Paleo – a brief background

Paleo – a brief background

The idea of taking inspiration from our ancestors and eliminating modern foods that contribute nothing to our health is nothing new.

Many authors, health professionals, athletes and training experts have studied the subject in detail.

Paul Chek, an expert in corrective and high performance exercise kinesiology (human movement), championed an approach developed by metabolism expert and author of The Metabolic Typing Diet, William Wolcott.

Based on the original works of the Canadian born dentist, Weston A. Price (1870 – 1948), metabolic typing is a way of identifying of your unique predisposition to certain foods based on your geographical heritage.

Price’s theory is that your ancestors’ proximity to the equator determined the types of food they would have eaten. Eskimos, for example, have traditionally had a high fat diet consisting of lots of fish, yet very little plant matter. African tribes meanwhile, historically existed on the carbohydrates provided by their surrounding vegetation, supplemented occasionally by meat.

Price identified that these indigenous populations – which hadn’t succumbed to a modern western diet – were free of metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes, yet ate different types of foods. The similarities between their diets lay in simplicity and freshness.

If you are able trace your ancestry and discover what type of foods your antecedents would have eaten, you may be surprised at how well they fit into your diet.

Another flexible approach is to be alert to tip offs from your body. Feeling great after a meal consisting of 60% fats and protein and 40% carbohydrates, indicates this is a good mix for you. Conversely, feeling bloated after too much carbohydrate and protein may suggest that wasn’t quite the right dish for you. Experiment and understand your individual needs.

You’re unlikely to find two identical paleo or primal approaches. This is because we are all unique in our dietary needs. But one thing remains valid for us all: the quality and provenance of our food should always be our priority.

Further reading
The Metabolic Typing Diet, William Linz Wolcott
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, Weston A. Price
Practical Paleo, Diane Sanfilippo