Walk into any Crossfit gym these days and the predominant nutritional advice you’ll hear is unfortunately that of the Paleo Diet. Now I am by no means knocking Crossfit – it is a fantastic style of exercise programming that forces extreme intensity and can yield awesome results in strength, speed, and endurance. I do find it disappointing though that such a great program is nearly always lumped with the Paleo diet. If you haven’t heard of it, the Paleolithic diet was created by Dr. Loren Cordain, and specifies that the ideal diet for homo sapiens is one that our hunter-gatherer ancestors (possibly) ate – one that is low carb, high in meat, vegetables, some fruit, and devoid of ‘modern foods’ that require agriculture or cooking such as grains, legumes, and dairy products.
While eating lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding dairy products are obviously great ideas, current nutrition science shows that basing your diet off of meat is dangerous and will greatly increase your risk of heart disease and cancer, among other things. But don’t take my word for it!
An awesome video series has just been released that completely refutes the logic of the Paleo diet point by point, with loads of scientific evidence and all using scholarly rhetoric (as opposed to argumentative/opinion based-rhetoric)! And Marcella and I were honored to be shown in the first video as examples of athletes who follow a non-Paleo diet successfully; thanks for the recognition! Even if you aren’t nesecarily interested in whether or not the Paleo diet is scientifically sound, this series serves as one of the best resources for human nutrition I have ever come across, even when compared to university courses and professional certifications I have attended! I urge you to watch the entire series, and to share it with your friends (and your local Crossfit gym-goers!).
Some common questions about our evolution and nutrition that this series covers are:
- When did humans start eating grains and legumes? Video 6 Are these foods really unhealthy? Video 17
- Did meat consumption really contribute to encephalization (our brain size)? Video 10
- Was the paleolithic climate really so cold that the only food source humans could find were animals? Video 11
- Just how nutritious is the Paleo diet? Video 14
- What about protein, is meat really the healthiest source? Video 19, 20, 21
- Weren’t Eskimos healthy eating an animal-based diet? Video 27
- Is fruit fattening? Video 49
- Are low carb diets healthy? Video 52
- Is grass-fed ‘natural’ beef environmentally friendly? Video 70
And much more! With 71 videos at roughly 10 minutes each, there is a phenomenal amount of nutritional information in this series – everything is covered! To introduce his series, the producer wrote:
“Welcome to The Primitive Nutrition Series. Created by someone who was nearly seduced by the Paleo Diet idea before going vegan, these videos provide a wide-ranging response to the evolution-inspired rationale for meat eating which so many have uncritically accepted… These videos are intended to be viewed in order, from 1 to 71. See them all and you will never again fall for a fad diet. It’s time to move away from gimmickery and hype, and toward a healthy and sustainable future. Let’s start something positive!”
So, please check it out and share it with your friends, plant-based advocates and skeptics alike!