Paleo Diet (Paleolithic, Primal, Caveman, Stone Age, Hunter-Gatherer Diet)
PaleoDiet.com – What Our Hunter/Gatherer Ancestors Ate
Contents to Sections Below
Recommended Paleo Books and Cookbooks
Buy from Amazon.com
Sites by Individuals
- The Paleo Diet Defined is my concise definition of the core paleo diet and the many variations of it.
- Life Expectancy in the Paleolithic by Ron Hoggan was written to refute those that argue they died by age 30 and therefore the diet is unhealthy. His book: Dangerous Grains (Ron, though listed as co-author, wrote all but seven pages of the book).
- Introduction to the Paleolithic Diet written by Ben Balzer, a family physician in Australia, is probably the clearest introduction on the web. Also see other posts to his blog.
- Second Opinions is a site by Barry Groves, PhD. It includes many articles exposing dietary and medical misinformation. A selection of them:
- Paleolithic Nutrition: Your Future Is In Your Dietary Past is an article Jack Challem wrote for Nutrition Science News: April 1997. This is one of the early articles on this diet. [archive.org]
- An Interview with Ward Nicholson now has three parts on the web. Good overview of man’s diet over the past 65 million years. Long but highly recommended reading. First published in Chet Day’s “Health & Beyond” newsletter. Now part of a very comprehensive Beyond Vegetarianism site. Every argument that your vegetarian friends use to avoid meat for health reasons is debunked here.
- You won’t find many blogs listed here. Most are either chatter or the author is chronicling their paleo eating or attempts at it. But a bunch of goods ones are now out there, including ones providing primal wisdom:
- Mark Sisson has the popular and worthwhile Mark’s Daily Apple, though he is not a strict paleo. He is the author of The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy which has become the best selling paleo book. The second edition in paperback is now available.
- Richard Nikoley has the blog Free The Animal. He loves meat eating. His diet is near paleo, with the addition of some gray-area foods that he likes. These days most of his posts are on food. One recent trend in the paleo community is trying to optimize the proportions of the foods eaten. If you’ve read my definition you’ll know that I simply define the diet as foods in and out. One of Richard’s posts: Optimality: A Fool’s Errand? has produced a long discussion of this trend.
- Methuselah uses his Pay Now, Live Later blog to recount his experiences eating and exercising paleo. He is best known for his videos. The best Paleo in a Nutshell Part 1: Food is worth watching. Part 2 is on exercise and Part 3 is on sunshine.
- Stephan Guyenet, a Ph.D. in neurobiology who conducts bench research on body fat regulation, has Whole Health Source. He provides technical insight not often found in the blogs.
- Loren Cordain in his blog The Paleo Diet mostly answers questions and promotes his products. His two books at Amazon.com: The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes are best selling paleo books.
- Nell Stephenson’s blog Paleoista is mostly on preparing paleo foods, with some other paleo topics mixed in. She is a consultant in nutrition and fitness in the Los Angeles area. She lives the life of a Paleo endurance athlete, and practices what she preachs to the limit. A book is on the way.
- Sarah Fragoso has the everyday paleo blog. It is mostly recipes which are creative and very close to being paleo. Look for the egg cupcakes. She has writen a book that includes recipes as well as advice for paleo beginners and diehards alike. It is the best paleo cookbook for families.
- Michael Asgian has Paleo Village, a blog with posts on nutrition with a paleo viewpoint. Since starting in April 2011 posts have been averaging one a day. It has a Paleo Directory listing services for paleo people. Examples: farmer’s markets, personal trainers, blogs and a restaurant.
- Kristy A. has the Feasting on Fitness blog. She is a paleo-afficionado that picks a topic and extensively researches it on the various paleo websites.
- Jan Engvald has studied food and health thoroughly in the literature. In Unexpected facts on… food he shows that today’s health advice (more or less unchanged for more than 30 years) is a direct cause to the increase in national diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, obesity, adult-onset diabetes, allergy, eye diseases, etc. His findings are low-carb and high-fat, close to paleo, though he allows high fat dairy.
- Sweden’s Staffan Lindeberg has a home page Paleolithic Diet in Medical Nutrition [archive.org]. A recent study of Staffan’s has A Paleolithic diet improving glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. Also see his first web page, an overview of his Kitava study: On the Benefits of Ancient Diets. Now he has a book Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective.
- Tamir Katz MD’s Diet Information has a paleo orientation, though he doesn’t call it that. He has a knack of clearly and directly explaining things. Excellent for friends and relatives of paleo eaters who are wondering why you eat weirdly. He also sells the book TBK Fitness Program. [archive.org.]
- Neanderthin (Paleo) eating is Vad’s page where he tries to sum up, super concentrated, what this whole thing is about. Includes menus, weight loss, and more.
- Vitamin D is the one supplement that would be paleo. At least it would be for those of us that don’t live outside year round. You can have your D level measured. The low RDAs only prevent definable deficiences, not problems that take a long time to develop. Michael Holick, MD is a leading writer on this subject. This is a 10 page PDF: Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis [archive.org] and its companion Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease [change PDF to 100% to read]. Or if you prefer, there is an hour video on YouTube.
- Regimen to promote neuroprotection and encourage nerve repair by Dr. Anthony G. Payne pushes the paleo diet. Especially see his links on turmeric.
- A diet high in phytic acid, which can be found in whole grains (it’s in the bran) and beans like soy, is very detrimental for mineral absorption. Phytic acid strongly binds to minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium to form insoluble salts, phytates, which precipitate from the body and are not absorbed. Staffan Lindeberg has written a summary on phytic acid.
- Two common foods clearly are Neolithic and avoiding them is key to a paleo diet. Here are link pages for avoiding them: Gluten-Free Page and No-Milk Page.
- Dr. Brett Hill, a chiropractor, has written a few paleo sympathetic articles. He’s a strong advocate of the Paleo Diet and has found it to be very effective for himself and his practice members/subscribers. His Is Milk Good For Us?. [archive.org]
- Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski’s Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.
- Meet Your Inner Mole Rat is a summary of Wrangham’s hypothesis, which argues that humans became tuber eaters when we moved from the rain forest to the savanna.
- Lutein/Zeaxanthin and Macular Health is an article discussing antioxidents and protection against the oxidizing ultraviolet radiation of the sun. The best dietary sources of antioxidants in general, and carotenoids specifically, are fruits and vegetables – and the more brightly colored, the better. Lutein and zeaxanthin are yellow pigments found in high concentrations in yellow fruits and vegetables as well as in dark green, leafy vegetables. In particular, spinach, kale and collard greens contain high levels of these two carotenoids.
- JoAnn Betten of the PaleoFood mailing list and I have collected many recipes at PaleoFood.com. All have no grains, no gluten, no dairy, no beans/legumes, no refined sugar, or other Neolithic foods.
- Ashton Embry has an essay Paleolithic Nutrition [archive.org]. He’s a leading proponent for using dietary intervention to control MS.
- Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
- The Evolution of Human Nutrition by Barry Bogin is interesting reading which covers themes like homo erectus and up to date findings, and the relation to nutrition.
- In William Calvin’s The Ascent of Mind, Chapter 8 he discusses why he thinks that the Acheulian hand-ax (the oldest of the fancy stone tools of Homo erectus) was really a “killer frisbee.” He argues that natural selection for throwing accuracy, which requires brain machinery, is the evolutionary scenario for bootstrapping higher intellectual functions. There are many more articles about evolution and human development throughout William’s extensive site, though much of it these days is on climate change.
- Matt Emery has The Caveman Power Diet has you in stages go through a detox diet eating only paleo foods.
- Pemmican: Recipes, Stories and Stores is a link page with more on this than you’ve seen before.
- Lex Rooker has written The Pemmican Manual. It is the most complete description of making pemmican that I’ve seen.
- Lynne Olver at the Morris County Library has assembled The food timeline, which gives you the history of Neolithic foods. Includes paleo foods, like animal domestication and when some foods where first noted in the literature.
- The Brentwood Diet – 121 lbs lost in 7 months! is Eric David’s story of successfully losing weight. The Brentwood Diet is a paleo diet variation that is very low fat and very low carb. One on the diet is supposed to be under a doctor’s supervision. Possibly as such a diet can lead to rabbit starvation if too much protein is eaten. [archive.org]
- Eating is an essay by Todd Moody.
- Dental Microwear Web Site [archive.org] is on the study of the microscopic scratches and pits that form on a tooth’s surface as the result of its use. See the page on references. Some are evidences of past diet.
- Factors that Inhibit Calcium Absorption is an article pointing out the non-paleo things we do, mostly food related, that are negative for calcium absorption.
- The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, M.D., Ph.D. argues that too much animal fat being dangerous is a myth. This is a collection of essays, complete with the critical references. He has two books which are below in the book section.
- Dr. Joseph Mercola has an extensive web site on alternatives to traditional medicine. A hodge podge of different things. A small selection:
- There is ample evidence that grain consumption is behind many cancers. Here is a quick analysis of the connection.
- A comparison of Loren Cordain’s Food Pyramid and the UDSA Pyramid.
- To Crack a Coconut tells how this is done in Thailand, without fancy tools, then gets into pressing milk, and some recipes.
- Cooking Clan of the Cave Bear Style! is a student experiment in boiling water in a skin pot over a fire (or not…)
- Aris Stathakis has a page How To Make Real South African Biltong – a traditional South African dried meat.
- Chet Day’s website has Interview with Loren Cordain by Robert Crayhon and The Myths of Vegetarianism by Stephen Byrnes. It goes through many of the arguments that vegetarians use and explains why they are myths. A must read for all vegetarians.
- Blindness, Mad Cow Disease and Canola Oil [archive.org] by John Thomas points out the negatives of canola oil.
- What is the Paleolithic Diet? is Bob Hodgen’s basic summary. He had a story of his experiences on NeanderThin, but it is no longer on the web.
- Krispin Sullivan has written The Lectin Report. It explains the background on lectins and their connection to health problems. A good place to start to learn about these toxic proteins in Neolithic foods.
- Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. The theory argues that humans evolved along the water’s edge, but such evidence is now covered by the oceans. Another explantion is here: Aquatic Ape Theory [archive.org].
- Buried in the middle of The Revised Metabolic Oncolytic Regimen for Effecting Lysis in Solid Tumors one can find their diet recommendations for tumor control. It has a paleo diet orientation. Protein is 35%, preferably Omega 3 rich. Carbohydrates (also 35%) are only vegetables and fruit, no beans, bread, potatoes, or any grain. Then dietary and supplemental forms of fat should provide 20-30% of (daily) calories.
- EATING BUGS! is a summary page by Aletheia Price. She used to have the comprehensive eatbug.com.
- Weird & Different Recipes is a page by Bert Christensen that includes several insect recipes and other foods that a Paleolithic dieter may have eaten.
- Zachary Huang has put up his Zack’s Bug-Feasting Page. Mostly pictures of people eating giant silkworms and mealworms. Also see his other links.
Clicking on a thumbnail image will get you a larger image. To open a book in a new tab (easier for comparisons) hold down the Ctrl key when you click the link.
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD. A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly “wheat belly” bulges, and reverse myriad health problems, like minor rashes and high blood sugar. The author contends that every single human will experience health improvement by giving up modern wheat. The book provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle.
Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat. The author’s blog.
Published August 30, 2011.
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist. Readers will understand digestion, how protein, carbohydrate and fat influence hormones, and how this plays into fat loss, health or disease. They’ll understand the significance of dietary fats whether the concern is performance, health, longevity, or making your fanny look good in a bikini. The book goes into how lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress influence the hormone cortisol. It gets into basic blood work and what things people should ask their doctor to include to better assess inflammation and health. It also includes a detailed 30-day meal plan and a beginner exercise program. The exercise program is geared to the beginner or someone who is quite de-conditioned but the nutritional info would be helpful for anyone regardless of background. The author’s website is Robb Wolf. He likes to pass out the information via weekly podcasts. Here’s a video Introduction to the book. And here is an excerpt from the book: How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days). The many Amazon reviews all rave about the book. Published September 14, 2010.
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat, Revised Edition by Loren Cordain. This revised edition features new weight-loss material and recipes plus the latest information drawn from breaking Paleolithic research. Published December 7, 2010. There is also an older edition available that you don’t want.
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan gives a guided tour of 20th century food science, a history of “nutritionism” in America and a look at the marriage of government and the food industry. Then the book presents a commonsense shopping-and-eating guide, which like the paleo diet focuses on shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. He also now has a much shorter Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.
The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel. New edition published October 2012.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young by Loren Cordain. The author shows you how to supercharge the Paleo diet for optimal lifelong health and weight loss. Featuring a new prescriptive 7-day plan and surprising revelations from the author’s original research, it’s the most powerful Paleo guide yet. Published December 20, 2011.
Primal Body-Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora Gedgaudas advocates a diet that our paleo ancestors ate. Meat, lots of fat, and seasonal fruits and berries when available. Basically, sugar and starchy carbs are discouraged. You can download a chapter from the author’s site. She has a Primal Body, Primal Mind Radio weekly show on Voice of America. It started May 20, 2009, so there are many shows you can listen to. Published June 30, 2011.
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek synthesizes the science into one readable source. The book is excellent for general low-carb high-fat moderate protein diets. While they begin with the idea that we should eat like a caveman, they do not follow the conclusion to its logical end and have us avoid the classes of foods our ancestors would have found unrecognizable. They avoid the metobolic syndrome, but not the autoimmune diseases. They mention that monosaturates should be favored, though they are not emphasized in the menu example. The book’s daily menu examples also all include dairy in one form or another. No tips are given tips for those who do not do dairy. Published May 19, 2011. The Amazon reviews average to 4+.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by Mark Sisson is a journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family. The author offers a solution in 10 empowering Blueprint Lifestyle Laws: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight and how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain. The author presents a comprehensive, well thought out paleo style eating plan in a humorous and organized manner. He backs up all his work with research, natural wisdom, and historical timelines. He disputes the role of dietary saturated fat in causation of arteriosclerosis, the role of cholesterol in promotion of heart disease, and the costly over-promotion of expensive, potentially toxic statin drugs. He criticizes our massive overeating of refined carbohydrates and urges avoidance of grains, cereals, bread and sugar. There is specific recommendation for “primal” food including more natural healthy fats and meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Some reviewers consider this to be the best of the various paleo books. The many Amazon reviews average to 5 stars. The author’s popular and worthwhile web site: Mark’s Daily Apple. The 2nd Edition was published January 14, 2012.
Bruce Fife also has a newly revised The Coconut Oil Miracle. The book describes the therapeutic properties of coconut oil. It offers a nutrition plan with dozens of recipes. The many Amazon reviews average to 4+. Many testimonials to coconut consumption.
Nutrition & Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price’s book puts to rest a lot of myths about diet, dental, physical, and emotional health, and presents the strongest case for a super-nutritious Native (or Paleo) Diet. His book outlines the conditions/causes for exceptional health. A classic that was first published in 1938. The Soil and Health Library has a Book Review by Steve Solomon. If you don’t buy the book at least read the review. N.B. If you live in one of the countries where this book is now in the public domain, you can read it online. But not if you live in a country where it is still under copyright protection.
Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It by Gary Taubes has fresh evidence for his claim that certain kinds of carbohydrates–not fats and not simply excess calories–have led to our current obesity epidemic. This book is more accessible than his first one. He covers insulin’s regulation of our fat tissue. Published December 28, 2010.
Sally Fallon and Mary Enig have a new Coconut Diet book called Eat Fat, Lose Fat: Lose Weight And Feel Great With The Delicious, Science-based Coconut Diet.
The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn’t really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren’t eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for “mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity … [and] unpredictable temper.” She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low-Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health–in Just Weeks! by Eades and Eades was a best seller for over a year. It uses many paleo arguments for their diet recommendations. All easy to understand. The hundreds and hundreds of reviews at Amazon average to 4+ stars.
The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith is against industrial farming. She spent 20 years as a vegan, and now reveals the risks of a vegan diet, and explains why animals belong on ecologically sound farms. And as all the neolithic foods we avoid are produced on industrial farms, she is against the foods we avoid. Here’s a well thought out review by Eric Wargo: Clubbing Vegetarians Over the Head With the Truth.
The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reveals that high cholesterol levels do not cause heart disease; that high-fat diets–saturated or otherwise–do not affect blood cholesterol levels; and that for most men and all women the benefits offered by statins are negligible at best. Other data is also provided that shows that statins have many more side affects than is often acknowledged.
Dangerous Grains by James Braly and Ron Hoggan is the most comprehensive book ever written about the effects of gluten containing grains on the body. Includes a list of almost 200 diseases at the back of the book.
Life Without Bread: How a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Can Save Your Life by Christian B. Allan, Wolfgang Lutz. It is based on Dr. Lutz’s work with thousands of patients in Austria. It deals with the health issues connected to high carb consumption. It is basically an English version and update of Dr. Lutz’s 1967 book with the same title: Leben ohne Brot. He recommends eating only 72 grams of carbohydrates, and an unlimited amount of fat. And provides evidence as to why this is the healthiest diet. Read the review at Amazon by Todd Moody (it will be first!). See excerpts from his earlier edition: Dismantling a Myth: The Role of Fat and Carbohydrates in our Diet
Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol by Mary G. Enig presents a thorough, in-depth, and understandable look at the world of lipids. There are several very thorough Amazon reviews, especially the review by Stephen Byrnes. The numerous Amazon ratings average to 4+ stars.
Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival recommends a very paleo-like diet, and they also make a good argument for electric lighting as a major contributor to modern health problems. It’s written in a very magazinish, overblown style, but the reasoning is overall sound.
Diana Schwarzbein is another M.D. that has come to realize that low carb is what works. See reviews at The Schwarzbein Principle. The book is based on her work with insulin-resistant patients with Type II diabetes. She concludes that low-fat diets cause heart attacks, eating fat makes you lose body fat, and it’s important to eat high-cholesterol foods every day.
The No-Grain Diet: Conquer Carbohydrate Addiction and Stay Slim for Life by Dr. Joseph Mercola and Alison Rose Levy argues that the secret to lasting weight loss is to cut out starches, sweets and grains entirely. (Dieters on the maintenance program are allowed “healthy” grains-buckwheat, quinoa, etc.)
Ignore the Awkward! How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive by Uffe Ravnskov. Of his three books this is the newest and shortest. A good book review is Tom Naughton’s Dr. Ravnskov’s New Book: Ignore the Awkward!. All reviewers at Amazon give it 5 stars. Published January 10, 2010.
Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition by Francis Marion Pottenger, Jr. MD is a classic in the science of nutrition. Dr. Pottenger discovered that cats degenerated unless they were fed raw food.
The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging by Arthur De Vany. Art is the grandfather of the “Paleo Lifestyle” movement. The plan is built on three principles: (1) eat three meals a day made up of nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins; (2) skip meals occasionally to promote a low fasting blood insulin level; and (3) exercise less, not more, in shorter, high-intensity bursts. Note that the book is anti-fat. All oils are to be avoided, though canola is considered okay for higher temperatures. Egg yolks are to be skipped now and then. Published December 21, 2010.
We Want to Live: The Primal Diet (2005 Expanded Edition) is a book by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. His basic philosophy is that (a) food is to be eaten in a live, raw condition; and (b) a diet rich in raw fats and raw meats from natural sources is essential to health. However his diet includes massive amounts of raw dairy. From the Planets is a book review by Ralph W. Moss. The Live-Food Mailing List discusses the concepts of this book.
Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You by Uffe Ravnskov is a new book which includes updated and simplified sections from his previous one (The Cholesterol Myths). Ravnskov also presents his own idea about the cause of heart disease, an idea that explains all the findings that do not fit with the present view. It is a powerful book. Also see his web site. The Amazon.com reviews average to 5 stars. Published January 26, 2009.
The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living by S. Boyd Eaton, M.D., Marjorie Shostak and Melvin Konner. This book, published in 1988, was the start of the Paleolithic diet movement. Its recommendations are not in line with what today is considered a paleo diet, as whole grain breads and pastas, legumes and some low fat dairy products are allowed. However, it is still a profoundly important book. Used books are available for a reasonable price.
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard Wrangham. This book argues that the ease of digestion and the added nutritional value available in cooked food was the key behind the explosion of human intelligence. (Cooking gelatinizes starch, denatures protein, and softens all foods, permitting more complete digestion and energy extraction. As a result, the food processing apparatus shrinks, freeing energy to support a larger brain.) He then suggests that cooking led to what eventually became marriage and the sexual division of labor. The two most helpful reviews at Amazon get into great detail. The reviews average to 4+ stars.
Going Against the Grain: How Reducing and Avoiding Grains Can Revitalize Your Health by Melissa Diane Smith deals with a much broader range of health problems associated with grains and one Amazon reviewer argues is better than the Mercola book.
Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean, and Feel Fabulous With the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson. Paleoista is not only a how-to book, it is also a glimpse into the life of a woman who gives advice on how to eat this way, and lives the life, day in and day out. The author’s websites: NellStephenson.com Nutrition & Fitness and Paleoista.com.
To be published May 1, 2012.
Deadly Harvest: The Intimate Relationship Between Our Health and Our Food by Geoff Bond. The author is a nutritional anthropologist who has for years investigated both foods of the past and our prehistoric eating habits. Using the latest scientific research and studies of primitive tribal lifestyles, Bond first explains the actual diet that our ancestors followed–a diet that was and still is in harmony with the human species. He then describes how the foods in today’s diets disrupt our biochemistry and digestive system, leading to health disorders such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and more. Most important, he explains the appropriate measures we can take to avoid these diseases–and even beat them back–through healthy eating. The conclusions of Deadly Harvest are that disease control happens by eating a strict low-glycemic diet, lowering the percentage of body fat you carry around, eat a diet consisting of mostly non-starchy plant-based foods, eat a low-fat diet with ample amounts of omega-3 fats, maintain good colon health, engage in regular physical activity, get some daily sunshine, and reduce chronic stress. If you do this, then diseases like cancer, heart disease, digestive problems, allergies, autoimmune diseases, brain diseases, diabetes, and obesity can be avoided. The Amazon reviews average to 5 stars.
Trick And Treat – how ‘healthy eating’ is making us ill by Barry Groves. The author is one of the world’s most outspoken proponents of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. This book is an account of how and why the health-care establishment has got the concept of ‘healthy eating’ so wrong. Whereas Taubes work (see above) is a fairly straight forward review of the existing science, Groves expands into the politics of medical research and treatment to a much greater extent. “Trick and Treat” is divided into two parts. Part One describes the corruption in the health industry, points out the problems inherent in a high-carb, low-fat diet, and then prescribes a diet that leads to good health. The prescribed diet is high in fat – specifically animal fat, not polyunsaturated vegetable fat – and low in carbohydrates, with 60-70% of calories from fat, 15-25% of calories from protein, and a mere 10-15% of calories from carbohydrates. Part Two describes numerous diseases the author claims are the result of high carbohydrate consumption. These range from life-threatening disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer to less serious problems such as acne, near-sightedness and dental problems. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
The Great Cholesterol Con by Anthony Colpo. The definitive book on the non-dangers of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat was The Cholesterol Myths by Uffe Ravnskov, 2000. This book is six years newer. Its forward is by Uffe Ravnskov. To get a wonderful description of the book read the leading review at Amazon. The many reviews there average to 5 stars.
Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio gets laudatory reviews at Amazon.
Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils–tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence–stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates–both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck’s detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
NeanderThin: Eat Like a Caveman to Achieve a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body (Hardcover) by Ray Audette, with Troy Gilchrist, was one of the early paleo diet authors. His home page NeanderThin [now restored from archive.org] has a diet based on the ideas of paleolithic nutrition. The diet can be followed as a low-carb, moderate or high carb diet, depending upon whether and how much fruit is used. You can read up through page 19 of the book at Google Books. The original press release from 1999. [The webmaster has an extra copy with the author’s signature for sale. It has the original lime-purple cover. Pristine new condition. $60 (shipping included). Paypal only. Use e-mail link at page bottom.]
Meat-Eating and Human Evolution (Human Evolution Series) is a an expensive book that address the questions surrounding when, how, and why early humans began to eat meat. See and read the sample pages.
The Carnitine Miracle by Robert Crayhon, M.S. The nutrient carnitine is abundant in red meat. According to Crayhon carnitine helps balance blood lipids and blood sugar levels, maximizes energy levels, increases endurance, eliminates discomfort in ketosis, promotes burning of fat and building of muscle and increases overall well-being. See reviews at Amazon.
The Evolution Diet: All-Natural and Allergy Free by Joseph SB Morse. Included in this edition is a detailed section on the most common food allergies and intolerances: dairy, egg, peanut, seafood, shellfish, soy, tree nut, and wheat (including celiac).
The Dietary Cure for Acne by Loren Cordain PH.D. describes how acne happens and then shows the relationship between the food we eat and acne. The diet is paleo-like and very strict. Many reviews rave about their success and the Amazon.com reviews average to 5 stars.
Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples (Expanded Edition) by Don R. Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell is a survey of what is known archaeologically about food and drink in pre-modern times. The chapter on insects includes their food value. In beverages it covers what happens to a neglected jar of fruit juice. Under cannibalism it shows evidence of this being done in paleo times, thought most of the work focuses on the classical and near-eastern civilizations, but occasional mention is made of the mesoamerican cultures as well. There is taxonomic and anatomical information.
Human Diet: Its Origin and Evolution edited by Peter S. Ungar & Mark F. Teaford. This volume brings together experts in human and primate ecology, paleontology, and evolutionary medicine. Authors offer their unique perspectives on the evolution of the human diet and the implications of recent changes in diet for health and nutrition today.
TBK Fitness Program by Tamir Katz shows how to achieve fitness through a healthy, natural hunter-gatherer diet along with a comprehensive exercise program with over 60 different bodyweight exercises of varying difficulty targeting all of the muscles in the body. Also included is a detailed discussion of nutrition and the diseases of civilization based on scientific research, information on stress management and preventive medicine, recommendations on vitamin and supplement use, tips on how to make your fitness program succeed where others have failed, tips on food shopping and preparation, sample meals, and more. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
Paleonutrition by Mark Q. Sutton, Kristin D. Sobolik, and Jill K. Gardner is the analysis of prehistoric human diets and the interpretation of dietary intake in relation to health and nutrition. This is a substantial text that combines background to paleonutrition, an extensive bibliography, a discussion on methods, and case studies. Published February 23, 2010.
Paul Burke’s Neo-Dieter’s Handbook: When We Lost Our Nutritional Roots; Where to Find These Foods Today by Paul Burke M. Ed. The book focuses on nutrition, the right nutrition to enhance health, exercise, weight training, and fitness. The diet consists of lean protein, vegetables, nuts, and fruit. He is opposed to grains. He wants you to stay away from grain-fed meat. The single review at Amazon.com gives the book 5 stars. Published August 21, 2009.
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were “civilized.” Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
Primitive Man and His Food by Arnold Paul De Vries. Published in 1952 this is the first book with an evolutionary component and could be considered the beginning of the paleo diet movement. Used copies are available on Amazon.
The Stone Age Diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man by Walter L. Voegtlin. This was self-published back in 1975. Only a couple hundred copies were printed and distributed to friends and relatives. No one knew the book existed until some years later. In no way is he the father of the paleo diet. It is impossible to purchase. Apparently his descendents are planning a reprint, though the book is poorly written and not based upon factual anthropological information that even was available then. We have put up his Functional and Structural Comparison of Man’s Digestive Tract with that of a Dog and Sheep. And there is a PDF of the book.
Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-free Kids by Paleo Parents. The Book is a colorful children’s story describing the paleo diet, chock-full of recipes without grains, dairy, soy or refined sugar. For those with food allergies, the top 8 allergens have been visually marked on each recipe for children to self-identify recipes that may contain eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. Published March 20, 2012.
Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship by Sarah Fragoso. Piper, Phoenix and Parker are not ordinary children–they are super heroes that travel the land helping other children learn about living the healthiest, most exciting, most super lives possible. They are known as The Paleo Pals, and this is a story about how they help out Jimmy, a little boy who is not sure if eating paleo food is even one tiny bit exciting or super. Published February 7, 2012.
Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking in a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Julie Sullivan Mayfield and Charles Mayfield. Implementing paleo guidelines and principles in this book (no grains, no gluten, no legumes, no dairy), the Mayfields give you 100+ recipes and full color photos with entertaining stories throughout. The recipes in Paleo Comfort Foods can help individuals and families alike lose weight, eat healthy and achieve optimum fitness, making this way of eating sustainable, tasty and fun. The many reviews at Amazon are basically flawless. The sole complaint is over the lack of nutritional information. But there is no counting on the paleo diet and its inclusion would have been inappropriate. Published September 10, 2011.
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan has recipes for food that you can eat every day, along with easy tips to make sure it takes as little time as possible to prepare. All recipes are made with zero grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. Calorie-dense ingredients like dried fruit and nuts show up as flavoring, instead of primary ingredients. It will also show you how to how to mix and match basic ingredients with spices and seasonings that take your taste buds on a world tour. With 115+ original recipes and variations. The author is a popular blogger at The Clothes Make The Girl. All Amazon reviews are positive. Published December 12, 2011.
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrat by Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. and Sally Fallon. The premise is the culinary traditions of our ancestors, and the food choices and preparation techniques of healthy nonindustrialized peoples, should serve as the model for contemporary eating habits. However, they push whole grains and dairy, which aren’t Paleolithic.
The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages by Loren Cordain. Also contains two weeks of meal plans and shopping and pantry tips. Helps you lose weight and boost your health and energy by focusing on lean protein and non-starchy vegetables and fruits. Note that this is a very low-fat book and is being marketed as such. Published December 7, 2010.
Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Every recipe is accompanied by an ingredient list, a nutrient list, clearly written instructions, and a picture of the ingredients and a picture of the finished product. Note that this is a primal book and many recipes include dairy. Published March 25, 2011.
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso. Includes simple starter guide, family-friendly menus, stress-free fitness plan, eatng out survival guide, essential tips for getting the family onboard, and much more. If you have a family and you want to get them paleo, this is the cookbook to get. Published April 25, 2011.
Make it Paleo: Over 200 Grain Free Recipes For Any Occasion by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason. The book shows you how easy it is to take any dish and Make it Paleo! Adapted from Chinese, French, Mexican and classic American meals, the over 200 recipes are each accompanied by good photos and notes to ensure you recreate each dish with ease. Most recipes are ones that can be found in an ordinary cookbook. Butter and vinegar are also used, which I do not consider paleo. Published October 20, 2011.
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier. Recipes include: Roasted Leg of Lamb with Herbs and Garlic, Salmon Chowder with Coconut Milk, Tomatoes Stuffed with Ground Bison and Eggs, and Baked Chocolate Custard. Recipes are simple and have limited ingredients. Complaints are the book is stuffed with unnecessary photos and proofreading could have been better, e.g. oven temperatures were left out. And recipes are not truly paleo. Despite what is on the cover dairy is used in some recipes. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook is the classic dehydrating cookbook. Mary has spent more than twenty years traveling around the country demonstrating food dehydrators and food drying techniques.
The Lazy Paleo Enthusiast’s Cookbook: A Collection of Practical Recipes and Advice on How to Eat Healthy, Tasty Food While Spending as Little Time in the Kitchen as Possible by Sean Robertson. The author is a recovering vegan and in the first half of the book recounts his dietary experiences using some paleo foods to restore his health. You learn that the author’s main strategy is to make food in large batches which can be reheated to provide dinners for several days running. The second half of the book contains 28 recipes. Some borderline or nonpaleo ingredients do appear, but most of the recipes are more paleo than not. Published November 15, 2011.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Paleo by Neely Quinn and Jason Glaspey. The book explains the diet of our hunter/gather ancestors, as well as the long-term benefits associated with it. Includes key diet guidance as well as over 100 delicious recipes. The author’s site is PaleoPlan. Published April 3, 2012.
Eat WELL Feel GOOD: Practical Paleo Living by Diane Frampton has over 200 recipes that makes paleo eating simple, delicious, and ultimately, intuitive. So they claim. There are only a few reviews at Amazon. They all like the book, but their lack of details makes it appear that they are not truly independent reviews. The recipes have a Crossfit appeal to them. Chef Rachel Albert has posted some recipes from the book [archive.org].
The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz presents evidence for a diet of vegetables, fruits, and pasture-fed animal products. Provides a practical plan and 250 delicious, family-friendly, grain- and dairy-free recipes. Buy from the author’s page The Garden of Eating. Rachel’s blog The Healthy Cooking Coach. The cookbook maintains a perfect rating at Amazon.
- The Dietitian’s Guide to Eating Bugs by Daniel Calder is a comprehensive guide to the nutritional content of insects. He believes insect breeding and consumption are important elements sustainable living, particularly when it comes to complementing foraged plant material with meat products. Numerous insects contain nutrients similar to those found in more conventional livestock, except the feed to conversion ratio is much higher and they’re much cheaper to breed. You can find the book at scribd. Also available in e-book format for $35.
- The Paleo Recipe Book was published January 2011 with over 370 recipes. It is 396 pages full of photos. Recipes appear to be a strict paleo. Includes 8 Weeks Meal Plan and Herbs & Spices Guide. You download the PDF. This is the most popular web book. Click banner.
- Matt Metzgar wrote a free PDF web book The Stone Age Power [archive.org] on diet and exercise from an evolutionary perspective. Also see his blog Musings on Big Ideas, Health, and Other Topics.
- Diet Prevents Polio by Dr Sandler is a web site on a 50 year old book where he argues that low blood sugar, due to a high carb diet, makes one susceptible to polio, and other viruses and disease. He did research showing that a meat based diet, very low carb, keeps blood sugar stable.
- From September to December, 1997, Robert McFerran posted draft chapters of his book, Arthritis – Searching for the Truth – Searching for the Cure, to the Ask Dr Stoll Bulletin Board. Includes his view of human history and its relationship to dietary needs.
- For many years Arthur De Vany Ph.D. has been writing a book called Evolutionary Fitness on “What Evolution Teaches Us About How to Live and Stay Healthy.” The diet he follows fits into my core diet definition. He may have been the first one to use the paleo diet to maximize fitness. His current site is Art’s Blog on Fitness, Health, Aging, Nutrition and Exercise [archive.org].
- Online books on the Post-Paleo Hunza people: The Wheel of Health by G.T. Wrench, M.D. And with more effort:
High Road to Hunza by Barbara Mons.
The Healthy Hunzas by J.I. Rodale.
- Ian Tattersall has written Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness. In Chapter One at the beginning their is a discussion of the diet about 40 kyr ago.
When out hunting and gathering our paleo ancestors would have been barefooted. They would have been walking on dirt and stone. The soles of their feet would have been tough. Ours aren’t.
There are two lines of barefoot shoes. The more popular, but much more radical, are Vibram’s FiveFingers. You can find the various styles at Amazon.com. Two of the popular styles are discussed below.
When you’re scrambling up a rocky bluff or bounding along a riverbank, the last thing you want is gravel and grit seeping into your FiveFingers. The Vibram FiveFingers KSO is an all-new design with thin, abrasion-resistant stretch polyamide and breathable stretch mesh that wraps your entire forefoot to “Keep Stuff Out.” A single hook-and-loop closure helps secure the fit. Non-marking Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles are razor-siped for a sure grip. KSO IS BEST FOR: Light Trekking, Climbing, Canyoneering, Running, Fitness Training, Martial Arts, Yoga, Pilates, Sailing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Surfing, Flats Fishing, Travel. Available in Black or Grey/Palm/Clay.
The Vibram Fivefingers KSO Trek is a more rugged version of the popular KSO. Made from K-100 high performance kangaroo leather, the KSO Trek boasts extreme strength for excellent durability; amazing breathability; perspiration resistance to prevent sweat damage and prolong shoe life; and features MicrobloK anti-microbial treatment. These Vibram shoes are made for rugged outdoor use, providing grip and traction over a variety of surfaces. Additionally, the individual toe pockets separate and strengthen toes to improve balance, agility, and range of motion; while the thin EVA midsole and Vibram Performance rubber outsole allows your feet to move the way nature intended. The Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek Shoes are perfect for light trekking, trail running, fitness walking, and travel.
The line of VivoBarefoot shoes have a design based on the simple principle that being barefoot is the healthiest way for you and your feet to be. An ultra thin (3mm) puncture resistant sole allows your feet to be as millions of years of evolutionary design intended Barefoot! There are many styles with each in many colors. Plus many more styles that are not available through Amazon.com. Many of them are conventionally styled and can be worn to work. For the current models see Amazon.com. One style is discussed below.
The EVO is designed to be the ultimate minimalist running shoe. The TPU Cage has breathable mesh and lightweight micro fiber reinforcements for maximum breathability and support while only weighing in at 7 ounces. The updated slim line VivoBarefoot shape and new ultra thin (4mm) soft rubber sole give maximum barefoot performance and response. The EVO is like running barefoot, but a little bit better. 100% Vegan.
A more traditional minimalist shoe is a moccasin. Footear by Footskins has a line of them. The are available in a variety of soles, e.g. crepe soles (shoe-like with a heal), rubber soles (more flexible), molded soles (thinner and more lightweight but still suitable for outdoors), and leather canoe softsoles (for mostly indoor use). For mine pair I found it cheaper through Amazon. See moccasins by New and Bestselling for: Men’s and Women’s.
- The Paleo Diet is Loren Cordain’s site. It promotes his book and also includes, for free download, PDF files of all of his scientific articles on Paleo Diet. His excellent FAQ has recently been completely revamped. You should also subscribe to his weekly mailing list.
- Did Cooked Tubers Spur the Evolution of Big Brains? by Elizabeth Pennisi discusses the Wrangham hypothesis, which argues that our ancestors have been cooking food for 1.9 million years, and that plant foods did play a key role, especially in the form of roots and tubers, and especially cooked.
- Cooking up a story of apes and humans: Theory causes evolutionary indigestion is an article by William J. Cromie discussing the controversy over how long humans have been cooking.
- Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton’s Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
- Hunters and Gatherers Anthropology is a course taught by Raymond Hames at U. of Nebraska. Includes lecture notes on the book The Foraging Spectrum which outlines the important research issues, theory, and problems in hunter-gatherer research. His site has many other sub-pages that shouldn’t be missed. [archive.org]
- How to Carve an Elephant is a chapter in Making Silent Stones Speak: Human Evolution and the Dawn of Technology by Kathy D. Schick and Nicholas Toth (1993). A cute writeup on some archaeologists that showed that a dead elephant can be carved up using the simple tools that were available 1.5 – 1.9 million years ago.
- Prehistoric Diet and Nutrition is a class at Indiana U. taught by Jeanne Sept, Professor of Anthropology.
- Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. by Cordain et. al. is an abstract of an analysis showing that whenever and wherever it was ecologically possible, hunter-gatherers consumed high amounts (45-65% of energy) of animal food.
- From the Neolithic Revolution to Gluten Intolerance: Benefits and Problems Associated with the Cultivation of Wheat [archive.org], by Luigi Greco, Department of Pediatrics, U. of Naples. A history of gluten intolerance and why it is so common.
- Underwater storage techniques preserved meat for early hunters demonstrates how PaleoIndians living in the Great Lakes region at the end of the last Ice Age preserved meat from large animal kills by storing it underwater.
- Do dietary lectins cause disease? is an editorial in the British Medical Journal which suggests that lectins, which are high in cereals, potatoes, and beans, may be behind some autoimmune diseases. Free registration now required to read the article.
- You Are What You Eat: New Theories About Rheumatoid Arthritis is a news report about an article in the British Journal of Nutrition. The authors argue that their theory implicating diet needs more research.
- The Southern Greek Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic Sequence at Franchthi is a cave where the deposits revealed what the occupants ate over the years.
- Fattening cattle with corn changes the lipid balance and is clearly not the natural diet for a grass eating cow. In Simple change in cattle diets could cut E. coli infection researchers have found that when cattle were fed hay or grass for just five days before slaughter, much less E. Coli cells were present in the animal’s feces and virtually all surviving E. coli bacteria were not acid-resistant and were killed by human stomach acid.
- A Hunter-Gatherer Bibliography compiled by students of James W. Helmer Department of Archaeology, U. of Calgary.
- ‘First farmers’ with no taste for grain [archive.org] is an article by Mike Richards on the use of meat in ancient British Isles diets. The suggestion is that the Brits were depending primarily on meat for their nutritition up to around 2000 B.C.
- ‘Man the Hunter’ returns at Boxgrove. Mark Roberts, the Director of the Boxgrove Project, provides evidence that the hominids of the Lower Palaeolithic period did hunt their meat.
- In sorrow shalt thou eat all thy days [archive.org] Peter Rowley-Conwy, Archaeology at the University of Durham, argues that many hunter-gatherers never wanted to farm.
- No carefree life for Mesolithic people [srchive.org]. Hunter-gatherers worked much harder for their living than has previously been thought, writes Rob Young.
- Neanderthal bone chemistry provides food for thought. Using bone-chemistry analyses, a team determined the Neandertals must have feasted on meat. Neanderthal diet at Vindija and Neanderthal predation: The evidence from stable isotopes is the full text of the article.
- Kristin D. Sobolik is Professor of Anthropology and Quaternary Studies at U. of Maine. She has a home page which lists her publications, many of which are on prehistoric diets.
- Blueberries May Restore Some Memory, Coordination and Balance Lost with Age is a study from Tufts U. which found that blueberries make rats feel young again.
- Human Skeletons and Society in Prehistoric Italy basically shows how various ills increased in the Neolithic age. The best parts are the graphs showing the disorders they found and how they increased as the food become more away from a Paleolithic diet. This is the link to infectious disease and childhood stress. [archive.org]
- An abstract: Reducing the serum cholesterol level with a diet high in animal fat. by Newbold HL.
- Hunter/gatherers often eat grubs. Entomologists at the Iowa State University have created some Tasty Insect Recipes, and insects can be bought via internet. Also see Nutritional Value of Various Insects per 100 grams.
- The Food Insects Newsletter site includes selected on-line articles from back issues. Probably more paleo than most people can handle.
- Bugfood! is by the U. of Kentucky Department of Entomology. Discusses insects as food and insect snacks from around the world.
The following links tend towards news reports of scientific studies that point out some positive aspect of the paleo diet. If you are looking for current news reports, I suggest signing up for Google Alerts for the Type: News. I have three set up, for: “caveman diet,” “paleo diet,” and “paleolithic diet.” You can also set them up for blogs and/or websites.
- Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a Paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet is one of the few studies to have been done on the diet. The study time was short, but all participants improved dramatically when on the diet.
- A High Fat, Low Carbohydrate Diet Improves Alzheimer’s Disease In Mice reports on a study that showed that a brain protein, amyloid-beta, which is an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease, is reduced in mice on the so-called ketogenic diet.
- The Free Republic has a post on Caveman Diet to Stay Healthy which argues our current diet is causing the diseases of civilization. Plenty of useless comments follow.
- “Drink At Least 8 Glasses Of Water A Day” — Really? points out that there is no scientific proof that we need to force ourselves to drink a lot of water, and that it is just an urban myth.
- Processed Carbs = Breast Cancer? reports on a study finds that women who ate the most carbs had twice the risk of breast cancer compared to women who ate the least amount.
- Old Bones Hint At Fatal Neanderthal Flaw has quote: Vegetables and fruits played little role in the diets of Neanderthals and early modern humans, he said. “They were eating some (vegetables and fruits), but it was not enough to show up in their bone chemistry,” Richards said.
- Against the grain is mainly a review of the Dangerous Grains book, with digressions into other evidence that anti-gliadin antibodies cause numerous non-intestinal problems.
- Better Beef is an introductory article on the health benefits of grass-fed beef.
- The Soft Science of Dietary Fat is a summary of an article in Science Magazine reporting that mainstream nutritional science has demonized dietary fat, yet 50 years and hundreds of millions of dollars of research have failed to prove that eating a low-fat diet will help you live longer. In fact, there are good reasons to believe high-carbohydrate diets may be even worse than high-fat diets. Here is the text from the original article by Gary Taubes.
- The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes’s interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here’s a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.
- Meat eating is an old human habit reports on an analysis of our ancestor’s teeth that shows we became meat eaters 2.5 million years ago.
- Neanderthals’ strong-arm tactics revealed discusses whether they threw spears or just used them to stab animals.
- Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent many years as an Eskimo among Eskimos. After a year experiment eating only meat at Bellevue Hospital, he wrote about his experiment and his years as an Eskimo in Adventures in Diet, a three part series Harper’s Monthly Magazine, November 1935 – January 1936.
- Food for Thought: Dietary change was a driving force in human evolution is an article in Scientific American that discusses our evolution in the context of diet. It is now behind a paywall.
- In prehistoric cave, scientists use computers as their guide lists off the diet of some middle Paleolithic era cave dwellers in Northern Israel.
- In Bread blamed for short sight Jennie Brand Miller links the dramatic increase in myopia in developed countries on childhood over-consumption of bread.
- Cave men diets offer insights to today’s health problems, study shows. But, you have to eat wild meat, which has a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fishy clue to rise of humans reports that by studying the chemicals that remained in the bones of the earliest modern humans, scientists discovered that their diet, included fish and fowl as well as large mammals. The Neanderthals, on the other hand, only ate large mammals, which became extinct.
- Coconut oil promises to be anti-viral agent [archive.org] reports on trials that have confirmed that coconut oil has an anti-viral effect that reduces the viral level in HIV-AIDS patients to undetectable levels.
- Homocysteine A Possible Risk Factor For Alzheimer’s discusses an association between Alzheimer’s disease and moderately-elevated blood levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. Homocysteine levels can be reduced by consumption of foods with folic acid and vitamin B12, i.e. greens and meat.
- Diabetics Improve Health With Very High-Fat, Low Carb Diet discusses a successful study.
- Scientific American has Early Humans Had Woodworking Technology reports on finding evidence that humans produced wood tools, possibly spears, 1.5 million years ago. This is a million years earlier than previously believed. And Early Humans Ate Termites reports that ancient hominids had a taste for termites.
- The discovery of fire [archive.org] speculates that man controlled fire 1.6 million years ago. Circumstantial evidence also suggests that they were cooking their food. (This is a version of the article in New Scientist by John McCrone, May 2000.)
- Insulin-Like Compound Predicts Stroke Risk states that insulin resistance (which is usually caused by excessive carb intake, meaning that caused by normal intake of grains and sugar) is a predictor (i.e. indicates increase risk) of strokes.
- New Human Ancestor? [archive.org] Two and a half million years ago a humanlike creature in what is now Ethiopia raised a stone and smashed it down on an antelope bone to get at the marrow and fat inside. This is the earliest known evidence of a stone tool used to butcher an animal.
- New Species Of Human Ancestor has the oldest evidence yet of tool-assisted meat-eating. They also ate catfish and horse. Note the bit about “high fat meat”!
- Fossil find may be ‘missing link’. A third page on 2.5 million year old fossil find in Ethiopia.
- Olive oil ‘reduces cancer risk’ claims that using olive oil in cooking may prevent the development of bowel cancer.
- A taste for meat argues that our ancestors three million years ago ate a lot of small mammals that could be caught without tools.
- In What the Hominid Ate by analyzing carbon atoms in tooth enamel researchers challenge the widely held belief that these 3 million year ago homnoids ate little more than fruits and leaves. [archive.org]
- Of course Wikipedia has a page on the Paleolithic Diet. It is quite thorough. It also isn’t clear about the lean/fatty meat debate between the followers of Loren Cordain and a slew of others, and pushes lean meat. It is weak on the variations of the diet. Then it restricts fermented beverages. Even butterflies eat fermented fruit. Why wouldn’t our paleo ancestors also?
- Protein consumption is an important predictor of lower limb bone mass in elderly women concludes that protein intakes for elderly women above current recommendations may be necessary to optimize bone mass.
- The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics has a Discussion about the cavemen’s diet. Has comments from many researchers, some familiar from elsewhere on this page. No comments from Lorain Cordain, but much discussion and disagreement with him.
- The Weston A. Price Foundation was set up by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig. Like the Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation, with which they were previously affiated, it is not completely paleo in its recommendations (e.g. they like raw dairy and whole grains). But lots of good articles nonetheless. Some selected ones (out of many, many more):
- A small subset of the people eating only raw foods are eating animal foods (RAF). And some of them have put up a resource page for Raw Paleo.
- The origins of agriculture – a biological perspective and a new hypothesis in which Greg Wadley & Angus Martin argue that the shift to cultivation and animal domestication was due to the “comfort” derived from the opioid peptides from gluten.
- John Coleman’s Opioids In Common Food Products-Addictive Peptides In Meat, Dairy and Grains. (There isn’t any evidence presented that this is an issue with meat, but it comes from a vegan site!) [archive.org]
- Paleolithic diet is a definition found in the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.
- A hunting rights group has put up Eating Meat is Natural, written by Jim Powlesland [archive.org]. It appears to be a summary from The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living.
- Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors is a study of jaw size and shape, tooth size, shape, and wear patterns, which give clues as to what the earliest human ancestors ate two to four million years ago.
- Fatty Fish Cuts Risk Of Death From Heart Attack In Elderly is another study showing the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids consumption. [archive.org]
- Concerns Regarding Soybeans by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon discusses the negatives with soy consumption. Abstracted from Health Freedom News, September 1995.
- Should we be Scared of Soy? covers the various health negatives of soy consumption. [archive.org]
- Ray Peat’s Newsletter has a web site with some sample articles. There are two articles of interest to Paleodieters: “The Benefits of Coconut Oil” and “Toxicity of Unsaturated Oils.” When you click on them then select open.
- Review and Atlas of Paleovegetation [archive.org]. Preliminary land ecosystem maps of the world since the Last Glacial Maximum (18,000 14C years ago).
- American Scientist had an article on Chimpanzee Hunting Behavior and Human Evolution [archive.org] by Craig B. Stanford in the May-June 1995 issue. It discusses British primatologist Jane Goodall’s observations.
- Beyond Toddlerhood: The Breastfeeding Relationship Continues by Priscilla Young Colletto provides evidence of lengthy breastfeeding prior to modern times.
- The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation promotes some Paleolithic nutrition concepts, though they recommend dairy, a non-paleo food. Many good articles worth reading there, though it looks like you now have to join to read the full article.
- Was Agriculture a Good Idea, or an Act of Desperation? by Norm Kidder is an interesting essay on evidence that hunter-gatherers sometimes became so good at getting food that they settled down to form permanent communities. From the Primitive Ways site.
- The Homocysteine Revolution is an interview with Dr. Kilmer McCully. High homocysteine levels have been connected with heart disease. Folic acid (highest in leafy green vegetables) and B12 (abundant in animal proteins) help keep homocysteine levels under control.
- In an interview with Mary G. Enig, Ph.D. She expresses clearly her well qualified opinion that saturated fats are NOT the problem they are reputed to be. Over two pages starting here: Health Risks from Processed Foods and Trans Fats. [archive.org]
- Insulin and It’s Metabolic Effects by Ron Rosedale MD deals with insulin as the “master switch” for a large number of disease processes. Argues that low insulin is key for long lifespan. Overly long.
- Elson M. Haas, M.D. has written a nice summary of Types of Diets [archive.org]. Has sections on the Paleolithic and 14 other diets. Put up by Healthy Net.
- Dr Stoll’s Sugar and Immunity is an article on the Leukocytic Index which shows the devastating effect of refined carbohydrates on immunity.
- The Skinny on Fat [archive.org] is an overview of the different types of fat and their uses in the body by Dr. Michael G. Kurilla, M.D.
- Just Game Recipes has just what it says. Not all are paleo, but lots of good ideas for cooking game.
A very comprehensive Kitchen Equipment FAQ is on another page.
A dehydrator is a great implement for making your own paleo snacks. Especially jerky and pemmican. You want a temperature control as a lower temperature is better. The Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt Food Dehydrator is the top selling dehydrator at Amazon.com, where it ships free.
The Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator, Model 3900, is second best selling at Amazon.com. The 2900 (without a timer, which I don’t have and don’t see a need for) is the one I have. The best prices are at Amazon.com. You can get disposable sheets for making raw food cookies, pizza and bars.
- The L’EQUIP Model 528 Food Dehydrator is a rectangular model that can have up to 20 trays. Has computer-controlled dehydrator sensor.
- Has Dehydrators made from the finest birch plywood. Plus they have a book for sale.
- The Harvest Saver is a compact, small volume drying system. They also have Dehydration 101 which covers the technical aspects of dehydration from a commercial point-of-view.
- The PaleoFOOD Listserv mailing list started in Spring 1997. The 260 active members have freewheeling discussions. When the list was started the FAQ was NeanderThin. See link in the Book section above. To subscribe go to Join or Leave the PALEOFOOD List. Searchable archives of the mailing list are available. Also see Recipe Collection.
- PaleoHacks is web-based forum to ask and answer questions. The interface is interesting and you can earn badges for increased participation.
- Paleoscience is a Yagoo group for academics, scientists, professionals and others with a high level knowledge of Ancestral Health issues, particularly the paleolithic diet and lifestyle and its implications for modern health problems.
- The Caveman Forum: Modern Diet and Fitness is Killing People. We Have the Solution. is a very active web-based forum.
- CrossFit has a Nutrition Forum that covers diet, supplements, weightloss, health & longevity. It is not all paleo, but much of it is.
- Meetup has a growing number of paleo groups, now numbering in the dozens. Each has a local message board. They have a map of Paleo Diet Meetups around the world. Initially I tried listing them all here. The number grew and Meetup wasn’t letting me find groups in newest order, except for my zip code. You now have to go there to find the one nearest you.
- The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.
- Lowcarber.org has a Paleolithic & Neanderthin web based forum. There is activity.
- CaveManFood is a Yahoo group on how to eat like our CaveMan ancestors. Light activity, but a decent post history archive you can look through.
- A Listserv mailing list on Evolutionary Fitness was started in 2000. It is now not active, though the searchable archives are useful.
- PADIET-L is an e-mail based discussion forum for topics relating to the origins and evolution of human diet. Little activity. See list archives [archive.org].
- AV-Skeptics – Aajonus Vonderplanitz Skeptics provides a democratic forum for people to deflate the exaggerated promises, fraudulent claims, junk science, invented evidence, and humorous exploits of raw meat gadfly Aajonus Vonderplanitz.
- Live-Food Mailing List for persons interested in learning about and experimenting with the use of raw animal foods, and specifically, in the work Aajonus Vonderplanitz. It is recommended that members of the list be familiar with Aajonus Vonderplanitz and his book, We Want to Live.
- EatBugs is a Yahoo group on insect appreciation and eating them for lunch! Now inactive.
- The PaleoDIET mailing list is a RESEARCH oriented list. To get a subscription questionnaire send a message to [email protected] with SUB PALEODIET yourfirstname yourlastname in the body. Actual subscriptions are processed by the list owner. Now inactive. Searchable archives of the mailing list are useful.
Sub Pages: Autism & Diet – Multiple Sclerosis & Diet – Rheumatoid Arthritis & Diet
Page put on the web 09-January-1997.
© 1997-2020 Don Wiss. All rights reserved.