Some Paleo dieters emphasize that they never believed in one true caveman lifestyle or diet and that—in the fashion of Sisson's Blueprint—they use our evolutionary past to form guidelines, not scripture. That strategy seems reasonably solid at first, but quickly disintegrates. Even though researchers know enough to make some generalizations about human diets in the Paleolithic with reasonable certainty, the details remain murky. Exactly what proportions of meat and vegetables did different hominid species eat in the Paleolithic? It's not clear. Just how far back were our ancestors eating grains and dairy? Perhaps far earlier than we initially thought. What we can say for certain is that in the Paleolithic, the human diet varied immensely by geography, season and opportunity. "We now know that humans have evolved not to subsist on a single, Paleolithic diet but to be flexible eaters, an insight that has important implications for the current debate over what people today should eat in order to be healthy," anthropologist William Leonard of Northwestern University wrote in Scientific American in 2002.

Autoimmune diseases (such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus and others) are multifactorial in their causes, however some research now suggests a Paleo based diet may help autoimmune conditions and improve the underlying imbalance of gut micro-flora. The gut micro-flora generally has significant effects on gut and immune function. Despite the possible benefits of a Paleo based diet, we strongly recommend you seek the support of a suitable health professional both before making any changes to your diet or physical routine and as well as during the Program, so that progress can be monitored and guidance provided for any adjustments made to suit your individual sate. Monitoring by a medical professional of the dosages of any medications you are on is also recommended.
I wrote a book called The Paleo Solution which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This book incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. I am a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With my unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
While a splash of cream and pat of butter are often the ticket to creamy, rich eggs, you won't find either in these Paleo-friendly breakfast muffins. Instead, you'll whisk melted ghee into the egg. Remember, fat equals flavor, and it also equals satisfaction. Ghee makes for a heartier egg muffin that'll fill you up, so don't skip this ingredient. The ghee also lends a little extra body to the eggs for a richer texture.
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD. A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly "wheat belly" bulges, and reverse myriad health problems, like minor rashes and high blood sugar. The author contends that every single human will experience health improvement by giving up modern wheat. The book provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat. The author's blog. Published August 30, 2011.
Nothing forces you to end your nightly fast right away. If you don’t feel like eating, then you don’t have to. After all, longer fasting periods have been part of the human evolution for a very, very long time. We wouldn’t have survived as long as a species if our bodies didn’t find a way to optimize periods of fasting. In fact, providing your diet is already nutritious and contains enough food as a whole, intermittent fasting on occasion will only help down-regulate insulin production as well as increase insulin sensitivity and therefore help you live a longer, leaner life.
Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason. The book shows you how easy it is to take any dish and Make it Paleo! Adapted from Chinese, French, Mexican and classic American meals, the over 200 recipes are each accompanied by good photos and notes to ensure you recreate each dish with ease. Most recipes are ones that can be found in an ordinary cookbook. Butter and vinegar are also used, which I do not consider paleo. Published October 20, 2011.
The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The definitive book on the non-dangers of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat was The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, 2000. This book is six years newer. Its forward is by Uffe Ravnskov. To get a wonderful description of the book read the leading review at Amazon. The many reviews there average to 5 stars.
We strongly advise that you get in touch with your healthcare professional if you are pregnant or lactating to tell them exactly what you are doing before making any changes to your diet or exercise regime. Although we believe many of the dietary changes advocated through this Program could be quite beneficial, every circumstance and pregnancy is different and close, careful monitoring is advised.
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan has recipes for food that you can eat every day, along with easy tips to make sure it takes as little time as possible to prepare. All recipes are made with zero grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. Calorie-dense ingredients like dried fruit and nuts show up as flavoring, instead of primary ingredients. It will also show you how to how to mix and match basic ingredients with spices and seasonings that take your taste buds on a world tour. With 115+ original recipes and variations. The author is a popular blogger at The Clothes Make The Girl. All Amazon reviews are positive. Published December 12, 2011.
The line of VivoBarefoot shoes have a design based on the simple principle that being barefoot is the healthiest way for you and your feet to be. An ultra thin (3mm) puncture resistant sole allows your feet to be as millions of years of evolutionary design intended Barefoot! There are many styles with each in many colors. Plus many more styles that are not available through Amazon.com. Many of them are conventionally styled and can be worn to work. For the current models see Amazon.com. One style is discussed below.

— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com) and the author of the cookbooks The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day and The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. She's a nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and a contributor to US News Eat + Run and MensFitness.com.
Several examples of recent and relatively speedy human evolution underscore that our anatomy and genetics have not been set in stone since the stone age. Within a span of 7,000 years, for instance, people adapted to eating dairy by developing lactose tolerance. Usually, the gene encoding an enzyme named lactase—which breaks down lactose sugars in milk—shuts down after infancy; when dairy became prevalent, many people evolved a mutation that kept the gene turned on throughout life. Likewise, the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes likely arose between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. And in regions where malaria is common, natural selection has modified people's immune systems and red blood cells in ways that help them resist the mosquito-borne disease; some of these genetic mutations appeared within the last 10,000 or even 5,000 years. The organisms with which we share our bodies have evolved even faster, particularly the billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Our gut bacteria interact with our food in many ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, but also competing for calories. We do not have direct evidence of which bacterial species thrived in Paleolithic intestines, but we can be sure that their microbial communities do not exactly match our own.

The Soft Science of Dietary Fat is a summary of an article in Science Magazine reporting that mainstream nutritional science has demonized dietary fat, yet 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. In fact, there are good reasons to believe high-carbohydrate diets may be even worse than high-fat diets. Here is the text from the original article by Gary Taubes.
Jan Engvald has studied food and health thoroughly in the literature. In Unexpected facts on... food he shows that today's health advice (more or less unchanged for more than 30 years) is a direct cause to the increase in national diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, allergy, eye diseases, etc. His findings are low-carb and high-fat, close to paleo, though he allows high fat dairy.
Whether breakfast is a grab-and-go affair or your morning is easy and relaxed, we’ve got you covered with an impressive selection of Paleo breakfast recipes. All of our recipes can be prepped or fully prepared ahead of time and range from a quick Breakfast Smoothie to a more leisurely Sausage and Zucchini Breakfast Casserole. Looking for eggs? We’ve got dozens of breakfast egg recipes! See all of our healthy Paleo breakfast ideas below.
Experts estimate that our ancestors consumed a one-to-one ratio of calories from meats to produce. Since you have to eat a lot of salad to consume the same amount of calories in a steak, the paleo diet should ideally include mostly fruits and vegetables, Katz says. However, many people don't realize that and eat too much meat. Consuming excess protein and not enough carbs can cause kidney damage and also increase your risk of osteoporosis, Dr. Ochner says. Plus, since most of today's meats are higher in saturated fat than those of yesteryear, it can increase the risk of heart disease, Dr. Katz says.
Our hefty cousins, the apes, spend half their waking hours gnawing on raw sustenance, about six hours per day. In contrast, we spend only one hour. “So in a sense, cooking opens up this space for other activities,” says Pollan. “It’s very hard to have culture, it’s very hard to have science, it’s very hard to have all the things we count as important parts of civilization if you’re spending half of all your waking hours chewing.” Cooked food: It gave us civilization.
The data for Cordain's book only came from six contemporary hunter-gatherer groups, mainly living in marginal habitats.[37] One of the studies was on the !Kung, whose diet was recorded for a single month, and one was on the Inuit.[37][38][39] Due to these limitations, the book has been criticized as painting an incomplete picture of the diets of Paleolithic humans.[37] It has been noted that the rationale for the diet does not adequately account for the fact that, due to the pressures of artificial selection, most modern domesticated plants and animals differ drastically from their Paleolithic ancestors; likewise, their nutritional profiles are very different from their ancient counterparts. For example, wild almonds produce potentially fatal levels of cyanide, but this trait has been bred out of domesticated varieties using artificial selection. Many vegetables, such as broccoli, did not exist in the Paleolithic period; broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale are modern cultivars of the ancient species Brassica oleracea.[29]

One night's zoodles and meatballs can become the next morning's breakfast with The Castaway Kitchen's creative (and delicious) take on leftovers. Layer up zucchini noodles, eggs, and meatballs in a cast-iron skillet, bake, and then flip it over. Voila. You've got a protein-packed breakfast (and a cleaned-out fridge). For extra flavor, top it with paleo-friendly pesto.
Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
Gabbi Berkow, MA, RD, CDN, CPT, is a Paleo advocate. She maintains the whole, unprocessed foods the diet recommends are low in calories, are high in nutrients, provide the fuel the body needs, and are the kinds of foods humans have evolved to easily digest. However, she doesn't agree with the blanket recommendations that everyone needs to eliminate dairy, grains (in particular, those containing gluten), and legumes, unless they have a medical condition that warrants it (eg, celiac disease or dairy allergy). In addition, Berkow says, "Dairy in particular is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, so cutting out dairy can make it harder to get enough of these nutrients."
— Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com) and the author of the cookbooks The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day and The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. She's a nutrition expert for FoodNetwork.com and a contributor to US News Eat + Run and MensFitness.com.
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.
Saturated fat has been demonized by our health authorities and media. What is the basis for this position on Saturated fat? Are current recommendations for VERY low saturated fat intake justified? How much saturated fat (and what types), if any should one eat? Without a historical and scientific perspective these questions can be nearly impossible to answer.

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.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Every recipe is accompanied by an ingredient list, a nutrient list, clearly written instructions, and a picture of the ingredients and a picture of the finished product. Note that this is a primal book and many recipes include dairy. Published March 25, 2011.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here's a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
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."
Fattening cattle with corn changes the lipid balance and is clearly not the natural diet for a grass eating cow. In Simple change in cattle diets could cut E. coli infection researchers have found that when cattle were fed hay or grass for just five days before slaughter, much less E. Coli cells were present in the animal's feces and virtually all surviving E. coli bacteria were not acid-resistant and were killed by human stomach acid.
Another consideration is the mother's immunity and gut health (during pregnancy) and the gut health of the baby once born. Some research is now suggesting a Paleo-based diet may help autoimmune conditions and improve the underlying imbalance of gut micro-flora. The gut micro-flora has significant effects on gut and immune function. Some research is also suggesting that babies are more resilient to infection when their mothers (and therefore themselves) have less gut/allergy issues.
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.
Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils--tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence--stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates--both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.
We’re in a position to understand more of the benefits of the Paleo diet now that we have a basic understanding of which food sources are emphasized. One major benefit of the Paleo diet is an increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass-produced or free-ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not absorbed efficiently by the body. The Paleo diet cuts out whole grains and replaces them with unprocessed, fresh foods.
Take 30 days and give it a shot – cut out the grains and dairy, start eating more vegetables and fruits, eat more humanely raised and non-grain fed meat, cut out the liquid calories and sugar, and see how you feel after the month is up. If you’re analytical and want numbers to use in your final verdict, get your blood work done at the beginning and end of the month.
You may lose weight on the Paleo Diet. If you build a “calorie deficit” into your Paleo plan – eating fewer calories than your daily recommended max or burning off extra by exercising – you should shed some pounds. How quickly and whether you keep them off is up to you. A 2015 review in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Liver Diseases concluded that a Paleo-esque diet “might be an acceptable antidote to the unhealthy Western diet, but only unequivocal results from randomized controlled trials or meta-analyses will support this hypothesis.” On that, we’re still waiting. In the meantime, here’s what has been found about the diet and others like it:

Experts estimate that our ancestors consumed a one-to-one ratio of calories from meats to produce. Since you have to eat a lot of salad to consume the same amount of calories in a steak, the paleo diet should ideally include mostly fruits and vegetables, Katz says. However, many people don't realize that and eat too much meat. Consuming excess protein and not enough carbs can cause kidney damage and also increase your risk of osteoporosis, Dr. Ochner says. Plus, since most of today's meats are higher in saturated fat than those of yesteryear, it can increase the risk of heart disease, Dr. Katz says.
The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes's interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here's a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
Your Vitality.  Even healthy individuals (without disease or in their later stages of life) have shown benefits from following a Paleo template. A study of 14 healthy volunteers (Österdahl et al, 2008) found that all participants experienced enhanced blood sugar regulation, an increase in vitamin and mineral status, decreased inflammation and weight, and lowered blood pressure.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by Mark Sisson is a journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family. The author offers a solution in 10 empowering Blueprint Lifestyle Laws: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight and how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain. The author presents a comprehensive, well thought out paleo style eating plan in a humorous and organized manner. He backs up all his work with research, natural wisdom, and historical timelines. He disputes the role of dietary saturated fat in causation of arteriosclerosis, the role of cholesterol in promotion of heart disease, and the costly over-promotion of expensive, potentially toxic statin drugs. He criticizes our massive overeating of refined carbohydrates and urges avoidance of grains, cereals, bread and sugar. There is specific recommendation for "primal" food including more natural healthy fats and meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Some reviewers consider this to be the best of the various paleo books. The many Amazon reviews average to 5 stars. The author's popular and worthwhile web site: Mark's Daily Apple. The 2nd Edition was published January 14, 2012.

Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn't consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes (including peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybeans), according to Robb Wolf, a former research biochemist, paleo expert, and author of The Paleo Solution. While potatoes are generally outlawed on the diet, Wolff says they are okay to eat sparingly as long as you earn them through exercise (more on that next). Alcohol and honey are also generally considered paleo no-nos, but red wine tends to be the closest option there is to a paleo drink, and honey is far preferred to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.


Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan has recipes for food that you can eat every day, along with easy tips to make sure it takes as little time as possible to prepare. All recipes are made with zero grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. Calorie-dense ingredients like dried fruit and nuts show up as flavoring, instead of primary ingredients. It will also show you how to how to mix and match basic ingredients with spices and seasonings that take your taste buds on a world tour. With 115+ original recipes and variations. The author is a popular blogger at The Clothes Make The Girl. All Amazon reviews are positive. Published December 12, 2011.
Almost equal numbers of advocates and critics seem to have gathered at the Paleo diet dinner table and both tribes have a few particularly vociferous members. Critiques of the Paleo diet range from the mild—Eh, it's certainly not the worst way to eat—to the acerbic: It is nonsensical and sometimes dangerously restrictive. Most recently, in her book Paleofantasy, evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of California, Riverside, debunks what she identifies as myths central to the Paleo diet and the larger Paleo lifestyle movement.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Every recipe is accompanied by an ingredient list, a nutrient list, clearly written instructions, and a picture of the ingredients and a picture of the finished product. Note that this is a primal book and many recipes include dairy. Published March 25, 2011.
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