A new anthropological study by Georgia State University claims that the trendy meat and vegetable-heavy Paleolithic diets actually don’t represent how people of the Paleolithic Period ate.
“There’s very little evidence that any early hominids had very specialised diets or there were specific food categories that seemed particularly important,” said Dr. Ken Sayers, a researcher at Georgia State.
The study says that it’s actually much more likely that the hominids who lived during that era had diets closer to that of the other “eclectic” omnivores during that time, such as bears and pigs.
That is to say, their diet varied widely based on their location and what was actually available to eat. A group near the north might subsist on more of an animal-based diet, while those near the equator would probably eat a mainly plant-based diet, according to the study.
Also, the hominids weren’t at all concerned about what percentage of energy came from protein, fats, and carbohydrates, like followers of the modern paleo diet are.
The study also points out that the lifespans of these early humans were considerably shorter than our lifespans today, leaving researchers to wonder if these Paleolithic diets really had any health benefit.
When it comes down to it, the most fundamental difference between the modern Paleo diet and the diet of the people who actually lived during that time is that the “cavemen” were just trying to eat whatever they could to survive and reproduce.
“Everyone would agree that ancestral diets didn’t include Twinkies, but I’m sure our ancestors would have eaten them if they grew on trees,” said Sayers.
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