Is the Paleo Diet another one of those diet fads like the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet? Come to think of it, there may be a bit more to it, indeed. The so called Western Diet, which is now traveling east and infecting Europe, India and China, is full of sugar and starches. Given that starches in the form of grains, and transformed into bread, pasta, pizza and cereals - our new daily staples, have only been in our diet since the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, they seem to throw our million-and-some year old digestive systems for a loop. Add to the starches the addicting amounts of sugar we seem powerless to control because big food puts them into everything from pickles (why?) and mustard, mayonnaise (serious?) and bread (what's it doing in there?), to pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, soft drinks, and whatever else they can find, you may be in for a health mess unless you cook everything from scratch. And it (the health mess) shows - Celiac disease, diabetes 1 and 2, rheumatoid arthritis, gluten sensitivity in general, perhaps even cancer, too - all seem to point to the same evil - sugar and grains, and are on a drastic rise. I admit that I used to boast that my digestive system could handle all that grain, and what was it with all those gluten intolerant people. After all, I grew up in the land of baguette and croissants, and was born in the land of the crusty breads. Yet a recent diagnosis of Diabetes Type 1 in a close relative hit home and made me think again.
The Paleo Diet cuts those two culprits out - no refined sugar, no grains. Instead, meat and fish in small quantities, no or limited dairy (my homeopathic MD recently said dryly "dairy is overrated and usually adulterated" - unless you go raw), lots of vegetables (and preferably not the starchy kind - keep it green), some fruits, as well as nuts. Stories abound of healing diabetes 1 and 2 (yes, both), Celiac and various inflammatory and auto-immune conditions by going gluten-free or following the Paleo Diet. I'm trying it.