That means those early hominids left no written history. What they did leave was tools, artifacts and…their bones and their DNA. Science has established that we share 99.99 % of the genetic make-up of our earliest ancestors.
Paleo purists suggest that our hominid ancestors received their nutrition by hunting, scavenging and gathering. A fresh kill, a recently dead carcass, berries, nuts, roots, tubers and leafy vegetables were the staples of the family meal.
There is also evidence they may have celebrated big occasions: weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, appointments to the Moose or Elks Lodge with fermented alcoholic drinks made from…well, anything. Given the artwork and artifacts left behind it is also clear that they had discovered the magic mushroom.
Note: Caveman pottery above —- Potted Hippie drawing below
That aside, these primal beings adapted to their environment and survived animal extinctions and ice ages. No doubt there were climate change deniers who scoffed at global cooling.
This drawing has been interpreted to say:
“Stop! Where are you going? Don’t follow those guys. It’s just a temporary cold snap”
But today, as then, there are many paleo diet deniers. Some are very smart people that write bestselling books. But………………………..
The 2011 U.S. News & World report evaluation of 20 diets, in which the Paleo diet came in dead last. There were 22 experts - mainly physicians and professors of food science and nutrition, who evaluated and ranked a variety of diet plans based on how easy to follow, ability to produce short and long-term weight loss, nutritional completeness, safety, and prevent diabetes and heart disease.
In the latest 2013 U.S. News & World report evaluation of 29 diets, the Paleo diet came in last again. Here are the scores of the diets from best to worst (on a scale of 5)
3.9 Mayo Clinic, Mediterranean, Weight Watchers
3.8 Flexitarian, Volumetrics
3.7 Jenny Craig
3.6 Biggest Loser, Ornish
3.5 Traditional Asian, Vegetarian
3.3 Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory, Slim-Fast
3.2 Nutrisystem, Flat Belly
3 Engine 2, South Beach, Vegan, Abs
2.9 Eco-Atkins, Zone, Glycemic-Index
2.7 Macrobiotic, Medifast
2.3 Atkins, Raw Food
2 Paleo, Dukan
The Paleo diet scored low because dairy and grains have a lot of nutrients, and unless the meat is lean, the fat can give you heart disease.
“You don’t say.”
There are far less carbohydrates than what’s recommended, about 23% rather than the 45-65% of your calories coming from carbohydrates that the USDA recommends. You’re also not getting enough calcium and Vitamin D if you aren’t in the sun enough.
DEAD LAST —-ARE YOU KIDDING?!!??!!
Professor Cordain Counters Punches (with some actual science)
Professor cordain writes;
I would like to directly respond to the errors in the U.S. News and World Report article.
1. “Will you lose weight? No way to tell.”
Obviously, the author of this article did not read either the study by O’Dea (6) or the more powerful three month crossover experiment by Jonsson and colleagues (9) which demonstrated the superior weight loss potential of high protein, low glycemic load Paleo diets. Similar results of high protein, low glycemic load diets have recently been reported in the largest randomized controlled trials ever undertaken in both adults and children.
A 2010 randomized trial involving 773 subjects and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (8) confirmed that high protein, low glycemic index diets were the most effective strategy to keep weight off. The same beneficial effects of high protein, low glycemic index diets were dramatically demonstrated in largest nutritional trial, The DiOGenes Study (9), ever conducted in a sample of 827 children. Children assigned to low protein, high glycemic diets became significantly fatter over the 6 month experiment, whereas those overweight and obese children assigned to the high protein, low glycemic nutritional plan lost significant weight.
2. “Does it have cardiovascular benefits? Unknown.”
This comment shows just how uninformed this writer really is. Clearly, this person hasn’t read the following papers (1 – 6) which unequivocally show the therapeutic effects of Paleo Diets upon cardiovascular risk factors.
“And all that fat would worry most experts.”
This statement represents a “scare tactic” unsubstantiated by the data. As I, and almost the entire nutritional community, have previously pointed out, it is not the quantity of fat which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease or cancer, or any other health problem, but rather the quality. Contemporary Paleo Diets contain high concentrations of healthful omega 3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that actually reduce the risk for chronic disease (10-18).
3. “Can it prevent or control diabetes? Unknown.”
Here is another example of irresponsible and biased journalism which doesn’t let the facts speak for themselves. Obviously, the author did not read the study by O’dea (6) or Jonsson et al. (2) which showed dramatic improvements in type 2 diabetics consuming Paleo diets.
“but most diabetes experts recommend a diet that includes whole grains and dairy products.”
If the truth be known, in a randomized controlled trial, 24 8-y-old boys were asked to take 53 g of protein as milk or meat daily (19). After only 7 days on the high milk diet, the boys became insulin resistant. This is a condition that precedes the development of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, In the meat-group, there was no increase in insulin and insulin resistance. Further, in the Jonsson et al. study (2) milk and grain free diets were shown to have superior results in improving disease symptoms in type 2 diabetics.
4. “Are there health risks? Possibly. By shunning dairy and grains, you’re at risk of missing out on a lot of nutrients.”
Once again, this statement shows the writer’s ignorance and blatant disregard for the facts. Because contemporary ancestral diets exclude processed foods, dairy and grains, they are actually more nutrient (vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals) dense than government recommended diets such as the food pyramid. I have pointed out these facts in a paper I published in the American Journal of Nutrition in 2005 (13) along with another paper in which I analyzed the nutrient content of modern day Paleo diets (12 ). Most nutritionists are aware that processed foods made with refined grains, sugars and vegetable oils have low concentrations of vitamins and minerals, but few realized that dairy products and whole grains contain significantly lower concentrations of the 13 vitamins and minerals most lacking in the U.S. diet compared to lean meats, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables (12, 13).
“Also, if you’re not careful about making lean meat choices, you’ll quickly ratchet up your risk for heart problems” .
Actually, the most recent comprehensive meta analyses do not show fresh meat consumption whether fat or lean to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease (20-25), only processed meats such as salami, bologna, bacon*and sausages (20).
*NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……Pretty please, find a way to make it good for me.
*for the science and the peer reviewed journal articles see the link to the original Robb Wolf Cordain post in the link above.