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Paleo Diet: Were Cavemen the Picture of Health?

So, you’re looking to start a diet, or just a lifestyle change, and you really think it’s time to get back to basics. Well, you can’t get much more basic than the increasingly popular Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet.

Let’s take a trip back in time, to 10,000 years ago when cavemen had to fight for dinner, and what they ate was all natural; none of that processed man-made stuff that we call food today.

The Paleo, Paleolithic, or Caveman Diet may be known by different names, but they all share the same philosophy: our ancestors’ eating habits are worth mimicking. That is because, proponents will say, our bodies are designed for the foods that were available to our early Paleolithic ancestors.

The current Paleolithic Diet consists mostly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Surprisingly, the Caveman Diet has caught on with some people in New York City. According to a New York Times piece from the beginning of this year, there is a small New York subculture of Paleo Diet followers. What the Times referred to as “urban cavemen,” young people like John Durant, an online advertising professional, have large freezers in their modest city apartments filled with organ meat and sides of beef.

Among other converts are the trainers associated with CrossFit who either encourage their clients to follow the Paleo Diet or the Zone diet.

“The male or female of 12,000 to 15,000 years ago will be considerably stronger and in better shape,” said Clark Larsen, a physical anthropologist at Ohio State University.

The negative? You were lucky to live to see 30.

Do you want to see more on what proponents of the Paleo Diet recommend? Check out: Top Five Cave-Person Checklist Starting a Paleo Diet.

Stay tuned for my second installment on some of the more extreme interpretations of the Paleo Diet, and what the critics of the diet have to say.

June 24th, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 4 total comments)


Keep in mind that the Paleo man, cook food. However there was alot that, at the time did not need to be.

The biggest thing that is different between the Paleo, and modern diets, are the vast lack of unknown additives that have been added. Genetics are one thing, but you are what you eat.

posted Jan 18th, 2011 6:42 pm

John Allen Mollenhauer

Just because Paleo man may have eaten lots of animal meat, ( I don't know for sure how much they ate; I wasn't there. Were you?) doesn't mean that is how we should eat to live today. There is value to nutritional science that focuses on the nutrient density of a food, and epidemiological studies that give us a clear picture over time of what promotes health and what doesn't. And, common sense about the environment of our bodies, let alone the planet, that tells us that eating too much animal food (even if it comes from organically raised, grass rich pastures) is not the foundation of a healthy eating plan.

posted Jul 25th, 2010 2:07 pm


Although hunter gatherers?life expectancy?was shorter, deaths?were?often?caused?by?outside?factors?such?as?extreme?weather?conditions,?accidents,?infections,?and?predatory?animals.?They?did?not?suffer?from?chronic?or degenerative?diseases?such?as?diabetes,?cancer?or?heart?disease.?These?diseases?emerged?only when?we?shifted?to?agriculture???modern?diseases?are?the?consequence?of?civilization ,?the?result?of?a?mismatch?of our?genetic?makeup?and?our?lifestyle.

The life expectancy of HG is somewhat incorrect when using it to suggest the paleo diet is not healthy, because of the high rate of infant deaths which lowered the scientific life expectancy of HG's. Infants mostly died of infanticide (H/G's kill infants that appear weak, disabled, or small or one's that they simple cannot provide for) and also of infection or just dying during labor.


posted Jun 25th, 2010 11:59 pm

Kady Morris

I always wonder if Stone Age man got foodborne illnesses from all that raw meat?

posted Jun 24th, 2010 3:16 pm


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