PA­lEO

Popular Science - - FOOD FATALE -

Pro­po­nents of the pa­le­olithic diet be­lieve that hu­man di­ges­tion evolved from the eat­ing habits of our an­ces­tors, there­fore we should con­sume meat and pro­duce ex­clu­sively—and ig­nore grains, dairy, and legumes. (Sorry, but ar­chae­o­log­i­cal find­ings reg­u­larly dis­prove the ex­is­tence of such a meal plan.) Mod­ern zealots trum­pet it as a cure-all for ev­ery­thing from muf­fin tops to lethargy and de­pres­sion. Not ex­actly. Meat is higher in artery-clog­ging sat­u­rated fat than plant-based pro­tein sources, and cook­ing flesh over 300°F pro­duces car­cino­genic het­e­ro­cyclic amines. Red meat, specif­i­cally, in­creases your risk of colon can­cer by 17 per­cent for ev­ery

3.5 ounces con­sumed per day; the heme mol­e­cule, which helps turn it crim­son, pro­motes growth of N-ni­troso-com­pounds—an­other car­cino­gen. Cut­ting dairy and fiber-rich foods also messes with the mi­cro­bial colonies that make our guts work. With­out the pro­bi­otic ben­e­fits of yo­gurts and the pre­bi­otic ef­fects of fi­brous foods (beans and whole grains), our tum­mies strug­gle to block pathogens, main­tain metabolism, and ex­tract calo­ries and nu­tri­ents.

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