What Is Paleo… (Hint: It Starts With Real…)
“Many people who begin the Paleo diet aren’t aware that they’re suffering from allergic symptoms until they notice the symptoms have disappeared. Some symptoms include frequent headaches, stuffy nose, nausea, swelling of the hands and feet, or general bloating and puffiness. These are common immune responses and may go away when you stop exposing your body to the wheat, flours, additives, and other ingredients that could be causing them.”
― John Chatham, Paleo for Beginners: Essentials to Get Started with the Paleo Diet
The problem with Paleo is it’s Paleo.
Let me explain…
Any diet that becomes popular invariably forms an aura of misconception surrounding it. For example, people think that Paleo means meat-eater or low-carb. But Paleo means neither of those.
Let’s look at the actual definition of “Paleo.” Paleo means “coming from.” The word is “Paleolithic,” which means “older or ancient, especially relating to the geological past.”
The Paleo diet is defined by the food available to humans before agriculture was invented about 10,000 years ago when humans lived primarily as nomadic hunter-gatherers.
The Paleo diet eschews grains, legumes, processed oils, and refined sugar (any processed food) because our ancestors did not eat them, and thus—which is the premise of the diet—we are not genetically designed to eat these foods.
People try to discredit the Paleo diet—primarily for little, agenda-based reasons—by pointing to evidence that our ancestors did eat grains and legumes as a part of their natural diet. Of course, this argument fails to account for numerous other factors that are a part of this equation, such as the number of legumes and grains consumed, how they were prepared, and the fact that these foods were found in the wild (the way nature intended them to be seen). Each of these is a far cry from the processed grains found on the shelves of supermarkets.
But I digress.
As I said, the Paleo diet’s problem is itself: It needs a new definition with a more easy-to-understand description beyond “don’t eat grains or refined sugar.”
It needs this new definition because so many are turned on, and thus are missing out, by the many misconceptions surrounding the Paleo diet.
This is one of the things we want to do at Wild Foods. And this is why we obsessively focus on one thing: Real Food.
Most of us will agree that refined sugar and processed foods are bad for you.
Also, many in the Paleo community would agree that if you were to plant your seeds, naturally grow your wheat. Hand scythes it before bringing it into your home to prepare bread from scratch, that it would be something we could “get behind” as a healthy part of the human diet (notice we said “part”).
This is Real Food because it is food from nature to the table and made in a way aligned with nature and, thus, your health.
And so it goes for just about every food group that is not considered “Paleo.” If it’s real food and is made the right way, any “food” can be a part of the healthy human diet.
Of course, real food differs from what is available to most of us, especially those living in Western, industrialized cultures. And that is why processed foods like refined grains and sugar (which, by our classifications, aren’t real food) must be removed from your diet.
Our mission here at Wild Foods is to bring the best Real Food products to health-conscious people. This is why our Wild Coffee is always fresh-roasted Organic and Fair Trade, all of which contribute to a better result for the environment, the farmers, and you. It’s why the WILD bar is made from organic ingredients and is fresh-made in small batches.
The Paleo Diet needs to be “rebranded” as the Real Food diet.
It’s the quality that matters. It’s how the food was made and where it came from.
That’s the secret to nutrition that no one is telling you (or you are ignoring). It doesn’t matter how many carbs, protein, or fat grams you are eating, or even how many calories you are eating (to a point), as long as you are eating REAL FREAKING FOOD!
Processed Gluten-free foods are not ‘Paleo.’ They are just processed food that doesn’t contain gluten.
Eating only meat can be Paleo if the quality of the beef is health-promoting and is not industrialized meat, which is terrible for your health and the environment. The same goes for quality vs. crappy produce. And so on.
Our definition of “Paleo,” “Primal,” or “the natural human diet” is Real Food.
Eat real food, and you can call it anything you want.