At first glance, it’s not obvious that we have anything in common with our Paleolithic ancestors. Civilization has completely changed the way we live our lives. But because our DNA evolves so slowly, our genes have not changed over the past 40,000 years; we have the genetic blueprint of our Paleolithic ancestors.
Consequently, our bodies are expecting to see the same foods and activity patterns they did 40,000 years ago. And when they don’t, we run into trouble. Anthropologists who’ve studied early humans and modern day hunter-gatherers suggest that there’s a strong link between the modern day diet and activity patterns and the “diseases of civilization,” (heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc).
While it may sound simplistic, the implications seem clear. Combine a diet of highly processed foods with a sedentary lifestyle and become susceptible to many of the health problems that plague our society. Or, eat and train like the hunter-gatherers and get lean, strong and healthy!
The hunter-gatherer diet
In general, we evolved on a diet that was mostly animal based. It was low to moderate in carbohydrates (about 25% of total calories), high in protein (up to 35% of total calories) and low to moderate in fat (about 40% of total calories).
The protein was derived from lean meats and fish. The wild game was about four percent fat with higher levels of the essential fatty acid, omega-3. This is completely unlike modern beef which has about 25 to 30 percent fat, much of it saturated.
The carbohydrates came from fresh fruits and vegetables which had a low glycemic index and an abundance of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and fiber. Our ancestors often consumed more than three pounds of plant foods a day, which provided more than 100 grams of fiber!
The main sources of fat were lean, wild animals, fish and nuts. The fat content of the game animals and fish was mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. And the polyunsaturated fats had substantial amounts of the essential fatty acid, omega-3. The hunter-gather omega-6/omega-3 ratio ranged from about 1:1 to 3:1 while the modern day diet omega-6/omega-3 ratio averages about 12:1.
The hunter-gatherer fitness 먹튀검증 program
Hunting and gathering required a great deal of physical effort, which means early humans exercised a lot. Our ancestors had the endurance to track and hunt game, gather wild plants, carry infants and move camp regularly. They also had the ability to sprint from or fight predators as well as chase down wild game.
So we evolved performing activities of varying intensities. A fitness program modeled on these activities would include high intensity sprints, full body strength training and endurance activities such as running, walking, and hiking.
And since your fate could be decided, in an instant, by your ability to sprint from a predator or fight your way to safety, the emphasis of the training is on high intensity exercise – sprinting and full body strength training.
In summary, it may not be possible to completely emulate the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but if you eat and train more like the hunter-gatherers, you’ll be able to enjoy what our modern world has to offer.
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