Paleo Diet Promotes Weight Loss, But Lacks Key Nutrients

Human diets have changed during the past 10,000 years, from a Paleolithic (caveman) diet that was high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean grass-fed meats and seafood, to a modern diet that is high in calorie-dense, low-fiber processed foods high in salt and saturated fats. Some researchers believe that we are genetically programmed to thrive on the caveman diet. Modern processed-food diets promote obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer because our genes have not evolved to metabolize them. A study led by Angela Genoni from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia found that overweight women consuming a Paleolithic diet for four weeks lost more weight than women consuming a traditional weight-loss diet. However, the Paleolithic diet group consumed less sodium, calcium, iodine and beta-carotene. The long-term health effects of the Paleolithic diet are unknown. (Nutrients, 8:314, 2016)

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