Sunday, September 13, 2009

Should I Be Eating Like A Caveman?

Or should I stick to the more popular but unhealthy western diet like burgers, pizzas, and french fries etc?

Most of us know that too much of the typical western diet leads to numerous chronic diseases. But would a Paleolithic hunter-gatherer diet do better? A what diet you say? A Paleolithic diet (also known as Stone Age diet) is one that is similar to what our pre agricultural hunter-gatherer ancestors (or caveman) ate before. The Paleolithic era is one that is nearly 2.5 million years ago.

The Paleolithic diet consists of foods that can be hunted and fished, such as meat and seafood, and that can be gathered, such as eggs, insects, fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and spices. This diet included more low fat proteins, healthy fats and much less carbohydrates than most of us eat today.

A group of researchers decided to find out, feeding 9 healthy, non-obese volunteers a Paleo diet for 10 days (no grains, dairy & legumes). The protocol was designed to ensure the volunteers did NOT lose weight, which would have influenced results.

The results? Compared to their prior diets, the volunteers experienced significant reductions in blood pressure and plasma insulin. Moreover, there were large, significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. All this in just 10 days. Impressive or what?

Stay tune as I will discuss in my next post on how the Paleo diet can help in your training and racing.


Frasetto L et al, (2009). Metabolic and Physiologic Improvements from Consuming a Paleolithic, Hunter-gatherer Type Diet. European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. 63: 947-955

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