"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization"

The Paleoverse (Primalverse?) has been exploding today with a report called "The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization" by Pedro Carrera-Bastos, Maelan Fontes-Villalba, James H. O'Keefe, Staffan Lindeberg, and the author of The Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain. This paper scientifically details how eating the way our Paleolithic ancestors did improves your health and how food created thanks to the Agricultural Revolution harms it. It ultimately concludes "...a diet composed of meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, roots, tubers, nuts, and seeds may be superior to the so-called healthy diets such as the Mediterranean diet." This is precisely why we Paleo/Primal/Caveman enthusiasts eat this way!

Abstract: It is increasingly recognized that certain fundamental changes in diet and lifestyle that occurred after the Neolithic Revolution, and especially after the Industrial Revolution and the Modern Age, are too recent, on an evolutionary time scale, for the human genome to have completely adapted. This mismatch between our ancient physiology and the western diet and lifestyle underlies many so-called diseases of civilization, including coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter–gatherers and other non-westernized populations. It is therefore proposed that the adoption of diet and lifestyle that mimic the beneficial characteristics of the preagricultural environment is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

I strongly encourage you to read this paper to explore precisely why this lifestyle works so well and why so many people are so enthusiastic about it! The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization

From this paper, page 19:

Quote of the Day:
"It is highly unlikely that genetic adaptations that allow us to thrive on a western diet and lifestyle have occurred." -Carrera-Batons, Fontes-Villalba, O'Keefe, Lindeberg, and Cordain


  1. Great info. So, in general, Pollan does a remarkable job exposing the problems of the diet that all are used. I recommend it.

  2. Looks like an interesting article, can't wait to read it. Hey thanks - I've bookmarked site.

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