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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Should We Eat Like Our Cave-Dwelling Ancestors?

By Pamela Redwine

A Kids in the Kitchen will be held Monday, July 1st from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building.  The program is free and open to all youth ages 5-15, however it is limited to 10 youth.  Please call 675-2730 to register your child.
A tomato canning class will be held at the Extension office on Monday, July 1 at 6 p.m.  The class is free, but because it will be a hands-on class it is limited to the first five people to call and register by June 28.
The Healthy You Exercise class meets each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Wear cool clothes, comfortable shoes and bring some water to drink.  We will not meet on Friday, July 5.
The Extension Service will be closed Thursday, July 4th and Friday, July 5th in honor of Independence Day. We hope everyone will have a safe and fun holiday.
Don’t forget to like us on Facebook at MSU- Yalobusha County Exten-sion Service to keep up with our upcoming events
Ups and Downs of the Paleo Diet
Should we eat like our cave-dwelling ancestors?  Proponents of the paleo diet seem to think so. The Communicating Food for Health Staff decided to take a closer look at this popular diet in order to determine whether or not it is actually good for your health.
To eat a paleo diet, you stick to fruits, non-starchy vegetables, and meats– mainly wild ones like bison, ostrich and fish.  That’s it. While this approach might work for weight loss because starchy grains and full-fat dairy products are cut out, it may not have good long-term ramifications for health. Think about what you are missing by restricting entire food groups in order to lose weight.
The pros of the paleo diet are that it eliminates refined carbs and processed foods made with sweeteners.  This exclusion means that the empty calories from candy, cakes, cookies and soda go right out the window. That’s great news, especially because Ameri-cans eat a lot of sugar. In fact, according to government estimates, sugar consumption in the U.S. ranges from 80-100 pounds per year! If the paleo diet teaches people how to read food labels and weed out excess sugar, that’s a bonus.
The paleo diet is not all sunshine and roses, however. A red flag goes up with the subtraction of nutrient rich whole grain pasta, brown rice, red lentils and yogurt.  More meat consumption also means increased saturated fat intake. Unless you have a diagnosed condition like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or lactose intolerance, whole grains and low-fat dairy products are healthful foods and should not be eliminated from your diet.  
Now think about people with fructose intolerance or cardiovascular disease?  
Is just eating fruit and fatty meats going to work for them? No. What about athletes who require a steady stream of carbohydrates to fuel muscles for prolonged activity and peak performance?  It’s tough to stay healthy if you can’t have low-glycemic whole grain carbs in the diet mix.
Although you can get calcium from leafy greens and nuts, vitamin D–which is critical to the absorption of calcium–is not generally in those foods. Milk, some yogurts, and certain cheeses all contain a significant supply of vitamin D3, which helps get calcium into your bones.  Plus, fermented dairy products like yogurt contain gut-friendly probiotics.
The best bet is to eat from all five food groups and think about the quanity of what’s on your plate.  Remember that avoiding processed foods leaves more room for the nutrient-dense bounty that Americans are fortunate to have in this day and age.

Article Source: Communicating Food for Health Newsletter , July 2013

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