This is a really nice article hitting on all interesting aspects of the ancestral health movement and/or the paleo-primal way of life: "Why eating like we did 20,000 years ago may be the way of the future."
Part of the problem is that virtually everything we thought we knew about eating is wrong; the current health crisis is in no small part caused by widespread and pervasive food confusion - and much of driven and reinforced by the modern food industry. As counterintuitive as it might seem, we now know that saturated fats are good and that salt has been unfairly vilified. It's becoming apparent that whole grains are extremely unhealthy, and that sugar is far, far worse than we previously thought, a conclusion that has led some experts to essentially describe it as poison.
A nice companion to this article is this fantastic TEDx talk from Stephan Guyenet, a 16-minute summary of "The American Diet," and how the US government enabled industrial food complex has radically changed the American diet via the subsidization and institutionalization of commercially prepared foods while demonizing real foods that, just two generations ago, were understood to be healthy. He discusses how the departure from historical norms in terms of diet has lead to an exponential increase in a whole new set of disease epidemics. He also makes the comment that industrial foods are "extensively engineered foods meant to maximize palatability and maximize the likelihood of repeat purchase while minimizing purchase costs." In summary, Guyenet notes the following in his short talk:
- Consumption trends toward commercially prepared food.
- The decline of butter and lard in favor of margarine, shortening, and refined seed oils.
- Fat consumption trends moving toward cheap polyunsaturated fats, due to the refined seed oils in the modern American diet.
- The decreased quality of breast milk composition.
- The rise of sugar consumption from beverages.
- The traditional American diet was simple, homemade, had minimally refined ingredients, and it required effort to produce.
- The modern American diet contains hyper-palatable items, is commercially engineered, is composed of refined ingredients, is high in added sugar and fats (from seed oils), and it requires minimal effort to prepare and consume.