Why you should care what your ancestors ate

Whether you're fighting an illness or you're just trying to eat healthy, you know that I recommend Paleo -- the diet that I follow myself -- for its many benefits.

I've previously shared with you the power that Paleo has to help lower cholesterol and even halt diabetes. And there's no shortage of testimonials from doctors like me that have seen it work on their own patients.

But once again, this miracle diet is under attack by mainstream medicine.

Now, a new study in the Journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution is questioning the benefits of Paleo... but not because they've found that it doesn't work or has no health benefits.

They say if your ancestors didn't eat red meat, then you might have sensitivity to it and shouldn't eat it.

And, sure, from an evolutionary standpoint, that makes sense. The study found that if your ancestors didn't have access to red meat (or only small amounts, at best), you might have a variation of a specific gene that allows you to get key fatty acids from a plant-based diet instead of from, say, beef.

How does this "call into question," as headlines say, a diet like Paleo that recommends you eat like our ancestors did?

Paleo favors natural, unprocessed foods -- it certainly doesn't mandate that you eat only red meat.

It takes a "back to basics" approach to eating... and it works because it limits CARBS and SUGARS. It even helps you avoid toxins (like those you might get from packaged foods) -- and, as you know, I've kept my own Parkinson's disease (which I attribute to toxin exposure) from progressing for over a decade by following this diet.

Sure, not EVERY Paleo-friendly food will be "friendly" for you. You might have an allergy or sensitivity that would keep some options (like red meat) off of your dinner plate... but don't blame Paleo for that.

Meats are a staple in the Paleo diet, but you get to choose which meat ... and how much.

Paleo offers plenty of protein-rich, nutritious options like chicken, fish, pork, lamb ... the list goes on and on.

The bottom line is that as long as you listen to your body, keep your portions in check, and make sure you're really eating "cleanly" (meaning, hold the sauce), you can customize almost any diet, including Paleo, to meet your needs.

And if anything you're eating while sticking to the Paleo diet goes against you, it's probably best to just stay away from it.

If you really love it and don't want to give it up (like a good juicy steak off the grill), you could also try a daily probiotic. It can aid your digestion by balancing the bacteria in your stomach.

Paleo is not a single path to follow... it's just is a well-drawn map.