Lakanto and the Paleo Diet

This article introduces the Paleo Diet and explains how Lakanto all-natural sweetener fits into it."We recently had the pleasure of introducing Lakanto to Gary Collins of Primal Power Method, a former "FDA Special Agent" turned Primal/Paleo author, teacher, speaker and nutrition expert. He's one of the leading voices in the Paelo movement and we're happy to have him aboard.
In this post, we'll include excerpts from his blog on Lakanto, "Fight Sugar Cravings with this Natural and Healthy Sugar Substitute," and delve into the world of the Paleo Diet.
Introduction to Paleo
The Paleo Diet refers to the Paleolithic Age, a prehistoric period of history some 25,000 to 15,000 years ago when humankind evolved into anatomically modern humans, Homo Sapiens. Proponents of the Paleo Diet point out that the human body – and most importantly the human digestive system – evolved over many tens of thousands years, slowly adapting to the foods that were available, and remains largely unchanged today. By eating like our ancestors and consuming the kind our bodies are best adapted for, Paleo advocates say, we can experience great health and freedom from disease. What Paleolithic humans eat? Pretty much whatever they could catch, gather, scavenge or pick:
    • Vegetables
    • Roots
    • Nuts & seeds
    • Fruits
    • Mushrooms
    • Fish and seafood
    • Pasture-raised meats
    • Eggs
    • Raw seed oils
    • Fermented plant foods
Specifically, the Paleo Diet does not allow foods that are “new” to humans. These are foods that gained prominence after the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago and especially artificial foods that were developed more recently. Since the human digestive system is not yet fully adapted to these foods, we should avoid them:
    • Grains
    • Legumes
    • Dairy products
    • Starchy vegetables like potatoes
    • Refined salt
    • Refined sugar
    • Processed oils
    • Grain-fed meats
    • Alcohol
    • Artificial foods, preservatives and food additives
    • GMOs

According to S. Boyd Eaton, M.D. one of the first Paleo Diet advocates:

"We are the heirs of inherited characteristics accrued over millions of years; the vast majority of our biochemistry and physiology are tuned to life conditions that existed before the advent of agriculture some 10,000 years ago. Genetically our bodies are virtually the same as they were at the end of the Paleolithic era some 20,000 years ago."
Our bodies may not have changed much, but our world certainly has. Since the invention of agriculture, we’ve seen huge changes to our lifestyles and diets. Unfortunately, natural selection hasn't had enough time to make the optimal genetic adaptations. According to the Paleo Diet entry on Wikipedia:

More than 70% of the total daily energy consumed by all people in the United States comes from foods such as alcohol, cereals, dairy products, refined sugars, and refined vegetable oils. Advocates of the Paleolithic diet assert these foods contributed little or none of the energy in the typical preagricultural hominin diet and argue that excessive consumption of these novel Neolithic and industrial-era foods is responsible for the current epidemic levels of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes in the US and other contemporary Western populations.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Paleo, let’s talk about how sweeteners and Lakanto fits.

Whether you are a hardcore Primal/Paleo follower or just experimenting, one thing is for sure: you have to cut out processed sugar. - Gary Colins, Primal Power Method

What about Sweeteners?

Historically speaking, Paleolithic humans had limited access to only a handful of sources of concentrated sweetness, and sweet things were generally very scarce."Be my According to Gary Collins:

Our ancestors didn’t have constant access to sugar filled treats, remember they had find those berries and honey, and they were not easy to find!– They had very limited access to sweets, and our bodies are not adapted to deal with the huge amounts of sugar found in the Standard American Diet. Artificial sweeteners are even worse, now linked to weight gain, cancer and toxic side effects. ... Paleolithic humans had limited access to sweetness: honey and seasonal fruits. Our bodies and minds evolved powerful pleasure-reward mechanisms to ensure we ate as much sugar as possible when it was available to ensure we got maximum energy. This once-helpful adaptation is now a horrible problem – sugar is one of the most addictive foods on the planet.

Sugar is in virtually everything now, and it is as addictive and toxic as a street drug. We created Lakanto to help people cut sugar out of their diets. It tastes great so it is easy to enjoy the pleasure of sweetness without worrying about calories or blood sugar concerns. It’s a great transitional tool to help you live low-glycemic, sugar free and even Paleo. Yes, you read right, Lakanto is Paleo.

Lakanto is Paleo? How?

“How can Lakanto be Paleo if it wasn’t around 15,000 years ago?”

The answer is simple if you approach Paleo as physiology, not as ideology. The Paleo premise boils down to: eat foods that our bodies are adapted to digest optimally. Let’s look at what’s in Lakanto: Monk Fruit extract and non-GMO Erythritol.

Monk fruit itself is certainly Paleo – it’s a natural and beautiful fruit! As for Erythritol, even though it’s not found in pure form, it’s in all sorts of foods that our ancestors ate, especially fruits and mushrooms. Our bodies are adapted to handle Erythritol very easily – since it contains zero calories, it passes through us without being metabolized for energy. 90% of it get peed out and the remaining 10% turns into harmless gases and short-chain fatty acids in the large intestine.

The vast majority of people have no issues digesting it. This is not the case for artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which is very new and toxic to our bodies, or natural sweeteners like agave, which is concentrated fructose that can overload our livers, or sugar alcohols like xylitol.

Bottom line – our bodies are adapted to handle monk fruit and Erythritol. We digest those marvellously, so Lakanto fits right in with Paleo. It is a great choice for people who want to lose weight or control their blood sugar as it contains zero calories and does not cause the body to release insulin. Nor does it produce any nasty by-products inside you. So go ahead, enjoy Lakanto as part of your diet, Paleo or otherwise!

Lakanto is a great choice for people who want to lose weight or control their blood sugar. It tastes great, and you can use it in all your cooking, baking and drink recipes just like sugar. - Gary Collins, MS


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