From my point of view Paleo is a LC/HF diet. At least it should be. This may upset many who identify as Paleo, but I have had the opinion for a while now that the average person eating a so called Paleo diet is a little uninformed. I recently read a post by Pete Evens where he said that the aim with their second version of the Paleo Way 10 week activation program is a state of nutritional Ketosis.(This is wonderful that Pete is also doing real low carb.) Pete is also not posting sweet treats to Facebook or have many in his cook books. The original Paleo way said nothing about Ketosis. This has left many of those following Paleo without the knowledge to really make a difference to their health and also weight loss. Sadly you will see all the Paleo baked goods, and Paleo treat recipes being shared like wildfire over the internet. The so called healthy sugars used in all the Paleo treats are in fact just sugar. This leads to people who are on a Paleo diet and simply cannot shed the unwanted kilograms, and struggle to reach their health goals. This is because the real weight loss (and other health benefits) lies with Nutritional Ketosis.
The so called idea with Paleo is to eat foods that we have evolved to eat. This may be the way to go, but is also a little simplistic. This has given rise to all the lists of foods that we are supposed to eat and those that are off limits. The reality is that Paleo man and woman ate many things depending on where they lived. So I am going to use a little guesswork and some common sense to make my case.
The average human would have lived somewhere between the equator and the poles. They would have experienced Summer where food would be relatively plentiful, and there would also be winter where food supplies would be scarce. So during the warmer season when food was plentiful we would instinctively be aware of the fact that Winter Is Coming. In the absence of shops, refrigeration, and organized agriculture we had one goal in mind. Eat as much as possible to put on as much weight as possible. I believe that our sugar and carb addiction is genetically programmed in to us, as these are the foods that make us fat.
So when winter does arrive and food is harder to come by then we would enter a state of nutritional Ketosis where we would then use our fat reserves to survive the winter. So really Ketosis is the ultimate Paleo state to be in, just a pity that someone forgot to tell the thousands of modern Paleo diet devotees.
Now you may argue that eating sweet, high carb foods are justified by what I have just written? I think not…
Paleo man and woman did not eat to live a long life. They ate to survive. The idea was to get old enough to have children, and then you could die any time, as you have ensured the survival of the species. Sure we would have tried to live as long as possible to raise our children. First priority would be survival and reproduction.
Fast forward to our modern world, things are a little different. We can buy whatever, whenever we want every day of the year. We live in rural Western Australia, and our local supermarket has grapes on the shelves from California and Garlic from Mexico etc. Most of the stuff sold as food is in fact not even food. Basically it is a foreign toxic concoction of pseudo foods created in a lab as to be addictive to maximize profits for evil corporations. Most of us have devoted our lives to do as much damage to our bodies as we possibly can. The other point to consider is that we are more knowledgeable than our Caveman couple. Yes there is a huge amount of junk corporate sponsored science, but there is also some good science being done about what is good to eat, and what is not.
What is really clear is that when you change from the old Low Fat/High carb rubbish processed food diets you should eat only real, high quality food, and it really needs to be Low Carb/High fat. This is what the human body thrives on. We need the state of Nutritional Ketosis to shed the unwanted weight, and reverse all the damage done to our bodies. Once you are healthy then some of the sweet treats are no longer a problem. I am not suggesting being in Ketosis all the time. Just that our diet should be low carb/high fat with periods of time spent in Nutritional Ketosis. And you should really be in Nutritional Ketosis when you want to shed unwanted weight, or are repairing your health.(eg. reversing Type 2 Diabetes)
The problem today is ignorance coupled with a carb/sugar addiction. We are no longer eating just to survive. We should be eating to live long, healthy and fulfilling lives with our loved ones. Modern woman is having children later and later. Who does not want to grow old with their children? So the wise thing is to look at what we have evolved to eat, and use our modern advanced knowledge to tailor a diet that is not only healthy, but also tasty and satisfying.(And low in added sugar/carbs) For that reason the bliss balls and all the Paleo baked goods are not good for you, and only meant as a treat once you are healthy. The real problem is that the sweet treats sell Paleo cook books, and those are also the recipes that are shared the most on social media. The average modern human is after all a sugar addict…
For our family the challenge has been, and still is limiting sugar and carbs. We are all used to eating sugar and carbs, with the exception of our youngest. Our kids naturally eat more carbs than us adults. My effort has been to prepare food that is delicious, healthy and low carb/high fat. Our kids would then get extra foods like fruit and some paleo treats. In this way we do not have to prepare multiple meals like some families do. Anyway, that is a story for another day…