Go 2-3 days this week with no meat.
Imagine you are living 50,000 years ago. You, or a member of your small tribe was unable to make a successful hunt. You are disappointed, but its not uncommon, so, today, like many other days, you go without meat.
It is widely accepted that the most healthy diet is one which mimics our palaeolithic diet, but this diet has been twisted by modern paleo diet advocates. Modern advocates seem to think that meat was not only on the menu every day, but at least twice a day. There is no evidence to suggest that we were able to eat meat this often. Man was a great hunter, but to be able to eat meat that often requires something much more than being an excellent hunter. It requires the farming animals, and it requires some long term storage such as fridges or freezers. The farming of animals is only something which came about within the last 10,000 years, and although it has allowed us to have much more food more readily available, it has dramatically altered our diet. Farming has introduced an abundance of grains, a wider variety of fruits/ vegetables, and meat on tap. The reality of the matter, is meat was not always so readily available.
If we look at the Hadza tribe, which is one of the last groups of hunter gatherers left on the planet, they only ate meat 62% of the year. The Hadza tribe are the best insight we have into the diet of palaeolithic man, and so by trying to mimic their diet, at least in part, is a great place to start when trying to get a natural diet.
I’m not suggesting you eat soy, or should make up the missing calories by eating bread or chocolate. Going back to living 50,000 years ago, what would you eat instead of the meat? Roots? Berries? Fruit? Would you go through a fasting period for 12-18 hours? These are all possible options – you chose.
But isn’t meat healthy?
People are quick to assume that because I think you shouldn’t eat meat twice a day everyday, I have something against eating meat, and this just isn’t true. I love meat – its delicious and nutritious (as long as its not processed), and should be part of your diet. As with everything though, moderation is key, and its about getting the right balance. Eating meat so regularly is not just unnatural, but it is associated with a number of diseases. Eating meat (red meat in particular) has been loosely linked with TMAO production, which is a risk factor in heart disease. It is associated with promoting pathogenic bacteria populations in the gut, and is linked to bowel cancer. I’m not saying meat causes all these problems, but you would be a fool to ignore these associations, just because you like to eat meat.
Image courtesy of nettsu