Diets Debunked: Is Paleo Really What Cavemen Ate?

Diets Debunked: Is Paleo Really What Cavemen Ate?


Telling people you only eat Paleo comes with the assumption that you’re super healthy. You don’t touch anything processed, and you’re getting your recipes from our earliest ancestors. But, as it turns out, Cavemen weren’t exactly cooking cauliflower rice and butternut squash lasagna for dinner.

According to a 2014 study by researchers at Georgia State University and Kent State University, the Paleolithic man’s diet was much different from what we call “Paleo” today. “Based on evidence that’s been gathered over many decades, there’s very little to suggest that any early hominids had specialized diets or that there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important, with only a few possible exceptions,” said Dr. Ken Sayers, a postdoctoral fellow at the Language Research Center of Georgia State.

The study looked at the anatomy and environments of people from the Stone Age and found that there are many factors relating to why today’s idea of a Paleo diet isn’t what it actually was. For one thing, our ancestors lived in all types of environments ranging from freezing and snowy climates to hot and sunny — that affected the types of food they had available to eat. We also can’t say for sure that any meats or vegetables they ate are the same variety of what we have available today. Dr. Sayers also mentions:

“The foods we eat today have been selected for desirable properties and would differ from what our ancestors were eating,”

It’s also hard to suggest that the Caveman diet was healthier than how we eat today because people died much younger. Paleolithic people ate to survive and get energy; they didn’t pick foods based on balancing a diet or staying healthy.

So, although there’s no arguing that a paleo-style diet is healthier than the way most Americans eat today, boasting about how you’re eating like our ancestors, well, that’s gotta stop. A new trending diet that has taken the place of paleo diet is the ketogenic diet, keep your eye on it.

Photo Credit: Wenn Illustration Credit: Adobe Stock

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