and we never had a period where there was such an ‘optimal’ diet possible. There never was a ‘resting period’ where we adjusted optimally to the foods around us. Plus considering the foods we have available now probably look or taste nothing like what was available back then makes the argument less sound.

Some of the tenets of the diet – reducing or cutting out all grains and starches, more reliance on plant-based foods, no processed foods, no added sugar, etc – are, I think, decent ‘rules’ for any good diet. Calling it paleo just not necessary. As a simpler way of saying it, Michael Pollan’s snippet in his book In Defense of Food is pretty good – Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. There are some additional things I would add to that, but I’ll comment on that later…

What do you think about the paleo-diet (or other paleo-related arguments?)

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