Paleolithic Diet Not What Cavemen Ate, Says Study

paleolithic diet

A recent study says that the paleolithic diet is not necessarily what the cavemen ate. There is no evidence to support this, and healthy diets were not a consideration during that time. The cavemen were more focused on survival, which involved eating anything that was available.

The paleolithic diet, also referred to as the paleo diet, is something that people have followed for a number of years to help lose weight and live healthier. The aim is to cut out all processed foods and only eat the food that would have been around during the cavemen era. This lasted two-and-a-half million years, and the theory is that the human body has not really changed. The genetic makeup of the cavemen and the human race today is very similar, so the body is designed to live on the same diet.

Most of the food that cavemen ate would have likely been meat from animals raised on grass, fish, fruits, vegetables and a very limited amount of dairy products. The use of grains, processed oils, refined sugars and salt would have been excluded completely.

The recent study was completed by Georgia State University to look into the hominid evolution, which covers some of the Paleolithic era. Study author Ken Sayers says that there is no proof that the cavemen focused on a healthy diet. There was not a food that was regarded as important and there was no “particular feeding strategy.” It is clear that the cavemen were more focused on survival than anything else.

The Paleolithic diet was not what the cavemen ate, according to the study. In fact, there is more to support the idea that the food pigs and bears eat now is closer to the food that the cavemen would have eaten. These animals have the same feeding strategy and focus on survival.

Sayer commented that reconstructing the diet of the ancestors is more than just looking at the type of food available. It is important to consider the habitats and how valuable items would have been. It is important to consider the handling of the food and the energy content.

There is also the element that the food in the paleolithic diet is not the same as the food from today. Strawberries are hand-picked for selling. People want sweet, larger ones. However, in the cavemen days the smaller, blander ones would have been acceptable because they offered the energy needed.

While refined sugars and processed foods were not available then, the ancestors would have eaten them if they were. All the cavemen cared about was getting enough calories for surviving on the terrain and reproducing. It did not matter what was actually in the food when it came to nutrients.

That does not mean the paleolithic diet does not have health benefits. Fruits, vegetables and meats are full of fiber and protein. They breakdown in the body slowly and keep the blood sugar at more stable levels. People feel fuller for longer, because there is not the quick burst of energy from the carbohydrates. This can help with weight loss, but so can a healthy and balanced diet that focuses on proteins and fibers. Fewer refined carbohydrates means that the body has to burn the fat stores.

While following the paleo diet is a option, it is important to look into the reality of it being the diet of the ancestors. The recent Georgia study finds that the paleolithic diet is not necessarily what the cavemen ate.

By Alexandria Ingham


Potiner Health

Web MD

The Daily Mail

2 Responses to "Paleolithic Diet Not What Cavemen Ate, Says Study"

  1. Don Slowik   December 19, 2014 at 5:52 am

    I thought ‘paleolithic diet’ refered to what the ‘caveman’ ate by definition.
    I thought they ate meat, fish, vegs, berries since that’s what they could get there hands on at the time, and this is all pretty healthy stuff compared with the genetically selected/modified and processed or injected foods we now have available. So I do not understand the title.

  2. Bob Due   December 19, 2014 at 3:54 am

    It is interesting to me that everyone is trying to figure out the perfect diet and not much has been said about how our food supply has changed in the last 100 years. Might it be that a lot of the problems we are having with all sorts of health issues have to do with all the manufactured foods and new ingredients that have been introduced into our diets by the big food companies? Take a look at what is now available in the food aisles of the stores and there is very little that has not been tampered with.
    In the early 1950’s my grandmother would send me to the store to buy one Seven-up to settle her stomach. It was never stocked at home. The drink was fresh water, a little coffee and some milk. Now watch how many cases of soft drinks are stacked in the carts at the checkout counter.
    Many times the only real food in the cart is a bit of lettuce or other fresh food and then that has been grown in a way to maximise production in pounds and quantity and has nothing to do about flavor and nutrient content.
    I grow and sell vegetables for the local farmers markets in my area. Customers are always amazed at the flavor and consistency that good food has. They also have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that it does not spoil in the frig like the stuff from the grocer.
    Think about it,
    Bob Due


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