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Cordain agrees that even saturated fats in meats can be beneficial, provid- ing the animals are grass-fed, lean and live in clean surroundings. He empha- sizes, however, that when our prehistoric ancestors ate fat, they did not also eat grain carbohydrates, sugar and salt, and contends that it is these components, not meat, that can be detrimental to the body. Doctor of Naturopathy Maureen

Ancestral Diets

A Lighter Shade of Paleo by Sayer Ji and Tania Melkonian


egetarian Awareness Month provides a timely opportuni- ty to realize that a plant-

focused diet does not derive exclusively from plants. Just as a carnivore does not subsist on meat alone, the same applies to a vegetarian.

What can

cultivation of food in gardens, crops and livestock.

Paleo Specials du Jour

we learn from our Paleolithic, or Stone Age, ancestors? The recent trend toward recreating a Paleo- era diet emphasizes the importance of vegetable nutrition to prehistoric communi- ties, correcting the misperception that they were primarily meat-eaters. The original Paleo diet, before

Curried carrot soup with buckwheat crackers and goat cheese

Kale wraps with julienne of grass-fed strip loin, bell peppers and avocado

Butter-grilled pineapple rounds served with dollop of vanilla-scented heavy cream

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., author of The Paleo Diet and Nutritionist Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, each contest the premise perpetuated by many in the weight-loss industry that fat, espe- cially naturally saturated fat, is unhealthy. Those same proponents that maintain low-fat/non-fat food is a panacea for modern illnesses also purport that cholesterol is the chief cause of heart ailments. Gedgaudas writes that the diets of hunter- gatherers inhabiting

varied landscapes, from the

the advent of agriculture, reflected the hunting and gathering of lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and was absent of grains, dairy, starchy foods, sugar and salt. Today’s updated version might comprise foods naturally available and/or abundant before the

42 Collier/Lee Counties

Inuit of the north to tropical forest homi- nids, included large amounts of fat and cholesterol, which is essential to main- taining cell membranes and regulating hormones. She points out that obtaining cholesterol from food is necessary to augment the liver’s function of creating cholesterol internally.

Horne-Paul adds that organic, lean and game meats are exempt from the acid- ity inherent in corn-based animal feed. Plus, “When an animal is insensitively confined and killed, stress hormones are released that result in acidity. So, we are changing our pH from a healthy alkaline state to a more acidic condi- tion when we consume meat from conventionally raised animals.” Scientific studies published in the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, Medical Hypotheses and by the Mercola group attest to key problems related to human consumption of grains. Anti-nutrients such as phytic acid in grains lead to the poor absorption of minerals and related deficiencies. Improper absorp- tion of dietary protein caused in part by enzyme inhibitors in grains also tends to damage the pancreas. Individual sensitivities to proteins in specific grains can further interfere with functioning of the neuroendocrine system and subse- quent emotional difficulties like addic- tion and depression may arise. All of these difficulties have been exacerbated by irresponsible prenatal diets that have made younger generations extra-sensi

Paleo Parallel Tips

n Make plants the center. For any meat, choose organic, grass-fed lean cuts and use small portions as sides or garnish.

n Limit dairy to items with full fat content. Choose sheep or goat dairy when possible, followed by organic cow dairy.

n Limit grains, but explore pseudo- grains such as buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth to add safe, starch-like body to meals.

n For legumes, eat lentils. Blue and sweet potatoes are good choices for tubers.

recipe photos by Stephen Blancett

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