Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life
Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT
Healing Arts Press (2011)
Reviewed by Irene Watson for Reader Views (8/11)
According to Nora T. Gedgaudas in “Primal Body, Primal Mind” human beings are genetically predisposed to be hunter-gatherers, therefore our bodies are programmed to consume a high-fat, moderate-protein, and starch-free diet which includes high doses of omega-3. She takes to task vegetarianism and the intake of grains, soy, dairy, and starchy vegetables as well as oils such as canola which inhibit the task of Vitamin D in disease prevention.
Explaining evolution and the development of cooking practices, Gedgaudas states “What makes the use of cooking especially significant is the toxicity of most plant species…cooking is the only means by which many of these ‘antinutrients’ can be neutralized.” She continues to state that modern produce is “genetically modified to reduce the presence of harmful compounds to a significant extent.”
One of the most interesting considerations in “Primal Body, Primal Mind”- for me – was the discouragement of using the glycemic index. Gedgaudas makes clear the flaws of it by saying the index doesn’t take into account what other foods are being eaten at the same time. The index is based on a three hour window and doesn’t take into consideration alcohol sugars that have a delayed glycemic effect and don’t impact the blood sugar until much later.
Another interesting component of Gedgaudas’ book is a study at Purdue University which shows “kids who are low in essential omega-3 fatty acids are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and display behavioral problems” and be diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. This study further contends the deficiency in “omega-3 led to dyslexia, violence, depression, memory problems, weight gain, cancer, heart disease, eczema, allergies, inflammatory diseases, arthritis, diabetes and many other conditions.”
After giving us a boat-load of somewhat overwhelming documented information, Gedgaudas provides a chapter titled “Where to Start?” I was very grateful to see it because by the time I got through the 300 pages to that point, I wondered what I was going to do with all that informative, yet scary and challenging data. The 19 steps she gives are simple enough to incorporate into any lifestyle. And, yes, there are some sample menus as well as protein content charts and a supplementation guide.
If you are serious about changing your eating habits to a healthier regimen, you should consider reading “Primal Body, Primal Mind.” Following Gedgaudas’ suggestions will not only give you a healthier body but also a clearer and more functional mind.