The big picture

This page presents the position on what is - and, by implication, what is not Paleo.

First of all, categorizing a food as Paleo is not the first thing to do.  It is not a decision that makes a lot of sense in the abstract.  The most important things to have clarified in your mind are:

  is your categorization (a) for the purpose of your own diet or (b) wholly or primarily to come up with a neat categorization?

if (b), then you are on your own.  The following discussion may help you, but it is designed to guide you in your own diet.

  the place of food in your Paleo life:

the evolutionary model is a model.  We do not live today in the Pleistocene and any attempt to adhere to a Pleistocene rule in one part of our lives must confront the reality that, in other parts of our lives, we are way, way off the Pleistocene standard:

Three example: (1) our hormone profile, for example, depends upon our activity levels and health as well as diet (2) our rest and activity patterns are far from Pleistocene (3) air pollution, pesticides, pharmaceuticals impact on all of us today in ways that humans did not experience in the Pleistocene

Although food is important, the inclusion or exclusion of, for example, grains, tomatoes or dairy foods from your diet is of far less marginal significance at the practical level than how you spend your day.  If you are commuting by car from an apartment to a job in front of a computer screen, you have greater dissonances to deal with than food choice.

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