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paleo diet

We are secretly delighted to hear the news that the Paleo diet may have been wrong all along about ditching the carbs. 

It's SO extremely difficult to lead a low-carb life as the diet advises, eating mainly just fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and seeds. 

Many celebrities have been seen to swear by the Paleo diet including Matthew McConaughey and golfer Phil Mickelson. 

Although this diet has gained a lot of popularity over the passed few years, experts are now debating whether we need to include carbs in our diet or not.

A study carried out in the University of Chicago suggests that eating carbohydrates was vital for the acceleration of brain growth over millions of years, these carbohydrates include potatoes which the Paleo diet suggests you steer clear of. 

Several nutritionists have also joined the debate saying that although the Paleo diet helps people lose weight, it may not be the healthiest option. 

The Paleo diet is based around the diet of those living in the Paleolithic era. It's concerned with people eating the same diet as our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten. 

Although this diet has been effective since being introduced, the study carried out says "“Eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still.”

According to this study, to truly eat Paleo, higher levels of carbohydrates are necessary. The explanation for this finding it that the brain uses 1/4 of the body's energy which is hard to meet on a low-carb diet. 

The study reports: “Up until now, there has been a heavy focus on the role of animal protein and cooking in the development of the human brain over the last 2 million years" 

"The importance of carbohydrate, particular in form of starch-rich plant foods, has been largely overlooked.”

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Like Atkins and the Zone before it, the Paleo diet is the healthy-eating craze of the moment.

It's supposedly based on a "caveman diet" – those basic, healthy foods that our ancestors survived on, because after all, who's ever seen a picture of an obese caveman?

But new research suggests that the diet has no strong scientific basis, as cavemen most likely ate a much larger variety of foods than the diet would have us believe.

The main basis of the low-carb Paleo diet is unprocessed food that could have been hunted or foraged for back in historic times – meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds and leafy greens. It cuts out grains, dairy, sugar, potatoes and anything processed or high-fat.

However a study undertaken by Georgia State University says there's no one "Paleo diet." Cavemen were apparently very opportunistic eaters, who, understandably, ate whatever they could find to survive.

"Throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history, balancing the diet was not a big issue. They were simply acquiring enough calories to survive and reproduce," said the study's author Ken Sayers.

The study also noted that it's difficult to find out whether our ancestor's diets were healthy or not, as they had such short lifespans regardless of their food intake. While it's true there are many more diet-related diseases these says, Sayers said this could simply be because we are living long enough for our diet to have a long-term effect on our health.

"Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees," he added.

A cake tree… now there's a caveman diet we could get on board with!

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