Receive Alzheimer's treatment and prevention news and analysis from our experts.

0

The Paleo Diet: Should it Really be Left to Cavemen or is it an Option for Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

 Paleo diet for Alzheimer's prevention

 

There are many claims to fame when it comes to new diets popping up in today’s world of health and nutrition seekers.  Today’s diet fads include everything from the vegan diet to the MIND and Zone diets.  One such popular, so called healthy eating plan is the Paleo Diet, commonly known as the “Caveman Diet.” There are many questions about the Paleo diet, including, just what, exactly is on the menu, is it really what the cavemen ate, and is Paleo considered a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet?

The Diet’s Origins

The Paleo diet is said to mimic the eating patterns of our ancient ancestors during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age period.  This historical time frame occurred approximately two and a half million years ago, when the first humans, who made stone tools, walked the earth.  The Paleo diet gets its name from foods that presumably were eaten by cavemen back in the Paleolithic era.  The food on the Paleo diet, intended to help dieters get in touch with their ancestral roots, includes meat, eggs, fish, fruit, nuts vegetables and other natural unprocessed foods.  Milk and dairy products are prohibited on the Paleo diet because cave men are said to have been intolerant of lactose.  Other foods that are prohibited on the Paleo diet include: legumes, cereal, grains, refined sugar and all processed foods (so essentially, no potato chips, pop, crackers, cereal, macaroni, pasta or any other prepacked prepared foods).   But, did our stone aged ancestors really eat the same foods recommended on today’s Paleo diet?

Available Foods on the Ancient Paleo Diet

The answer is an emphatic “not really.”  First off, let’s get clear on who these early humans were and how they lived.  Were cavemen considered fit? If you consider the average lifespan of 20 years old to be healthy, then perhaps.  The people in the Paleolithic times ate just about anything they could scrounge up, including grubs, nettles and even armadillos-according to National Geographic.  Vegetables that were accessible back in prehistoric times included plants such as cattails and ferns.  Nuts, fruits and vegetables, most likely included some varieties of modern day food, but historians are in dispute about what, exactly was available for food sources.    Many experts hypothesize that ancient day vegetables included, small tomatoes and potatoes (the size of berries), spiny sea urchins, prickly bitter lettuce, tough, curly sea kale (that grew along the coastal areas), starchy, hard peas, and tiny carrots.  Beans were thought to be lined with toxins (thus, no legumes are allowed on the Paleo diet).  Most of the meat eaten in the days of our Paleolithic ancestors included much smaller, less plump versions of today’s protein sources of meat.  Paleolithic fruit included apples, dates, figs, plums, pears, and grapes. Although smaller and a bit tarter than today’s variety of fruit, (unlike the vegetables in historic times) it was identifiable as fruit. As time passed, human selection made fruit species larger and sweeter than that of our ancestors.

Evolution of the Human Digestive System

Quote from National Geographic: “The notion that we stopped evolving in the Paleolithic period simply isn’t true. Our teeth, jaws, and faces have gotten smaller, and our DNA has changed since the invention of agriculture. “Are humans still evolving? Yes!” says geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania.

“One striking piece of evidence is lactose tolerance. All humans digest mother’s milk as infants, but until cattle began being domesticated 10,000 years ago, weaned children no longer needed to digest milk. As a result, they stopped making the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose into simple sugars. After humans began herding cattle, it became tremendously advantageous to digest milk, and lactose tolerance evolved independently among cattle herders in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Groups not dependent on cattle, such as the Chinese and Thai, the Pima Indians of the American Southwest, and the Bantu of West Africa, remain lactose intolerant,” according to the National Geographic. 

Conclusion

 So, although it may seem to make perfect sense to eat like we did ten thousand years ago, before you get started eliminating healthy whole grains and healthy legumes from your brain healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet, keep in mind that today’s Paleo diet is a far cry from the food on the menu of our ancient ancestors.

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to get your copy of Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention, written by a Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

0

New Study Reveals Diet Beverages may Increase Risk of Stroke & Alzheimer’s Dementia

Posted by on Monday, May 15th, 2017

drinking soda increases risk of Alzheimer's dementia

The long term  risk of ingesting  loads of  sugary foods and beverages is a pretty commonly known these days, but a new study says diet drinks may be even more dangerous when it comes to Alzheimer’s dementia.   Sugar laden and diet soda drinks have been an integral part of American culture for decades.  These types of drinks have become commonplace at parties, picnics, family get togethers, holidays and more. But today, medical science is proving just why sugar laden as well as diet soft drinks should be eliminated from the diet all together. 

Continue reading…