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For Evolving Brains, a ‘Paleo’ Diet Full of Carbs

For Evolving Brains, a ‘Paleo’ Diet Full of Carbs | Paleo | Scoop.it
You are what you eat, and so were your ancient ancestors. But figuring out what they actually dined on has been no easy task.

There are no Pleistocene cookbooks to consult. Instead, scientists must sift through an assortment of clues, from the chemical traces in fossilized bones to the scratch marks on prehistoric digging sticks.

Scientists have long recognized that the diets of our ancestors went through a profound shift with the addition of meat. But in the September issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers argue that another item added to the menu was just as important: carbohydrates, bane of today’s paleo diet enthusiasts.

In fact, the scientists propose, by incorporating cooked starches into their diet, our ancestors were able to fuel the evolution of our oversize brains.

Roughly seven million years ago, our ancestors split off from the apes. As far as scientists can tell, those so-called hominins ate a diet that included a lot of raw, fiber-rich plants.

After several million years, hominins started eating meat. The oldest clues to this shift are 3.3-million-year-old stone tools and 3.4-million-year-old mammal bones scarred with cut marks. The evidence suggests that hominins began by scavenging meat and marrow from dead animals.

At some point hominins began to cook meat, but exactly when they invented fire is a question that inspires a lot of debate. Humans were definitely making fires by 300,000 years ago, but some researchers claim to have found campfires dating back as far as 1.8 million years.

Via Wildcat2030
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The Essential Paleo Diet Shopping List

The Essential Paleo Diet Shopping List | Paleo | Scoop.it
Want to get lean the caveman way? You'll need to stock up on these foods first.
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Is the Paleo Diet Right for You?

Is the Paleo Diet Right for You? | Paleo | Scoop.it

The most fundamental principle of the Paleo diet is returning to foods that more closely resemble those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This means organically grown vegetables, roots, nuts and seeds, fruit in moderation, and meats, fish and poultry. We should also be consuming naturally fermented foods, as the gut microflora so critical to our immune function has taken heavy losses from its assault by the Western diet.

 

The Paleo diet is naturally low in carbohydrates, especially carbs from sugars and starches. And this is quite beneficial for your health—actually necessary if you wish to restart your fat-burning engine, which for most of us has become quite sluggish from today's constant carbohydrate infusion.


Via Sepp Hasslberger
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Sepp Hasslberger's curator insight, December 1, 2013 1:18 PM

I never really knew what the Paleo diet is. Heard of it but somehow never got motivated to find out more. 

 

If you are like me in this, here is a good introduction, just to get the concept...