Some insights about why the Paleo diet works

October 30, 2010

This article discussed about the historical evolution of the paleolithic diet for millions of years. During the Paleolithic period, before the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry, humans consumed no milk or other dairy products after weaning.

In fact, from many studies made about this, Stone Age diets generally provide more calcium than do those of modern Europeans and Americans. This is because wild plant foods often contain considerable calcium.

Likewise, for 50 million years, our ancestors’ main source of energy was fruits and vegetation. However, when agriculture, wheat, corn, and rice became part of our diet, it increased the individual’s caloric requirements from 40-90%. Based from epidemiological studies, fruits and vegetables have substantially more cancer-preventive agents than grains.

The researchers found out from their meta-analysis of these foods that vegetables exhibited preventive effects against 16 out of 18 different cancers. Fruits were also active against 12. On the other hand, it was surprising to know that cereal grains appeared to have modest preventive effects against only one.

This result may reflect the intrinsic phytochemical content of these food categories. The phytochemicals that fruits and vegetables have were already adapted by the human biology for many million years, but cereal grains’ phytochemicals have routinely interacted with our physiology for only 10,000 years or less. The findings were strongly explained and supported by evolutionary understanding and human biology adaptation for millions of years.


Eaton SB, Cordain L, Eaton SB (2001). An evolutionary foundation for health promotion. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics 90: 5–12.


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