The idea behind the paleo diet is that optimal health depends on adherence to dietary and lifestyle factors to which we’re genetically adapted. Our current mix of genes overwhelmingly reflects the Paleolithic era of human cultural development, starting anywhere from 750,000 to 2.5 million years ago, and ending around 10,000 years ago. It’s also called the Stone Age.
The paleo diet pattern isn’t set in stone. In general, it includes nuts, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and poultry. It excludes or limits grains, dairy, legumes, sugars other than fruit or honey, industrial seed oils (e.g., from soybean and corn), and modern processed, highly refined foods. Fresh, natural, and “organic” are preferred.
The paleo diet in modern times began gathering steam in 2008. It’s still not widely known or followed, but the trend is definitely upwards. My patients with diabetes are starting to inquire whether eating paleo-style might be good for them. At this point, I’m inclined to say “yes.” But we don’t have much basic science to back up my intuition. I expect much more published scientific research over the coming decade, in addition to self-experimentation reports by patients.
In these pages I’ll share my investigation into whether the paleo diet and lifestyle are potentially therapeutic for people with diabetes.
PS: See this important Disclaimer.
Last modified September 16, 2011