January seems to be the month for diets.
Not actually the decision of going on a diet, but instead which diet to choose. And if you're currently following a diet plan, I wish you every success with it and hope it works for you!
Diets have clearly been around for a very long time, as I read this week about an apparently "revolutionary" new diet inspired by our Cro-Magnon ancestors.
Or Mr. and Mrs Caveperson to you and me.
It seems our bodies still carry a copy of an ancient genetic code from our Cro-Magnon relatives. When they went about their day 40,000 years ago, food was more scarce, activity was very physical and you didn't fight-for-your-right-to-party, you were fighting to exist and survive. Their 9-to-5 routine was get up in the morning, leave the cave, find food and most importantly, avoid being eaten.
And because convenience shops weren't invented despite what the Flinstones might show, people ate what they could find.
According to those behind this diet, it's our ancient genetic code which is being exploited by today's modern environment.
With food now widely available, our genetically pre-programmed bodies eat whatever food we find. And because physical activity back then was an absolute necessity (look how fast Fred Flinstone pedalled his car), our ancestors were only active when they needed to be, as this expended valuable energy. Which needed food.
So according to the researchers, a combination of our own genetic make-up, lots of plentiful food today and being Cro-Magnon-ly idle (don't blame me, blame my ancestors!) all contribute to our health problems today.
Hmmm. I think there's more to it than that.
We're living longer than our ancestors and advances in technology have impacted our society and lives in so many ways over the past 30 years, never mind 40,000 years ago.
And since I'm talking ancestors, here are some other oldies that are still very relevant today..
- Don't blame your ancient genetics and your body - you can overcome them!
- Try to eat fruit and vegetables every day - the more, the better. Go wild like a cave-person and have five!
- Try to eat more wholegrains - they are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals and can help keep your body's plumbing in order
- For all you meat-eaters, go lean!
- Think in thirds on your plate - 1/3 vegetables; 1/3 carbs like pasta, rice or potatoes and 1/3 lean meat
- Whenever you can, try to be active - no need to forage but a walk in the woods would be good
And importantly, try not to get eaten.
Now where did I leave my loincloth..
Enjoy your weekend.