News / Health

Eat Like a Caveman

Paleo-diet focuses on lean meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts

Whole Foods Supermarket is one place paleo-dieters can shop for produce.
Whole Foods Supermarket is one place paleo-dieters can shop for produce.

Multimedia

Audio
Rosanne Skirble

Robert Keeling says he's never felt better in his life. He never gets sick.

"I don't have colds anymore," he says. The 35-year-old Washington lawyer attributes his good health to exercise and diet. He likes the high intensity group workout he gets at CrossFit, a gym affiliated with 1200 such sports facilities nationwide, that also promotes an eating regimen known as the Paleo-diet.

Eating like a caveman

CrossFit coach Melody Feldman says the diet is based on what a prehistoric human might have eaten 10,000 years ago during the Paleolithic Era, which came before the domestication of crops and animals.

"Unprocessed natural foods, lean meats, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, no starch, no sugar, no dairy, no beans," says CrossFit owner John Main. "The diet leaves out anything that is processed or refined or comes in a box."

Washington lawyer Robert Keeling says regular workouts and strict adherence to the paleo diet keeps him healthy.
Washington lawyer Robert Keeling says regular workouts and strict adherence to the paleo diet keeps him healthy.

Hungry after his workout, Keeling heads home for a paleo-stir-fry with shrimp, broccoli, mushrooms and yams. He has rarely strayed from the basic diet for the past two years. As a result, he says, he sleeps better, remains healthy and doesn't gain weight or even crave food forbidden in the paleo-diet, such as pizza or pasta.

"On the few times I have those types of foods, my body has a very bad reaction and I just feel terrible afterwards," says Keeling.

Debate over dairy and grains

Artemis Simopoulous is the author of the "Omega Diet book", from which much of the paleo-diet is drawn. She says today's human genetic profile is the same as our ancestors yet the modern diet has radically changed. "I think it's important to understand, from the evolutionary standpoint, what we were like and try to modify our environment with the evolutionary aspects of diet," says Simopoulous.

Simopoulous, who also heads the Washington-based Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, parts company with paleo-diet purists who reject dairy and grains. She says humans have evolved with the ability to adapt. "Otherwise if we were entirely dependent on the gene for environment interaction we would not be here today," she says. "But because we are able to adapt, you don't need to go to extremes but you need to go along with a diet which is consistent with all traditional diets around the world."

Keeping it simple

Simopoulous says she's especially troubled by the overload of sugar, starch, red meat and processed foods in the modern western diet. These foods, she says, are associated with a rise in heart disease, cancer, obesity and depression. She recommends eating more fruits, vegetables and fish while at the same time cutting down on saturated fat, oils and sugar and salt.

Robert Keeling says the secret of his success with the paleo-diet is consistency. "This is the diet we've evolved to eat. It's the diet we all should be eating. I recommend it to everyone."

Keeling's wife is not on the Paleo-diet but she does like that he does all the cooking and food shopping.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More