PALEO OR PLANT BASED DIET?
I attended a seminar last week comparing paleo and plant based diets. Visiting international speaker and Canadian dietitian Brenda Davis, author of more than 8 books on nutrition presented the latest research by nutritional anthropologists on the Paleo Diet, including some surprising findings.
“Paleo” advocates place a huge emphasis on eating meat, and the “Modern Paleo” diet is different to the “True Paleo” diet as eaten by our hunter gatherer ancestors.
Key findings presented were as follows:
• The “True Paleo” diet is much higher in key vitamins – Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamins A, C, E and minerals – iron, zinc, calcium, sodium than the “Modern Paleo” diet.
• The “True Paleo” diet has about half the amount of fat than the “Modern Paleo” diet.’
• The “True Paleo” diet has about 6-12% saturated fat vs the “Modern Paleo” diet which has about 19% saturated fat.
• The “True Paleo” diet has about 3 times more fibre than the “Modern Paleo” diet.
WHY THE DIFFERENCES?
Because the meat and vegetables consumed today bear little resemblance to those eaten by pre-agricultural population.
Wild Meat vs Domestic
• Lower in fat
• Lower in saturated fat and higher in omega-3 fatty acids
• Free of hormones, antibiotics, and in paleolithic times of environmental contaminants.
Wild vs Domestic Plants
• Cultivated vegetables and fruits have been bred for palatability, transportability, and digestibility. Wild plants
deliver over triple the fibre of commercial plants.
Nutritional Negatives of the “Modern Paleo” diet
• Meat centred – high fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and chemical contaminants.
• Excludes legumes and grains – rich sources of macronutrients, micronutrients, phytochemicals and fibre.
• During the Paleolithic period the human population grew from an estimated one half million people to about 6 million
people. Today there are 7.5 billion people on the planet. We would need a planet the size of Jupiter if we were all