"The residents of Kitava lived exclusively on root vegetables (yam, sweet potato, taro, tapioca), fruit (banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, guava, watermelon, pumpkin), vegetables, fish and coconuts," writes Dr. Lindeberg. His research shows that Kitavans appear to be free of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke and acne. In the 1960s, American researchers studied thousands of Ugandans and Nigerians living traditionally and found their heart attack risk to be essentially zero, even among the elderly, while the same study found that comparable populations in the United States had a risk of up to 23 percent.
Why do we suffer from disorders that non-industrial populations — even our recent ancestors — largely escaped? Modern medical research continues to grapple with this problem, but we can begin to answer it by asking a simple rhetorical question: what would we feed a wild animal in captivity if we wanted to keep it healthy? If we fed eucalyptus leaves to a tiger, would it thrive? What if we fed meat to a koala? Each animal is adapted to a particular ecological niche where it evolved to thrive. Exiting that niche, particularly by eating the wrong food, causes health problems.I also threw in some anecdotes from a local Paleo diet adherent and a local MD who uses the Paleo diet in her clinical practice, Dr. C. Vicky Beer. I interviewed Dr. Beer for the article; she sent me a detailed response but I was only able to include snippets. I'll be publishing the rest of the interview here soon.
"People who significantly increase the amount of vegetables, fish, nuts, lean meats and fresh fruits in their diet, and who reduce their grain, dairy, and legume intake have lower blood sugars, usually lose weight, and usually have more energy," says Dr. C. Vicky Beer, a local physician who uses the Paleo diet in her clinical practice. "Every patient I have ever had with diabetes who has adhered to the Paleo diet for most of the time has experienced dramatic results," she adds.I also point out in the article that hunter-gatherers were not the only healthy non-industrial populations, human evolution has occurred since the Paleolithic, and many people today can include traditionally-prepared grains, legumes and dairy as part of a healthy diet. But if you eat like the average American...
The top six calorie sources in the U.S. diet today are grain-based desserts (cake, cookies, etc.), yeast breads, chicken-based dishes, sweetened beverages, pizza and alcoholic beverages....you can expect the diseases of civilization to come knocking sooner or later.