The Primal Diet: How to adecuate food to your personal needs

When Weston A. Price visited in the 30’s several indigenous groups around the world, he was shocked at seing the immense vitality and resilience of this people. While children could play all day on the mud only to get out stronger, both men and women had strong and flexible bodies that could run, climb and fight. From the work of this investigator came up the theory of metabolic types, that says that each one of us has an unique genetic configuration that has being influenced by our genealogical origin, which makes it a nonsense to impose the same type of nutrition for the whole population.

Just imagine for a moment what would happen if an eskimo was asked to reduce his meat consumption and eat three portions of fruit a day. It would not only constitute an offense to his particularity, but the person would progressively start presenting problems like insulin resistance, a diminish in his energy levels and bad temper, probably ending up on medication to control the symptoms. On the other hand, if you where to put a hindu on a meat and vegetables only diet, he would probably shown signs of constipation, fatigue, halitosis and blood acidity.

This process in which western diets composed of foods like flour and grains were introduced in the diets of communities who had being eating their way for centuries was documented by Weston A. Price on his book Nutritional and physical degeneration. What this investigation discovered was that, per se, there are no healthy foods, as each person has a biochemical individuality.

Does this means a hot dog can be healthy? Without underrating factors like air quality, social bonds, sufficient rest and constant movement, three elements greatly contributed to the health of this communities. First, they all ate foods rich in micronutrients. This means that an apple, that for 200 calories can provide many vitamins, fiber and minerals, is better than a piece of bread, that for the same calories does not provides many micronutrients. Second, they all ate organically. It was non-processed and fresh food. Third, they all ate according to their metabolic type.

In this system, there are three metabolic types: polars, equatorials and variables.

The polar types are those people that probably come from inhabitants of the poles. This groups consumed big quantities of protein and animal fat, and didn’t had much access to carbohydrates or vegetable products.

On its part, the equatorial types mainly feed from vegetables, fruits and legumes. In the Equator, even though big animals existed, groups like the Aztecs used to eat a lot of tomatoes, corn, cocoa and peanuts, and from time to time they would eat meat from little animals like insects (not to say humans :/).

Finally, the variable types are people who, for reasons like miscegenation, will vary between a polar and an equatorial type depending on the circumstances.

To know what metabolic type you are, do this test at page 12->

Keep in mind life can change your metabolic type, so you should do this test not only once but at least various times a year.

If you are a polar type, now you now that something like the Atkins or the Bulletproof diet can be good for you. Lots of healthy fats, vegetables and meat. You must be specially careful with sugar, as it can really turn you off and cause problems like insulin resistance.

If you are a equatorial type, you know that the low carb diet might not be a good idea for you. For example, you may try doing the Paleo diet, but include paleo carbs like fruits and some starches. How much you eat of them will be determined by your body type, lifestyle and other factors, and can be checked on your waistline. If you think you cannot be lean like this, keep in mind Paul Chek has said he is a variable type and does not feels good on a low carb diet, and still has managed to keep his body fat levels low. The trend of “carbs are the devil” is only true when we go beyond our carb tolerance, which is higher for the equatorial type, but still easy to exceed if your diet includes things like pop or cookies.

What if you are a variable type? As Paul Chek says, “you are the easiest to feed, but the hardest to satisfy”. You need to really develop you eating intuition, seing how you feel after each meal and adjusting yourself to this preferences. In some times of the year you may feel a hunger for carbs, like in summer time, but in winter you may feel the urge for more fats and proteins. In reality, we may all have a certain degree of variability, so this eating intuition is inescapable.

Remember, diets have being an instrument of power for a long time, so stop being a servant to all the swinging trends in dieting. How do you fight all the information noise, all the procrastination, all the lack of guidance? You can’t fight information constipation by consuming more information, it would be like turning off a fire by adding more fire. You need just the minimum amount of quality information that turns your attention somewhere else: to self-knowledge. Self knowledge liberates, because as it grows your dependency on authorities is diminished, and you become oblivious to all the noise that distracts you from your own path. And nutrition, like movement, is a process of navigating that path.

If you’d like to know more about these topics, I recommend the work of Paul Chek and Roger Williams

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