Paleo is more than a diet, it is a lifestyle that means a more natural and minimalist approach to living. People eating the Paleo way clean up their diet by removing grains, sugar, legumes, and dairy and replace them with meat, fruit, and vegetables. The absence of packaged food means less exposure to toxins linked to cancer. This way of eating seems extreme by many, especially by people still promoting a high carbohydrate diet low in fat.
Loren Cordain states in his latest book, The Paleo Answer, that The Paleo Diet can greatly reduce your risk of getting cancer due to the many nutritional elements that it contains. With the focus in the media about breast cancer it is interesting to note that lung cancer is responsible for almost twice as many deaths as breast cancer and prostate cancer. Lung cancer is highly preventable in most cases since almost all lung cancer is caused by smoking. Doctors such as Dr.Urquhart and Dr. Samuel Hutton both treated non westernized people and they discovered that cancer was non existent. Other well known European diseases were also absent, they noted. The natives immunity to cancer disappeared the more westernized they became over the years. Dr. Schweitzer discovered the same thing when he arrived in Gabon in 1913, that he didn’t encounter any cases of cancer . He credited the absence of cancer to the difference in nutrition of the natives compared to the Europeans. He also noticed that cases of cancer occurred the more the natives lived like the whites.
Loren Cordain agrees in his book that the absence of breast, colorectal, prostate and other cancers had everything to do with the natives’ diet in Gabon.
According to Cordain, the Paleo Diet is a low glycemic index, low-glycemic load diet. I learned in Cordain’s book that a very recent meta analysis of ten studies and more than 575,000 subjects performed by Drs. Qin and Dong show that a high glycemic diet increases the risk for developing breast cancer. Anther meta analysis showed similar results. As Robb Wolfe mentions in his book, The Paleo Solution, whole grains and refined grains both turn into sugar in the body.
Apart from the Paleo Diet’s low glycemic load, it is also rich in omega 3 fatty acids and low in omega 6 vegetable oils. Studies of animal models and tissues of breast cancer show that omega 6 fatty acids stimulate cancer growth while omega 3 fatty acids inhibit it.
The Paleo Diet is milk and dairy free. As mentioned early on in the book, drinking milk boosts blood concentrations of female hormones. Milk drinking will elevate blood estrogen levels and increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer in women and increase the risk for prostate and testicular cancer in men. ( I will cover milk more in detail in a future post.)
The Paleo Diet is extremely high in fresh vegetables and fruit. These are Mother Nature’s best medicine. Meta analysis of population studies have shown that fresh vegetables and fruits indeed protect women from many cancers.
As you can see there are many benefits of eating the Paleo way.