The paleo diet is not enough all by itself any more. I wish I could say that if you just eat meat, fruits and veggies (and the other great food items that are a part of the paleo diet) that you'll be good to go and will be back to your cave man and woman roots.
Unfortunately, our modern profit driven society has made things a bit more complex and there are a few things we need to watch out for.
The secrets to maximizing the benefits of the paleo diet don't lie with the diet itself, but the quality of the food you use.
This is critical! Moving to a paleo diet way of eating using GMO foods and factory farmed meats will limit the health benefits that you seek from the effort of making this change in the first place.
Let's break this down into the basic components:
A vast majority of our meat sources today come from factory farming in which the animals are fed grains and soy. This is not what these animals are supposed to be eating and it makes them fat and sick, just like it does to humans. This is why these animals are given antibiotics so they don't get sick and die while they eat this awful diet.
This marks one of the most significant changes in the nutritional profile of our modern diet that humans have ever seen. Let me explain...
Animals that forage on their natural food sources are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of vitamins and minerals and are low in saturated fat. This is very good for obvious reasons.
Animals fed grains and soy are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids and are much higher in saturated fat and have less concentrations of vitamins and minerals. This is what gives modern meats a bad name.
These fatty acids play very important roles in your vitality, health and strength. Humans should have a ratio of omega-3's to omega-6's of about 1:1 or 1:2. Factory farmed meat ratios can be off by as much as 1:20 weighted heavily on the side of omega-6's.
This omega fatty acid imbalance can cause problems ranging from obesity, weight gain, inflammation, autoimmune disorders and heart disease.
This is why organic grass fed meat and wild caught fish is so important. The paleo diet is not enough when we eat meats and fish that have altered nutritional levels from what our ancestors enjoyed.
Our Paleolithic ancestors did not have access to factory farmed meats. They ate exclusively what we would call in today's society "organic grass fed meats" with all of their low fat and high nutritional benefits with the appropriate omega fatty acid balances.
The fruits and veggies eaten today have been subjected to genetic modification and an array of synthetic chemicals that we should have absolutely none of in our diet. Period. No amount of poison, no matter how small, should be in your diet.
There have been numerous studies performed that suggest that genetically modified foods have harmful effects on our health.
It doesn't take any studies, in my opinion, to know that synthetic pesticides and herbicides are absolutely devastating to human health and we all know that residues are found in the foods and in the water because of the use of these chemicals.
Our Paleolithic ancestors did not have access to GMO foods sprayed down with synthetic pesticides. They ate what we call in today's society "organic" fruits and veggies.
Take it from a cave man, go organic as much as possible. The paleo diet is not enough when you are feeding yourself foods that are on the paleo diet list but are tainted to be made unhealthy.
Tap water isn't enough anymore either.
Because of the pollutants humans are pouring in the water, on land and in the air, there are all kinds of toxic compounds found in tap water systems all over the world. The tap water systems that have served us for so long were never designed to remove the kinds of pollutants that are now present...including pharmaceuticals that have found their way into the tap as well.
This is why it is critical to have a water purifier in your home to help remove the dangerous compounds that may be lurking.
As mentioned above, our Paleolithic ancestors did not have access to polluted water sources filled with synthetic poisons. They drank from clean sources that you can get today by the use of an effective water purification system.
Seek out all organic foods. When it comes to meats, seek out organic grass fed and wild caught fish.
Another great suggestion is to try growing some of your own food if you can.
These are the secrets to maximizing the benefits of the paleo diet. The paleo diet is not enough without them!