WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET? If someone told you to eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats and poultry, wild fish and natural, unprocessed fats in order to nourish your body with healthy foods, you probably wouldn’t be all that surprised. If they continued on and suggested cutting out sugar and refined grains, you still would likely already have some sense that those are not really all that healthy and shouldn’t be thought of as such. Are you with me? If that same person then added the idea that you should omit ALL grains, ALL dairy and ALL legumes, then you might start to wonder…WHY? I did, too. But then I read The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain. Basically, we humans are not meant to be eating grains, legumes (this includes soy and peanuts) or dairy (unless you’re an infant and you’re ingesting dairy…from the same species). How can such a broad statement be made? Well, it’s not something I, or anyone, just made up on a whim. One of the beautiful things about this way of eating is that it’s actually based on science. If you think in terms of what people ate during the Paleolithic era, and you do NOT need to be savvy in the sciences to guess, it would have been food that could either have been picked or foraged, and eaten AS IS, or an animal that either ran across the land or swam in the sea. WHY? Both grains and legumes contain anti nutrient properties. While growing from the ground, these very components serve to protect them from pesticides and predators, but when we ingest them, they work against us by adhering to many of the vitamins and minerals in our food, preventing us from properly absorbing them and causing microscopic tearing in the intestines, thus increasing intestinal permeability. Over time, ‘leaky gut’ syndrome ensues, whereby proteins are able to leak into the peritoneum causing inflammation, infection and subsequently a whole host of maladies throughout the body, NOT just in the GI tract but also in the body as a whole. This helps set the stage for acne, joint pain, exacerbation of auto immune disease, chronic fatigue, IBS, colitis, Crohn’s disease, cancers and so on and so on and so on. As far as dairy products are concerned, they’re the most acidic items we can consume. Dairy products create an acidic pH in the body and in attempt to buffer the pH back to alkalinity, the body leaches calcium from the bones. Over time, this leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis. The most important thing to look at here is actually calcium BALANCE over Calcium intake. You’re actually better off eating a cup of kale with 37mg of Calcium than a 300 mg Calcium-containing cup of cow’s milk! So… why NOT try Paleo? Even if you’re a skeptic to the extreme, the fact that you’re visiting this site in the first place suggests you’re at least intrigued. There’s no reason not to give it a try.