Paleolithic diets as a model for prevention and treatment of Western disease

Am J Hum Biol. Mar-Apr 2012;24(2):110-5. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22218. Epub 2012 Jan 19.

Abstract

Objectives: To explore the possibility that a paleolithic-like diet can be used in the prevention of age-related degenerative Western disease.

Methods: Literature review of African Paleolithic foods in relation to recent evidence of healthy nutrition.

Results and discussion: Available evidence lends weak support in favor and little against the notion that lean meat, fish, vegetables, tubers, and fruit can be effective in the prevention and treatment of common Western diseases. There are no obvious risks with avoiding dairy products, margarine, oils, refined sugar, and cereal grains, which provide 70% or more of the dietary intake in northern European populations. If stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer are preventable by dietary changes, an ancestral-like diet may provide an appropriate template.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control
  • Diet* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors