There isn’t a lot that’s more depressing than dealing with chronic disease, or watching a loved one do the same.
The day-to-day pain and suffering, and the decline in the enjoyment of life, is terrible to experience and difficult to watch. That’s why many have found one of the most interesting parts of the Caveman Diet to be its supposed effect on some diseases that have become bigger problems in the modern era.
Paleolithic Diet and Its Effect on Your Health
One example of the Paleolithic diet’s effect on chronic disease concerns diabetes. Paleolithic diets have been shown to be particularly effective in combating Type 2 Diabetes.
Studies required those participating to adhere to a diet that the earliest humans were assumed to have eaten. Their results were rigidly compared to those of a control group. Participants eating the caveman way improved glycemic control and reduced several cardiovascular risk factors.
Why does it work? Here’s the theory. Evolution isn’t like something out of a Hollywood blockbuster, where someone pops in the mad scientist’s machine and emerges as a superhero. Our behavior changes a lot faster than our bodies do, so many of the ways our bodies process food are directly based on how the earliest humans found and ate their food.
Perhaps in a few thousand years we will be wired to eat a dozen Big Macs and metabolize them in minutes…but right now? Not so much, as too many of our waistlines prove.
Sticking to the Paleolithic diet is kind of an enforced plan for healthy eating. There are no processed foods in the cookbooks; no ancient bag of chips has ever been uncovered by the remnants of a campfire.
As a result, the diet can reduce the risk of dangers like heart disease and other ailments that are increasingly prevalent because they have as much to do with our habits as with our genetics.
The caveman diet improves control of blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, all factors that can contribute to chronic disease if left unchecked. It can also help fight obesity, the chronic disease that’s arguably the biggest concern in the United States and much of the developing world today.
The caveman life wasn’t an easy one, but they didn’t suffer from the chronic diseases we face now. Perhaps if more of us ate like them we wouldn’t either.
Alfablue, September 2011