One of the key questions targeting cancer battlers is the design of Paleo diets.

Yet another back-and-forth erupted recently when a healthful-food fan of mine, Christopher James Clark, lashed out at U.S. and U.K. journalists (including The Telegraph and Yahoo Health) about a misread of a new study stating that Paleo-era humans (meaning cavemen) ate plant-based starchy carbohydrates in addition to the food of animals.

Apparently Paleo-era humans did, and we all know it and have for some time, but contemporary nutrition journalists treat it like a scholarly mistake that is finally being corrected by science. In these journalists’ minds, former scholars have treated Paleo as though it has been largely meat, and they are ready to back the more recent scientists here to correct them.

OK, hold on. If you are a Cooking Patient, you are now in the zone of complete distraction. So let’s get a few things straight and simplified.

Cavemen or whatever you call the Pleistocene era (roughly 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago) included both plant and animal foods that were essential for human development. Scientists have long argued that easily digestible carbohydrates were necessary alongside meats to meet the demands on the growing brain.

Specifically, cooked starches increased energy supplies through glucose, which boosts brain development and red blood cells.

So where do we stand with diets today? Some observers view the cost of beef, bacon and pork to be rising over the past few years, based on popularity. Other nutritionists are emphasizing that getting adequate amounts of carbohydrates help the brain function optimally and body perform at its peak.

May I simplify things? Eat a well-balanced meal.

Carbohydrates aren’t just found in bread, potatoes, and pasta, which is a common misconception. They’re also found in beans, bananas, pears, peas, corn, squash, whole grains and many other foods that are considered healthy. Generally, these move opposite to the rapid blood sugar spikes you can experience with simple carbohydrates like white bread, sweets and chips.

Of course, too many carbs aren’t great for you either. One writer suggests one serving of complex carbs at each meal to keep energy levels stable, hunger at bay, and your brain performing optimally. (And I will have to do further research why legumes are not included in Paleo diets. Answer? Write me.)

Clark concludes by listing healthful choices within the contemporary Paleo diet. All root vegetables, nuts, and fruits are good choices. Other types of vegetables, like cruciferous vegetables are also good choices, but are less starchy than roots.

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Parsnips
  • Plantains
  • Celeriac
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

Yum, yum, eat ‘em up, eat ‘em up.