This article is about a modern-day diet. The terms Paleolithic diet, paleo diet, caveman diet, and stone-age diet describe modern fad diets requiring the sole or predominant consumption of foods presumed to have been the only foods available to or consumed by humans during the Paleolithic era. The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet’s core premise. While there is wide variability in the way the paleo diet is interpreted, the diet typically includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and 4 baby 5 months development diet regime and typically excludes foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol or coffee.
Like other fad diets, the Paleo diet is promoted as a way of improving health. According to Adrienne Rose Johnson, the idea that the primitive diet was superior to current dietary habits dates back to the 1890s with such writers as Dr. Densmore proclaimed that “bread is the staff of death,” while Kellogg supported a diet of starchy and grain-based foods. 1985 was further developed by Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, and popularized by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book The Paleo Diet. 2013 the diet was Google’s most searched-for weight-loss method. The diet advises eating only foods presumed to be available to Paleolithic humans, but there is wide variability in people’s understanding of what foods these were, and an accompanying ongoing debate. The diet is based on avoiding not just modern processed foods, but also the foods that humans began eating after the Neolithic Revolution.
Seeds such as walnuts are eaten as part of the diet. The aspects of the Paleo diet that advise eating fewer processed foods and less sugar and salt are consistent with mainstream advice about diet. Research into the weight loss effects of the paleolithic diet has generally been of poor quality. As of 2016 there are limited data on the metabolic effects on humans eating a Paleo diet, but the data are based on clinical trials that have been too small to have a statistical significance sufficient to allow the drawing of generalizations. The rationale for the Paleolithic diet derives from proponents’ claims relating to evolutionary medicine. Advocates of the diet state that humans were genetically adapted to eating specifically those foods that were readily available to them in their local environments.
According to the model from the evolutionary discordance hypothesis, “any chronic diseases and degenerative conditions evident in modern Western populations have arisen because of a mismatch between Stone Age genes and modern lifestyles. The evolutionary discordance is incomplete, since it is based mainly on the genetic understanding of the human diet and a unique model of human ancestral diets, without taking into account the flexibility and variability of the human dietary behaviors over time. Evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk writes that the idea that our genetic makeup today matches that of our ancestors is misconceived, and that in debate Cordain was “taken aback” when told that 10,000 years was “plenty of time” for an evolutionary change in human digestive abilities to have taken place. On this basis Zuk dismisses Cordain’s claim that the paleo diet is “the one and only diet that fits our genetic makeup”. Advocates of the diet argue that the increase in diseases of affluence after the dawn of agriculture was caused by changes in diet, but others have countered that it may be that pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers did not suffer from the diseases of affluence because they did not live long enough to develop them.