Your Paleo Diet Isn’t Actually Paleo

mag813 March 11, 2017 0
Your Paleo Diet Isn’t Actually Paleo

The concept of The Paleo Diet, in its simplest form, is “don’t eat anything a caveman couldn’t eat”—as if they possessed some long-forgotten nutritional knowledge of what’s good to eat and what’s not. But a new study suggests that paleolithic people ate just about anything. If they had gotten the chance to dive-bomb a bag of Doritos, they would have.

The study, led by Laura Weyrich from the University of Adelaide, confirms what you may have already been thinking. “Cavemen” ate whatever they could find in order to survive, or so says their DNA. Some ate a lot of meat, like woolly rhinoceros and wild sheep. Others had entirely vegetarian diets, munching on mushrooms, pine nuts, tree bark, and moss. Weyrich explains to The Atlantic:

“When people talk about the Paleo diet, that’s not paleo, that’s just non-carb. The true paleo diet is eating whatever’s out there in the environment.”

Neanderthals were adaptable and versatile, but they lived in extremely harsh conditions. There was no room to be picky. The Paleo Diet recommends you avoid foods like grains, legumes, potatoes, and dairy, but a Neanderthal would probably be thrilled to eat those. Their version of a paleo diet was “if it’s edible, eat it or die.” Of course, none of this means there aren’t benefits to subscribing to such a diet. If you like The Paleo Diet—or one of its many offshoots—and it helps you accomplish your nutrition goals, by all means, do it. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t line up with the ways paleo people actually ate.

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