My recent post outlining my own pregnancy prompted a lot of questions about whether the primal diet is safe for pregnant women. The fear is that they might end up deficient in some nutrients if they don’t follow the advice of their doctors to eat 6-11 servings of grains per day, low-fat dairy, and “heart healthy” polyunsaturated oils.
Evolution Prescribed Our Diet Long Ago
All the animals on the planet (except for us) need only venture beyond their den’s opening to find sustenance. And humans too, used to do the same. Nature’s pantry is stocked full with meat, fruits, and vegetables (and insects and fish). We were designed, from the beginning, to eat the foods available to us. Packaging and processing is a new trend. For hundreds of thousands of years we have been hunting and gathering our food, not walking down isles of extended shelf life.
Nutrition Data Comparison
The following are two sample diets – one of the SAD (standard American diet) and the other the paleo diet.
At NutritionData.com I added foods into the recipe calculator to show the difference between the Standard American Diet and the Paleo Diet.
Standard American Diet:
Breakfast A bowl of raisin bran with ½ cup of 1% milk, some frozen strawberries, and a glass of OJ.
Snack After the insulin drops, the modern pregnant American pops in at Carls Jr for a blueberry muffin; her mouth watered for more but she controlled her urge. At
Lunch She tries to keep it healthy with a low fat turkey sandwich and a Sprite.
Dinner Pasta with beef and tomato sauce, a slice of bread with margarine, and a small brownie for dessert.
Notice that the glycemic load is very high, the nutrient profile is low, the cholesterol and fat are too low, and the protein is incomplete.This is the health conscious version of the SAD. Imagine what the real American diet looks like!
The Paleo Diet:
Breakfast Two slices of bacon, two eggs cooked in butter, and some strawberries. This high fat meal takes her all the way through lunch.
Lunch A hearty helping of wild salmon with some vegetable soup which includes celery, carrots, and swiss chard.
Dinner Beef brisket with liver, a sweet potato, and spinach.
She eats organic vegetables and pasture raised animals and so the nutrient profile will actually be higher than what NutritionData.com offers. In this data, notice how anti-inflammatory the diet is, how high in nutrients, and how low the glycemic load.