What Can We Learn About Health From Studying Hunter-Gatherers?

I have been busy reading arguments against the Paleo/Primal way of eating. I am also busy reading my new Biological Science textbook in preparation for taking the S.A.T. in November. Since I’ve been out of High School since 1988 and took the A.C.T. in 1993, I’ve got some ground to cover. I’m finding it fascinating that with even a rudimentary knowledge of evolution, I can see how it would be beneficial to consume food that closely resembles that of our human ancestors. How people with far more experience in biology can deduce that we should be eating packaged, processed foods because “those pesky cavemen didn’t live to see 25!” is beyond me.

With all that said, I’d like to point you to a very insightful article written by the people over at Paleo Plan. I’ve summed up some of the highlights here on my page, and you can read the full story here: Why Eat Paleo?


NEWS-quotation-marksI’m sure you’ve heard this argument or thought it yourself. So what’s the retort? It’s simple. We live in a fortuitous time when we have the best of both worlds – modern medicine AND high quality, organic Paleo foods at our fingertips.

Hunter gatherers throughout time and geography weren’t (and aren’t) dying of heart attacks and complications of diabetes and obesity like we are in the Western world now. Their lives ended because of things like malaria, tuberculosis, falls from trees, starvation, and childbirth. They killed each other brutally with hand-made weapons or were eaten by predators that we don’t even have to think about in our cozy houses anymore. Or if they were lucky, they lived to be really old and died peacefully and quickly when their bodies finally gave out.

They weren’t living out their formative years in hospitals and nursing homes being force-fed medicine to keep them “alive”. They weren’t in wheelchairs because they were so obese their joints gave out. And they weren’t having open heart surgery because their arteries were so inflamed that blood no longer flowed through them. They were dying of actually natural causes – not diseases of diet – which is how I’d prefer to go out any day.




And now that our children are obese, diabetic, and on the same cholesterol medications their parents are on, do you think they’re headed for a long, healthy life? No, they’re not. In fact, according to this study, one quarter of girls born today in the United States will live shorter lives than their mothers. And that’s not because of tuberculosis or malaria, and they certainly aren’t falling out of trees or being mauled to death by saber tooth tigers at a young age. According to the researchers, the decreasing lifespan in the U.S. is due to our nation’s poor diet and the low quality foods that parents are forcing on their children.

So remember that you have a choice to take advantage of the state of the world we live in. You have a roof over your head to protect you from the elements and predators. You have antibiotics and other medications to ward off communicable diseases. You have doctors who can restart your heart in case of an accident and mend your bones like magicians. Would you lay that all to waste by feeding yourself garbage when you can eat like our ancestors did and live the longest, healthiest life possible?





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