The Paleolithic Diet – So Easy A Caveman Has Already Done It

The human genetic constitution has changed relatively little since the appearance of modern human beings, Homo sapiens, about 40,000 years ago.

Yet today’s modern medicine has us convinced that we are becoming sick and developing diseases due to our genes. Our ancestors has no trace of anything we experience in today’s society.

No cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and more. So if our genes haven’t changed how can we blame genes?

Paleolithic Food Pyramid

In the last 10,000 years agriculture developed, but more importantly in the last 100 years our food industry has changed substantially. We now have processed food, genetically modified food, and a diet that was virtually unheard of just over 100 years ago and didn’t exist over 10,000 years ago.

The obvious is now shaded by a self-serving medical industry that sprung up because of a self-serving food industry. We now treat humans as if they were designed to be sick and as if the food we eat doesn’t matter.

Old sayings like an “apple a day keeps the doctor away” have become old wives tales.

Even ancient philosophers like Hippocrates are all but ignored when he said: “Let food be thy medicine.”

It doesn’t take a genius to realize the only thing that has changed is our way of life and our diet. I won’t tell you that none of these diseases would exist if you ate and moved like your ancestors because then I would get sued, but I will say this, if our ancestors had no traces of these modern day diseases, wouldn’t it make sense to do what they did?

It’s kind of obvious we’re doing something wrong isn’t it?

Even the modern day tribes that live in the wild don’t suffer from the diseases we do.

Let Food Be Thy Medicine Hippocrates

Paleolithic Diet Vs Modern Dieting

Below you’ll find a macro nutrient comparison between our ancestors and our modern day dieting. Keep in mind that the source of the nutrients is more important than the amount. If you derive nutrients from a poor source, it will not benefit your health whatsoever.

A hunter-gatherer’s macro nutrient breakdown is as follows:

Protein (vegetable and lean wild game) 20-35%

Carbohydrate (fruits and vegetables) 25-40%

Fat (organic meats and fish; vegetables, nuts) 30-45%

Modern diet

Protein (industrially farmed fat marbled meat and fish) 15-20%

Carbohydrate (processed grains, sugar, corn syrup) 45-55%

Fat (grain fed meats, dairy, trans fast) 35-40%

Vitamins/Mineral Comparison

Vitamin mg/d Paleo Intake US RDA Current US Intake
Riboflavin 6.45 1.3-1.7 1.34-2.08
Folate .357 .18-.20 .149-.205
Thiamin 3.91 1.1-1.5 1.08-.175
Ascorbate 604 60 77-109
Carotene 5.56 2.05-2.57
Vitamin A 17.2 4.8-6.0 7.02-8.48
Vitamin E 32.8 8-10 7-10


Mineral mg/d Paleo Intake US RDA Current US Intake
Iron 87.4 10-15 10-11
Zinc 43.4 12-15 10-15
Calcium 1956 800-1200 750
Sodium 768 500-2400 4000
Potassium 10,500 3500 2500
Fiber g/d 104 20-30 10-20
Energy kcal/d 3000 2200-2900 1750-2500

(Eur J. of Clin Nutr. 1997: 51;207-216)


Our modern day food is nutrient deficient, fiber deficient, probiotic deficient, calorie rich, and toxic.

Our soils are depleted and we now use pesticides and herbicides for our produce. The fruits and vegetables we grow today have far less nutritional value than what our ancestors had access too.

Industrialized farms have produced animal meat that is devoid of the essential fatty acids we need and is now loaded with saturated fat, antibiotics, and hormones.

Our water is polluted and air are polluted.

Our foods are processed and genetically modified.

Even if we ate free-range lean wild meat and organic raw and wild fruits and vegetables we would still require supplementation to meet the nutrient intake of our ancestors.

Furthermore, our sedentary lifestyle is also having an impact on our overall health as a species.

Sedentary Lifestyle Hunter Gatherer

Our ancestors were always on the hunt and moving, oftentimes traveling 25-30 miles a day and carrying large heavy loads. They didn’t sit and watch TV or work at an office all day.

So while you may think your 30 minute walk or work out is sufficient. It is not. It is true that you’ll be better off than the person who doesn’t, but comparing yourself to those people will not keep you healthy.

To meet the genetic requirements of our ancestors may not even be feasible in today’s world but for those seeking health it would behoove of them to try and reach whatever level of genetic health possible.



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