Don’t Have a Cow, It’s Just the Standard American Diet
Let’s think about this for a minute. If you were eating a primal diet, also known as the Paleo Diet, you would be eating what you could find. You would likely be consuming not just plants that you came across, but also the occasional wild game. The opportunity to consume an animal protein source would have been less frequent, but it would have been available. Moreover, it would have been unlikely to have consumed the same animal protein source routinely. In contrast, this looks nothing like the standard American diet. The standard American diet relies heavily on beef and chicken and lacks the variety that we benefit most from.
The Staple Foods of the Standard American Diet
Go to almost any restaurant and you will find beef and chicken options on the menu. There is nothing inherently wrong with beef and chicken. There is however something inherently wrong with consuming beef and chicken on a frequent basis. Beef and chicken have become the staples of the standard American diet. These foods are relied upon heavily to supply protein in the diet. This is problematic as it does not mimic the primal diet of our ancestors. Far removed is the diet of grass fed animals that lived off of the land. In short, we no longer live off of the land nor do we eat animals that live off of the land.
Where did all the Grass Go?
The standard American diet is now made up of meats from animals that have spent little time in their natural setting. Unless you actually seek it out, you are not going to find meat that is grass fed or cage free. I can vouch for this change first hand. Having grown up on a farm, I remember my grandmother having the chicken coop behind her house. When they needed eggs or wanted a chicken to feed the family, it was a short trip across the backyard. These chickens lived off of the things that they found in the area that they were allowed to graze in. Ironically, in later years, chicken houses were built on the adjacent farm. These chicken houses looked much different than my grandmother’s chicken coop. They were long, stuffed full of chickens, the lights were kept on for long periods to speed up growth and there were feeders full of grain about half way down each of the houses. Needless to say this was a far different setup than my grandmother had and resulted in a far different outcome.
Can I have something besides Beef and Chicken for Dinner?
The standard American diet is far removed from the primal diet, aka the Paleo Diet. There are many additional sources of protein that should be considered. While you could easily add turkey and pork to the list of frequently consumed protein sources, they are still not wild, and this mostly limits us to four protein sources that make up most of the standard American diet.
We should be as primal as possible with our diet eating as many different protein sources as possible from wild sources. This would include the consumption of wild game such as venison, many different forms of fowl or wild birds just to name a few. Then there is the category that is significantly limited in the standard American diet, seafood. Most Americans can consume far too little seafood. No wonder there is such a widespread deficiency in omega 3’s in the standard American diet. Interestingly, the primal diet supplies omega 3’s not just from seafood, but also from the more staple animal sources such as beef, so long as they are grass fed and finished and not corn fed.
As I have mentioned in a previous article, the standard American diet is a monotonous and boring diet. It lacks not only the diversity of the primal diet, but also allows for the consumption of meats from sources that do not resemble the environment these animals originated in. The ingestion of such meats comes at the price of increasing inflammation in our bodies while also leaving us lacking in key nutrients such as omega 3’s. There is more protein to enjoy than beef and chicken. For a diet that is anything but boring and monotonous, transition your diet to the primal diet and get a true feel for just what it means to be Paleo.