Q: I have read Loren Cordain’s book about the Paleo diet. What is your opinion of the Paleo regimen and what it is promoting – no grains, no/limited dairy, etc etc. It seems that the rationale is fairly reasonable in that most foods we eat today weren’t even available a few hundred years ago especially the grains and the sugars.
A: Thanks for the question.
Cordain’s work is interesting and deserves some consideration but it is mostly all anecdotal and theoretical, which, while of some value, is not the same level of credibility of the many l/t studies we have that are based on outcome data. There was one controlled study on the Paleo that came out comparing a PALEO to a MED style diet but they only looked at satiety. A more recent study concluded, “the diet does fall short of meeting the daily recommended intakes for certain micronutrients. A 9.3% increase in income is needed to consume a Paleolithic diet that meets all daily recommended intakes except for calcium.”
While it is true that there was less chronic disease back then, their lifespans were also much shorter and many lifestyle related chronic diseases to not show up till later in life. Several small isolated groups alive today who still follow a Paleo style diet also have much shorter lifespans.