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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do You Really Eat Like A Cave Woman?

To establish what is the most basic in terms of our nutrition we look to our natural patterns of eating from our distant cave dwelling ancestors. The stone age, or Paleolithic age, which spanned a time from about 2.5 million years ago until about 10,000 years ago is generally the 'time' period which nutritionists are referring to when they talk about our natural state of eating like a cave woman. We have arrived nutritionally at our RDA, which is set by the government as the amount of each nutrient that we would need on a daily basis. As more information comes out regarding the nutrients consumed by the cave people we realize that our current nutritional recommendations do not always mean we are eating like a cave woman, and in fact there are some significant differences. For instance our RDA of thiamine is 0.5 mg per 1000 calories, but cave women probably ate nearly 4 mg per day. But we recommend up to 800 mcg of folate per day (4 mg if trying to get pregnant) and paleolithic intake is closer to only 400 mcg/day. RDA of vitamin C is 75 mg per day for women, but cave women ate about 600 mg per day. Vitamin A intake of cave women was about 4 times what we currently consume in the US. And other nutrient intakes are also different. And they actually ate more carbs than animal meat than we have been led to believe. First of all, how are we different than cave women? Some of us may not be, others may have medical conditions that differ or medication intake that make our needs different. Cave women got pregnant young, and bore more children, so perhaps their intake reflected a greater amount of time in pregnancy. Lots of fascinating questions. As for the best diet? Now that is something for you and your gyno to gab about during a nutritional management wellness visit. 

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