The Paleo Diet AKA Caveman Diet

I thought that the article from Lew Rockwell on the Caveman Diet was interesting. Many people I know do not do well with some forms of grain particularly gluten. However, some people are finding that the caveman diet can reduce body fat significantly.

‘Caveman Diet’ Growing Followers

by Adam Watson

There are plenty of guys in the NFL who are roughly 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. But it was the fact that John Welbourn had 8 percent body fat that made the New England Patriots’ locker room take notice.

“When I was in New England [during the ’08 preseason] a bunch of the guys saw the way I ate and asked a lot of questions. So I ended up writing out some diet stuff for them,” Welbourn said. “They were pretty interested.”

Welbourn, a 10-year NFL veteran, had just introduced them to the Paleo Diet, more popularly referred to as the “Caveman Diet.” But don’t let the catchy name fool you – there’s plenty of science behind it.

Loren Cordain has been studying evolutionary nutrition for two decades. He is a professor at Colorado State University and the author of two books on the subject. The idea is that for 99.6 percent of our evolutionary history (2.6 million to 10,000 years ago) we ate virtually the same things and therefore our genome is perfectly adapted to those foods: lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts.

“We’ve uncovered the diet that humanity evolved with [during the Paleolithic era],” Cordain said. “And that’s why it does work because it’s consistent with our genes.”

The Paleo Diet does not include cereal grains, legumes, dairy, vegetable oils, salt, alcohol or refined sugars. Processed foods are the No. 1 enemy. Followers say if it’s got more than one ingredient, it’s not in the Paleo Diet. There just haven’t been enough generations since the agricultural revolution for our bodies to adapt to the dramatic changes to the human diet.

Welbourn was figuring that out on his own long before he met Cordain.

“I sort of naturally found the diet in that I knew a lot of grains and white sugars and processed foods made me feel sick. I never really cared to eat them,” Welbourn said. “I didn’t really know a name for what the diet was until about three years ago. It instantly made sense to me since I’d always gravitated that way.”

But not everyone who encountered the diet took to it immediately.

In fact, even after Cordain published The Paleo Diet in 2002, he had trouble convincing some of his closest friends that it would work for everyone.

One of those people was Joe Friel, who holds a master’s degree in exercise science and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified elite-level coach. He is also a founder and past Chairman of the USA Triathlon National Coaching Commission.

“Essentially I argued [with Cordain] that it wouldn’t work for athletes. One day he said to me why don’t you try it and see if it works for you or doesn’t work for you,” Friel said. “So I took the challenge, and for one month ate his recommendations and after about three weeks, I began to realize that I was feeling better and training better than I had in a long time.”

With that success, Cordain had found his co-author for a second book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, which they published in 2005. But the concept just wasn’t ready to catch on.


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About the Author

Caroline Heinemann has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward Nebraska. She has coordinated a variety of educational programs in her local community and conducts regional business training events and teleconference training calls. She become personally interested in health when she experienced some personal health issues and found that alternative medicine has been the key to her health. She shares tips on staying healthy. She is a former and teacher and has owned her own health education business for the past 30 years

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