Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable by Peter S. Ungar. Diet is key to understanding the ecology and evolution of our distant ancestors and their kin, the early hominins. A study of the range of foods eaten by our progenitors underscores just how unhealthy many of our diets are today. This volume brings together authorities from disparate fields to offer new insights into the diets of our ancestors. Paleontologists, archaeologists, primatologists, nutritionists and other researchers all contribute pieces to the puzzle. The book has four sections: Reconstructed diets based on hominin fossils--tooth size, shape, structure, wear, and chemistry, mandibular biomechanics. Archaeological evidence of subsistence--stone tools and modified bones. Models of early hominin diets based on the diets of living primates--both human and non-human, paleoecology, and energetics. Nutritional analyses and their implications for evolutionary medicine.
Cordain explains that high intake of fruits and vegetables is one of best ways to reduce chances of cancer and heart disease. He notes that protein has twice the calorie burning effect of fat and carbs and is more satiating than both. He explains that starch, fats, sugars, and salts together cause us to keep eating. So if we limit our diet to fruits and vegetables and/or meat, we’ll stop eating when we’re full. And if you stop eating when you’re full, you’ll lose weight and won’t get fat. And as you lose weight, your cholesterol will improve (regardless of what you eat). This all makes sense and can’t really be disputed. If you want to lose weight, the Paleo diet will get you there and probably quickly. But Cordain’s hypothesis applied to long-term health falls short.
In 2008, Agatston published The South Beach Diet Supercharged, written with Joseph Signorile, a professor of exercise physiology; it included an interval training program.[21] A review for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that "Readers are likely to see success using this diet and fitness book. I recommend skipping the restrictive Phase One meal plans and instead follow the more balanced Phase Two diet. The simple 20-minute-a-day exercise program is a realistic and inexpensive approach to fitness."[21]
BHB salts are a very useful tool to calm the hangry beast and establish appetite control. If you use 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp of the powder in 4 oz of water when you feel inappropriately hungry, it will raise your blood ketone concentration enough to satisfy your hypothalamus for at least a couple of hours. The brand called KetoCaNa has the best taste in my experience for an individual product, though I now use a 50/50 blend of that plus another ketone salt preparation called Nutricost Ketone Salts, both available from Amazon.com. The blend tones down the acidity of the KetoCaNa product and provides the best overall taste to my palate. You won’t need it every day, only when you feel like you need appetite control.
Optimal Diet is a dietary model of human nutrition devised and implemented by Dr. Jan Kwasniewski. Lots of fat and low in carbs. Lots and lots of articles collected from various places. He has an out-of-print book: Optimal Nutrition. The book is explained at the Australian Homo Optimus Association website. A thorough analysis is the first post here: Dr. Kwasniewski's Optimal Diet: Sanity, Clarity, Facts.
The composition of a person’s diet had a major impact on his or her metabolism in this study. The people on the low-carb plan burned off about 250 calories a day more than those on the high-carb diet, Ludwig said. In the low-carb group, those with the highest insulin secretion at the start of the study had even more dramatic results, burning up to 478 calories more per day than the high-carb dieters.
Knowing what to eat is part of it, but following this fairly restrictive lifestyle in a modern environment surrounded by cookies and candy and bagels and pasta is really difficult! Factor in the “carb flu” you might go through in the first few weeks (as your body gets weaned off of carbohydrate fuel and habits), and most people give up on the Paleo diet long before it creates lasting change!
The NY Times had a blog article on Good News on Saturated Fat which is reporting on Gary Taubes's interpretation of the new report in The New England Journal of Medicine on a two-year diet experiment in Israel. A followup is the post The Fat Fight Goes On where Gary rebuts the arguments against the study. And here's a good interview with Taubes (and includes a good summary): Gary Taubes on Cold Fusion, Good Nutrition and What Makes Bad (and Good) Science.
Food and Western Disease: Health and nutrition from an evolutionary perspective by Staffan Lindeberg (MD at Lund University in Sweden) is the newest book promoting the paleo diet. It covers the link between diet and disease in the Western world (all major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and dementia) and towards a greater knowledge of what can be defined as the optimal human diet. Benefits and risks are detailed. The Amazon reviews are all 5 stars. Especially read Susan Schenck's detailed review. You can read a preview at Google Books
The difference between glycemic index and glycemic load is that glycemic index is a standardized measurement and glycemic load accounts for a real-life portion size. For example, the glycemic index of a bowl of peas is 68 (per 100 grams) but its glycemic load is just 16 (lower the better). If you just referred to the glycemic index, you'd think peas were a bad choice, but in reality, you wouldn't eat 100 grams of peas. With a normal portion size, peas have a healthy glycemic load as well as being an excellent source of protein.
A perfect plate reflecting the Mediterranean diet is nutritionally balanced, diverse, and full of color, flavor, and texture. It’s crisp, leafy greens; deep purple grapes; ruby-red salmon; vibrant rainbow carrots; and nutty, crunchy farro. It’s Greek yogurt topped with figs, dates, and a drizzle of honey. Is your mouth watering? That’s exactly the point—the Mediterranean diet should never feel restrictive. Instead, it’s an enlightened way of eating defined by plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
It also may help stave off chronic diseases, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as act protectively against certain cancers. (34) The diet is also a boon to mental health, as it’s associated with reduced odds of depression. (34) There’s even some data to suggest it can be supportive in relieving symptoms of arthritis, according to a paper published in April 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. (35)
An important emphasis of the South Beach Diet is controlling hunger by eating before it strikes. To that end, the South Beach Diet includes three different phases. (3) Phase 1 is one week long and aims to “reset your body” to help burn fat and increase your metabolism, as well as reduce sugar and starch cravings. Phase 2 is for steady weight loss, where you add in good carbs to your diet. Phase 3 is the weight-maintenance phase, where you learn to maintain your new weight without deprivation or hunger, according to the South Beach Diet website.
Meanwhile, saturated fats and trans fats can harm your heart and overall health, according to the American Heart Association. To spot trans fats, look for the term “hydrogenated” on labels of processed foods, such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers. “I always tell my clients to double-check the ingredient list to make sure they don’t see any partially hydrogenated oil in their food products,” Massey says.

In addition to keeping you adequately hydrated -- which can also help alleviate constipation -- drinking lots of water can also help offset still another low-carb diet problem: bad breath. The ketones produced during the diet can lead to what is sometimes described as a fruity odor although it is often described as having an almost "chemical" odor similar to acetone or nail polish remover.
Protein provides slow steady energy with relatively little effect on blood sugar. Protein, especially plant-based protein, should always be part of a meal or snack. Protein not only keeps blood sugar stable, but it also helps with sugar cravings and feeling full after eating (satiety). Protein can come from both animal or plant sources; however, animal sources are also often sources of unhealthy saturated fats.
From day two on, I felt awful. I was exhausted and took several naps… per day. The South Beach Diet Supercharged includes a workout component, mostly focused on treadmill walking intervals, so I still tried my best to make it to the gym. But when I got there, I had only enough energy to completely half-ass my workouts. The rest of the time, I hung out on my couch watching TV and stayed glued to my office chair.
Blood sugars are often high in the morning (dawn phenomena). If you are only on 15-22 carbs per day I would check every label of everything you are eating to ensure carbs are not sneaking in somehow to still give you a reading of 200, or is your protein too high? Do you have insulin resistance? These are all factors which may be at play here. Healthy fats won’t raise BS at all.
A vegetarian or vegan diet can be a good choice for people with diabetes. Vegetarian and vegan diets are typically high in carbohydrates - about 13% higher than a diet with that includes both plant and animal products (omnivorous) – which we generally think is bad for diabetes. However, a vegetarian or vegan diet is typically higher in fiber and lower in calories and saturated fat, so the inflammatory risks associated with high meat consumption are avoided. Research studies that have tested vegetarian and vegan diets for people with diabetes; have found them to be beneficial at reducing blood sugar.12
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)

Meanwhile, saturated fats and trans fats can harm your heart and overall health, according to the American Heart Association. To spot trans fats, look for the term “hydrogenated” on labels of processed foods, such as packaged snacks, baked goods, and crackers. “I always tell my clients to double-check the ingredient list to make sure they don’t see any partially hydrogenated oil in their food products,” Massey says.


“This study confirms that, remarkably, diets higher in starch and sugar change the body’s burn rate after weight loss, lowering metabolism,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, who was not involved in the research. “The observed metabolic difference was large, more than enough to explain the yo-yo effect so often experienced by people trying to lose weight.”
A 2017 review found evidence that practice of a Mediterranean diet could lead to a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases, overall cancer incidence, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and early death.[5] A 2018 review showed that practice of the Mediterranean diet may improve overall health status, such as reduced risk of non-communicable diseases, reduced total costs of living, and reduced costs for national healthcare.[13] A 2016 review found similar weight loss as other diets.[14]

Jump up ^ Jönsson T, Ahrén B, Pacini G, Sundler F, Wierup N, Steen S, Sjöberg T, Ugander M, Frostegård J, Göransson L, Lindeberg S (November 2006). "A Paleolithic diet confers higher insulin sensitivity, lower C-reactive protein and lower blood pressure than a cereal-based diet in domestic pigs". Nutrition & Metabolism. 3 (39): 39. doi:10.1186/1743-7075-3-39. PMC 1635051. PMID 17081292.
Low-carbohydrate diets may improve cardiovascular risk factors and are effective for achieving weight loss.[14] Low-carbohydrate diets are not an option recommended in the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which instead recommends a low fat diet. A systematic review of 62,421 participants in 10 dietary trials found that reducing dietary fat intake had no effect on coronary heart disease and had no effect on overall mortality. The authors of this meta-analysis conclude that the available evidence from randomized controlled trials does not support the recommendation of the 2015 - 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that people reduce their fat intake.[15]
Trying to devise an ideal diet by studying contemporary hunter-gatherers is difficult because of the great disparities that exist; for example, the animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% for the Gwi people of southern Africa to 99% for the Alaskan Nunamiut.[40] Descendants of populations with different diets have different genetic adaptations to those diets, such as the ability to digest sugars from starchy foods.[40] Modern hunter-gatherers tend to exercise considerably more than modern office workers, protecting them from heart disease and diabetes, though highly processed modern foods also contribute to diabetes when those populations move into cities.[40]
Nutrition and physical activity are important parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Along with other benefits, following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level, also called blood sugar, in your target range. To manage your blood glucose, you need to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are all important in keeping your blood glucose level in the range that your health care team recommends.
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