These “Back to Basics” posts are designed to give the reader some quick tips on the Paleo lifestyle so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time making the right choices and can focus on your training instead.
Just a quick word on a common misunderstanding among Paleo practitioners. The original Paleo Diet book by Loren Cordain placed an emphasis on eating lean meats because the effect of saturated fat on the body wasn’t well understood at the time of its writing (around 2000). The reason for this recommendation is sound: all animals (including humans) store toxins in their fat.1 So it follows that animals raised using conventional methods are exposed to toxins in their feed (corn, grains), toxins on the land on which their raised (heavy metals, pesticides) and are injected with antibiotics and hormones. And if you eat the fat from these conventionally-raised animals, you’re introducing all of those toxins into your own body (and yes this applies to farm-raised seafood as well).
So if you’re going to eat conventionally-raised meats, be sure to trim off the fat! Perhaps an easier solution is to choose cuts of meat that are raised on a natural diet in open pastures. This meat can be admittedly more expensive (though you can save money by buying directly from the farmer through CSAs) but you will taste the difference and feel good about eating meat that lived a good life. Plus, you get to eat all that delicious, satiating animal fat.
What to look for on labels:
Beef and lamb – “100% grass-fed” or “grass-finished”
Chicken, pork and eggs – “pastured”
Fish – “wild-caught”
And of course, buy local whenever possible!
Badier Velji is a Whole 9 Envoy and writes about nutrition at The Lazy Caveman. Visit his website and follow @TheLazyCaveman on Twitter for more tips on how to improve your nutrition and quality of life.