My unhealthy breakfast (on left). Healthy caveman breakfast (right)
A remarkable number of my teammates have adopted the "caveman (Paleo) diet" in recent months, touting its fat utilization benefits for endurance events. The idea is that you teach the body to use fat by adopting a high fat diet, and then during a race you rely less on carbohydrates. Reducing the body's reliance on carbohydrate stores will delay fatigue. The other piece of this, which you are probably familiar with, is the argument that humans existed as hunter gatherers much longer than as farmers and we are more genetically adapted to the diets consumed during the paleolithic era.
So I am lectured about my high carbohydrate meals. My Paleo teammates criticized my choice of breakfast: “How can you eat that unhealthy, sugary, high carbohydrate breakfast of muesli, fruit and yogurt! You should be eating bacon and sausage."
Granted the caveman diet does not seem totally unreasonable to me in general -- eating less processed food would be an improvement on all the breakfast cereal and sports bars I eat. Plus eating less calories is good for anyone, even me, a person not at all concerned about their weight.
But seriously, eating bacon (lots of bacon at that) is more healthy than eating fruit?
And eating this enormous quantity of bacon and sausages at a single meal is justified by the argument that cavemen would have gorged on a wild pig or woolly mammoth after hunting and killing it, implying that this is a natural and healthy pattern of eating?
Above is a shot of my teammate's caveman breakfast consisting of an order of bacon plus an order of sausage (one of several) vs. my "less healthy" fruit/muesli breakfast.