So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)

Primal Body-Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas advocates a diet that our paleo ancestors ate. Meat, lots of fat, and seasonal fruits and berries when available. Basically, sugar and starchy carbs are discouraged. You can download a chapter from the author's site. She has a Primal Body, Primal Mind Radio weekly show on Voice of America. It started May 20, 2009, so there are many shows you can listen to. Published June 30, 2011.


The Dietitian's Guide to Eating Bugs by Daniel Calder is a comprehensive guide to the nutritional content of insects. He believes insect breeding and consumption are important elements sustainable living, particularly when it comes to complementing foraged plant material with meat products. Numerous insects contain nutrients similar to those found in more conventional livestock, except the feed to conversion ratio is much higher and they're much cheaper to breed. You can find the book at scribd. Also available in e-book format for $35.

Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to recognize the nutritional benefits of whole grains and recommend individuals make sure one-half of the grains they consume daily are whole grains. A 2016 meta-analysis of 45 cohort studies, published in The BMJ, looked at the relationship between whole grain consumption and the risk of various diseases including CVD and cancer.5 Researchers concluded that intake of whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, CVD, cancers, respiratory and infectious diseases, and diabetes. Furthermore, a 2017 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when subjects consumed whole grains vs refined grains, inflammation was reduced.6
A great question to ask is “Does the Paleo diet work?” Here we have a head to head comparison between the Paleo diet and Mediterranean diet in insulin resistant Type 2 Diabetics. The results? The Paleo diet group REVERSED the signs and symptoms of insulin resistant, Type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet showed little if any improvements. It is worth noting that the Mediterranean diet is generally held up by our government as “the diet to emulate” despite better alternatives. You can find an abstract and the complete paper here.

If you're interested in the paleo plan but don't think you want to be so strict, you don't have to be all-or-nothing with your approach. Consider adopting some eating patterns from paleo and skipping the ones that don't work for you. For example, try just eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on added sugars. If you feel unsure about grains or dairy, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine what's best for your body.
Despite the fact the Paleo diet eliminates food groups vital to health, Katz believes the eating pattern has some merit. "Every species on the planet does well on the diet which it natively adapted. And the idea that things would be different for our species is absurd. There is some modern science to show its benefits, but with limitations. Those limitations include what it is compared to (everything is better than the typical American diet), and how genuinely 'Paleo' it really is," adding that there's a big difference between what meat enthusiasts casually call "Paleo" and legitimate Stone Age Homo sapiens eating patterns, which by today's standards would make a huge negative impact on the environment. "To procure the wild plants and animals required for sustenance depends on a lot of space per person," Katz says. "I have done the math, and for the current human population to eat that way would require about 15 times the surface area of the planet. Eight billion Homo sapiens cannot be foragers, or substantially carnivorous, without decimating the planet."
Get rid of the temptation – if you’re gonna go at this thing with a full head of steam, remove all the junk food from your house.  It’s going to take a few weeks for your body to adjust to burning fat instead of glucose, and you might want to eat poorly here and there. If there’s no food in your house to tempt you, it will be much easier to stay on target.
The rationale for the Paleolithic diet derives from proponents' claims relating to evolutionary medicine.[22] Advocates of the diet state that humans were genetically adapted to eating specifically those foods that were readily available to them in their local environments. These foods therefore shaped the nutritional needs of Paleolithic humans. They argue that the physiology and metabolism of modern humans have changed little since the Paleolithic era.[23] Natural selection is a long process, and the cultural and lifestyle changes introduced by western culture have occurred quickly. The argument is that modern humans have therefore not been able to adapt to the new circumstances.[24] The agricultural revolution brought the addition of grains and dairy to the diet.[25]
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
Eggs are a classic breakfast choice even for the non-Paleo. The yolks are loaded with nutrients and eggs as a whole are a cheap source of quality protein. Scrambled, poached, oven baked, omelettes, hard boiled, egg salad with home made Paleo mayonnaise or simply eggs fried in the pan, the list just goes on. So many ways to cook them, but yet it can still start to feel repetitive. The trick here to keep it interesting is to prepare them in different ways and with different ingredients.

Closely examining one group of modern hunter–gatherers—the Hiwi—reveals how much variation exists within the diet of a single small foraging society and deflates the notion that hunter–gatherers have impeccable health. Such examination also makes obvious the immense gap between a genuine community of foragers and Paleo dieters living in modern cities, selectively shopping at farmers' markets and making sure the dressing on their house salad is gluten, sugar and dairy free.


Who says those leftovers can’t be enjoyed in the morning? It doesn’t matter if it’s a large steak, some butter chicken, a stir-fry or a stew. If you feel like it, you should have it. It’s not because it doesn’t feel like breakfast food that it doesn’t make the cut. In fact, many people find that dinner food for breakfast is the best way to make morning food a no-brainer. Here are two options that seem like a great fit for breakfast as much as dinner: tuscan chicken skillet, summer squash and bacon bits and sweet potato bacon cakes.
Grains and legumes (or pulses) are other groups that are frowned upon in the diet. "The right grains in the right amount can actually curtail inflammation," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, creator of the blog Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label To Table. In addition, fiber-rich legumes, including beans, lentils, and peas, have been consistently linked with reduced risk of obesity and chronic disease. "Fiber-rich carbs can supply energy, fiber, a host of vitamins and minerals, and a soothing satisfaction that could keep us from eating less nutritionally dense choices," Taub-Dix says. With the rise in popularity of ancient grains such as amaranth, millet, oats, and teff, and pulses, such as chickpeas and lentils, there's much opportunity to access versatile, naturally delicious whole grains and legumes that our ancestors ate. "Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, justified by the company they often keep, such as rich sauces and butter, and the forms in which they may be served (eg, donuts and pastries)," Taub-Dix says, "but the right carbs can save us from degenerative diseases."
Meet Grok. According to his online profile, he is a tall, lean, ripped and agile 30-year-old. By every measure, Grok is in superb health: low blood pressure; no inflammation; ideal levels of insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. He and his family eat really healthy, too. They gather wild seeds, grasses, and nuts; seasonal vegetables; roots and berries. They hunt and fish their own meat. Between foraging, building sturdy shelters from natural materials, collecting firewood and fending off dangerous predators far larger than himself, Grok's life is strenuous, perilous and physically demanding. Yet, somehow, he is a stress-free dude who always manages to get enough sleep and finds the time to enjoy moments of tranquility beside gurgling creeks. He is perfectly suited to his environment in every way. He is totally Zen.
Paul Burke's Neo-Dieter's Handbook: When We Lost Our Nutritional Roots; Where to Find These Foods Today by Paul Burke M. Ed. The book focuses on nutrition, the right nutrition to enhance health, exercise, weight training, and fitness. The diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. He is opposed to grains. He wants you to stay away from grain-fed meat. The single review at Amazon.com gives the book 5 stars. Published August 21, 2009.
When it comes to carbohydrates, breakfast is probably the best occasion to splurge a little bit more. After a night’s sleep, your muscle’s glycogen stores are almost empty and the better part of the carbs you’ll consume will go to replenish those. Of course, it goes without saying that this doesn’t mean that a large glass of fruit juice is a good idea either. On top of that, it’s also a good idea to have some good quality protein as well, as some protein in the morning has been proven to help with weight loss and energy.
1. Simple Hemp Seed Porridge: Oats may be off limits when you’re eating Paleo, but a bowl of warm, comforting hot cereal still is possible. This recipe is made from the super-seed trifecta of hemp, flax and chia to create a porridge that is full of protein and fiber. Top with maple syrup and your favorite fruit for a complete breakfast. (via The Clean Dish)
Following the paleo diet can be pricey. Inexpensive and healthy non-meat protein sources like soy and beans are off-limits, and a recent BMJ Open study shows that healthy meats like lean ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost an average of 29 cents more per serving compared to less-healthy ones, such as high-fat ground beef and chicken drumsticks. Even switching from peanut butter to paleo-approved almond butter will cost you—it goes for up to $13 a jar.
Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
Eggs are a classic breakfast choice even for the non-Paleo. The yolks are loaded with nutrients and eggs as a whole are a cheap source of quality protein. Scrambled, poached, oven baked, omelettes, hard boiled, egg salad with home made Paleo mayonnaise or simply eggs fried in the pan, the list just goes on. So many ways to cook them, but yet it can still start to feel repetitive. The trick here to keep it interesting is to prepare them in different ways and with different ingredients.
For many people, switching over to Paleo isn’t easy. Due to the sudden drop-off in dietary carbohydrates, folks who are used to mainlining pasta and sugar often report that they feel terrible for the first couple of weeks after going Paleo. (Some call this the “Paleo flu.”) But if you can make it through this initial period of sluggishness (which can last two or three weeks), you’ll come through the other end feeling like a million bucks. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problems or are trying to lose weight faster.
Some randomized controlled trials have shown the Paleo diet to produce greater short-term benefits than diets based on national nutrition guidelines, including greater weight loss, reduced waist circumference, decreased blood pressure, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved cholesterol. However these studies were of short duration (6 months or less) with a small number of participants (less than 40). [4-6]
For the most part, my eats are “clean.” For me, that means generally following the rules of the Whole30®. The Whole30 is a nutritional reset that gets you back to a clean dietary slate: Eliminate all grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and chemically processed vegetable and seed oils from your diet for a month. Once a baseline of health is established, slowly reintroduce some of these foods (like dairy, white rice, and dark chocolate—not hyper-processed junk foods!) one at a time to see where you sit on the spectrum of food tolerance. We all share the goal of finding a lifelong template for optimal nutrition and health, but you just might find that your template allows for a wider range of foods than mine.
The final benefit we’ll discuss is a balanced dietary alkaline load. While this concept sounds complex, it’s actually quite simple: after digestion, all foods present either a net acid or alkaline load to the kidneys. Meats, fish, grains, legumes, cheese, and salt all produce acids, while Paleo-approved fruits and vegetables yield alkalines. A lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, an increased risk for kidney stones, and may aggravate asthma and exercise-induced asthma. The Paleo diet seeks to reduce the risk of chronic disease by emphasising a balanced alkaline load.

The paleo diet is hot. Those who follow it are attempting, they say, to mimic our ancient ancestors—minus the animal-skin fashions and the total lack of technology, of course. The adherents eschew what they believe comes from modern agriculture (wheat, dairy, legumes, for instance) and rely instead on meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables—foods they claim are closer to what hunter-gatherers ate.
“Wild rice is seed of an aquatic North American grass and completely different species from ordinary rice. The seeds are long, thin and covered in black, brown or green husks. They are dried after harvesting, then hulled, separated from their covering, and ‘pearled’ (polished using traditional methods). They are an expensive delicacy because they are found in relatively small quantities in America and China – though these days, they are cultivated by Americans using modern technology.”
Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
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