Have you heard the arguments against Paleo or the Primal way of living? Chances are if you tell people that you’re moving in that direction you’ll come across a few who give you a hard time. Whether you do or you don’t, I wanted to take a minute today to go over the primary arguments against this way of living and eating and address them. They’re all pretty silly!
- The lifespan of our Paleolithic ancestors was far shorter than ours now.
Yes, that is true. Think about it though – they didn’t have 2 story homes, grocery stores and running water. They had to build their own shelter, hunt for food and collect water when they could find it. They also had significant threats to their safety from predators and infection. If they cut themselves, there were no antibiotics. Finally, and most importantly, the Paleolithic lifespan is based on an AVERAGE. There was an extremely high infant mortality rate that brings the average way down. Most Paleolithic adults actually did live well beyond their 60s, but the infant mortality brings the average down to look far lower than the current lifespan in this country.
- Paleo/Primal is a high protein diet and that’s not healthy.
I’d like to see how they define “high protein”. It’s actually not a high protein diet. It is a moderate protein diet emphasizing ample fat intake and eliminating processed carbohydrates, wheat and grains. Excessive protein intake is not recommended and, if you follow Primal principles, you easily avoid excessive intake. Too much protein can create a negative hormonal response. It is, however a high fat diet. High fat consumption reduces the need to eat every few hours which of course our Paleolithic ancestors did not have the luxury of doing.
I might add to this argument – the Standard American diet is a high JUNK diet. Are you suggesting that’s a better option? Mmmm, yeah, thanks for playing!
- It’s not feasible to truly eat the way our ancestors ate.
Well of course we aren’t encouraging people to go fashion a spear out of sticks and rocks and live out in the woods just like we aren’t encouraging people to sell their cars and home and create lean-to. The focus here isn’t on the exact foods that were available thousands of years ago but rather the types of foods and, more importantly, the nutrients and overall nutritional philosophy that our bodies were designed to thrive on. Focusing on quality ingredients and avoiding toxins to the best extent that we can is the goal.
At the end of the day, there will always be opinions and there will always be naysayers. Very few people throw stones at the folks who frequent McDonalds and grab a packet of PopTarts every day for breakfast but unfortunately, when you make steps to improve your health there will always be people to you that you’re “doing it wrong”. Remember this: focus on how you feel. Live, eat and move in a way that increases your energy, sustains your mood and helps you reach your goals while promoting health and longevity. That’s what matters.