Monday January 20, 2020
Home Uncategorized Should we rev...

Should we revive ancestral dietary lifestyle for good health?

2
//

Amid all the rush to find a balanced diet that can keep one healthy, prevent from early ageing and kiss lifestyle-induced diseases a goodbye, modern calorie-counters in India have discovered a new fad: adopting ancestral dietary habits.

The Paleolithic, caveman or Stone Age diet — until now a purely Western phenomenon — is fast catching up with the weight-loss crazy young Indians, say health experts, warning that since the time and space are so varied with our ancestors and their food habits, it is actually difficult to suggest a one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to emulating the palaeo diet for super health.

Simply put, the caveman diet consists of what our ancestors who, in order to survive the harsh, brutal forces of nature, ate whatever came their way — from meat to plant-rich food, fruits, nuts and vegetables in raw, boiled or barbecued form.

“No doubt that our ancestral diet was full of fibres and nutrients that definitely compliment super health and slow-ageing. The food consumed today is processed in nature, low on fibre and high on sodium. This is a reason behind the increasing ailments like diabetes, heart diseases, etc.,” says Dr Ritika Samaddar, head (nutrition and dietetics) at Max Super Specialty Hospital in the capital.

“However, we need to keep in mind that our ancestors had a very different lifestyle from us. They were far more physically active; hence the high-fiber content in their food got easily digested,” she told IANS.

But was a balanced diet ever there on our ancestors’ mind? One has to remember the fact that our tree-living ancestors like chimpanzees and orangutans — apart from partying on a rare meat supper once in a while — were largely vegetarians, eating all kinds of fruits, nuts and plant-rich diets.

So what is an ideal palaeo diet? One from 30,000 years ago when the Neanderthals disappeared from the Earth? From 100,000 years ago or 30 million years ago?

If we believe Rob Dunn, biologist at North Carolina State University and an authority on food and its ancestral journey, our ancestors were not at one with nature. “Nature tried to kill them and starve them out; they survived anyway, sometimes with more meat, sometimes with less, thanks in part to the ancient flexibility of our guts,” he wrote in a blog on the Scientific American website.

“As for me, I will choose to eat the fruits and nuts like my early ancestors, not because they are the perfect palaeo diet, but instead because I like these foods, and modern studies suggest that consuming them offers benefits,” he added.

According to Dr Samaddar, it is important to take a note of important elements that were part of our ancestral diet but do not try to ape them. “Include raw veggies and fruits for high-fiber and nutrients but in quantities that match our lifestyle. Have an active lifestyle and consume lots of water to ensure good digestion,” she advises.

Not just meat and fruits, researchers are now looking into the carbohydrate consumption in early humans. According to a team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain, eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but carbohydrate consumption, particularly in the form of cooked starchy foods together with the evolution of genes that increased our ability to digest starch, made modern humans smarter.

“The human brain uses up to 25 percent of the body’s energy budget and up to 60 percent of blood glucose. While synthesis of glucose from other sources is possible, it is not the most efficient way and these high glucose demands are unlikely to have been met on a low carbohydrate diet,” noted the researchers in a paper published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology.

For Seema Singh, chief clinical nutritionist at Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, key takeaways from the ancestral diet are wholesome fruits and vegetables.

“Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants that protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and carotenoids help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, phenols and lignans,” Singh told IANS.

The paleolithic diet excludes dairy or cereal products and processed food and alcohol or coffee. “This diet is said to improve health as paleolithic nutrition improves lipid profile in people with high cholesterol to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations,” explains Sunita Roy Chowdhary, chief dietitian at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital.

For Meera Roy, nutritionist and dietitian at tele-health venture Healthenablr, people are stressed out today and tend to have high-calorie foods which are not balanced.

“I agree with the fact that raw, boiled and barbequed are the best food. It keeps us healthy and slows down the ageing process as the quantity of fat is very less and the nutrients are almost intact,” Roy told IANS.

Dunn, meanwhile, supplements his diet chart with much coffee, maybe a glass of wine and some chocolate as “these supplements are not palaeo by any definition,” but he likes them anyway.

So, as researchers the world over try to dissect the best palaeo diet, in a nutshell, the key to good health is a lifestyle that includes balanced food, exercise and proper rest and not any diet per se, experts point out. (Nishant Arora, IANS)

  • mae

    Consumerhealthdigest has been popular site for beauty,
    health and skin information. They have positive ideas about taking care of your
    health and skin. This site is also useful for women out there about how to look
    young and fresh!

  • mae

    I have been visiting consumerhealthdigest because there are lots of information about your health and how to maintain balance diet with exercise. It really helps me to improve my health issues. I really like consumerhealthdigest page! It is considered useful site for serious matter about our health.

SHARE
  • mae

    Consumerhealthdigest has been popular site for beauty,
    health and skin information. They have positive ideas about taking care of your
    health and skin. This site is also useful for women out there about how to look
    young and fresh!

  • mae

    I have been visiting consumerhealthdigest because there are lots of information about your health and how to maintain balance diet with exercise. It really helps me to improve my health issues. I really like consumerhealthdigest page! It is considered useful site for serious matter about our health.

Next Story

Follow These Tips to Stick to Your Fitness Resolution

8 ways to stick to your fitness resolution

0
Fitness regime
One of the most important resolutions that is made by many is to live a healthy lifestyle and practice a sustainable fitness regime. Lifetime Stock

With a brand new year most of us contemplate on our flawed decisions and make resolutions to do better in the coming year. One of the most important resolutions that is made by many is to live a healthy lifestyle and practice a sustainable fitness regime.

Studies suggest that many resolutions are broken within the very first month of the year, while several others give up as the year ends due to irregular working patterns or low will power or even lack of perseverance. Amaresh Ojha, CEO and Founder, Gympik suggest few ways that might help one to stick to their fitness resolution.

Fitness regime
Read what can help you improve, in terms of both your health and fitness. Lifetime Stock

Self-awareness

Change starts when you measure where you stand and how far you need to go. You need self-awareness before you can achieve self-improvement. Keep a regular check on your growth cycle and constantly observe and read what can help you improve, in terms of both your health and wellness.

Maintain a daily journal

Maintain a workout journal to record each workout you do. It is interesting to look back when you see the progress you’ve made. Depending on your capability, make smaller changes such as run 100 meters more than the past week, do 1-2 more reps more with an increased weight, increase your workout time by 10 minutes etc.

Fitness breakfast
Do not skip your breakfast if you want to achieve your fitness goal. Lifetime Stock

Don’t skip breakfast

You must not skip breakfast as it is the first meal of the day and it helps in breaking your overnight fast. If you skip your breakfast, you add to this fast which might affect your metabolism. So, make it a habit to have breakfast within two hours of waking up. Consuming a healthy breakfast reinstates the glucose levels in the body and lowers your stress levels.

Don’t beat yourself up

You may skip a yoga or cardio session once in a blue moon, which won’t make much of a difference. But if you skip them for days this will disrupt your healthy lifestyle and you will notice strength losses. In order to return your body to pre-holiday levels, begin with 10 to 12 minutes of cardio at a normal intensity. Then gradually, add time till you get back to your previous workout duration. To return to weight training, use the same resistance as before but lessen your reps by about a third and then gradually increase going back to your normal workout patterns.

Eat at regular intervals

It is important that you plan your meals to avoid last-minute hunger-driven decisions which may lead to unhealthy eating habits. Once you disrupt your eating patterns, it is difficult to get back to the rhythm. So, eat as per your diet but at regular intervals so that you do not gain or lose weight in an unhealthy way.

Use health monitoring/fitness apps

Use fitness and weight monitoring apps to have a better understanding of your fitness journey. Install your favourite fitness app and keep a track of your everyday growth.

Exercise wherever and whenever

Do not restrict yourself to gyms and aerobic classes when it comes to exercising. Walk a few extra miles, whenever possible. Moreover, research says that household chores like cooking, laundry, cleaning your car or mopping burn a substantial amount of calories.

Also Read- Students who Use Internet Excessively Likely to be Anxious During Tests: Study

Take one step at a time

Last but not the least, go ahead even if you take small steps. It happens to many of us often that if we miss a day of exercise or have a cheat day, we lose focus and feel like we have failed. But that is not the case, we must understand that we are in a continuous process of improvement and every time we fail, there is always the next day to get on track. Do not feel pressured to do it all at once or nothing at all. (IANS)