Eating like our ancestors, eating like a caveman, eating like hunter-gatherers – no matter how you phrase it, it all comes down to the same thing: the paleo diet.
The premise of the diet is to mimic the ancient humans. This is done by removing products of modern agriculture (wheat, legumes, and dairy). Instead, paleo dieters eat meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables.
According to author Michael Pollan, however, that diet isn’t what our ancient ancestors would have eaten. On an episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast, he said, “I don’t think we really understand…well the proportions in the ancient diet. Most people who tell you with great confidence that this is what our ancestors ate-I think they’re kind of blowing smoke.”
We asked Mary Hartley, R.D. what her take on the paleo diet was, and she agrees with Pollan. “Over the last several years, researchers have learned more about early hominid diets. Early hominids from forested areas ate the fruit and tree nuts, but ancients for the savanna ate the grasses and sedges that grew there. (Millions of years later, those grasses would become domesticated cereal crops).”