Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Paleo Solution

I just finished Rob Wolf's The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet. The first time I heard of the Paleo Diet was a few years ago, and I was given a very superficial explanation of what it is. From the little I heard, I was skeptical of the idea because it seemed like a pretty weird and crazy fad. However, after my personal trainer told me that he tries to stick to an 85% Paleo Diet and suggested that I read about it, I went on Amazon and perused the results for "paleo diet". I ended up purchasing The Paleo Solution, which currently has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.

I was pleasantly surprised that The Paleo Solution takes a holistic approach to health. While a large portion of the book is tedious due to some pretty detailed explanations of the metabolic processes that occur after eating certain foods (which gave me not very pleasant flashbacks to my college physiology class), he also focuses on managing sleep and stress.

While this may be a very crude summary, the book basically recommends the following:

  • Stop eating all grains, including bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, beans, etc.
  • Eat meat, vegetables, and fruits
  • Minimize your alcohol intake
  • Exercise
  • Sleep in a completely dark room (Wolf cites one of my favorite books, Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival)
One criticism I have is that Wolf is so adamant about the detrimental effects that grains have on your body, but never goes into an explanation about the traditional French, Asian, or Mediterranean diets, which definitely contain grains, but do not produce the same kind of diseases that we see in people who consume Western diets. While I have my own theories about why this is so, it would have been interesting to see what he has to say about that.

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