So, the first thing is the Paleo Diet (I call it the Caveman Diet).

I saw this a few months back and it’s just kind of stuck in my mind as something VERY problematic. It’s, in a way, a rehash of the whole Atkin’s fad diet. Do you really want to clog your arteries? I’m going to give you an excerpt which gives the foods one can and can’t eat and a little more. If you want to read more, please go to the above link.

Unsurprisingly, some dieticians are sceptical about eating like our ancient ancestors. They consider it a big, artery-choking mistake. “It’s a dangerous diet that’s going to kill a lot of people,” says Dr Dean Ornish, whose book Eat More, Weigh Less (Collins) advocates a low-fat vegetarian diet. “I’d love to be able to tell people that steaks and pork rinds are healthy foods, but they’re not. The evidence shows that those are the foods that cause people to get heart disease and cancer and to age prematurely.”

It would have been easy to have been deterred by such comments. But evidence in favour of eating hunter-gatherer style is increasing. Recently, scientists at Lund University in Sweden found that eating like a caveman could prevent you developing diabetes. They compared two groups of glucose-intolerant heart patients. The first group followed a Paleolithic diet; the second ate a conventional low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.

After 12 weeks, the study found that those on the caveman diet had normal blood glucose levels, while those on the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet had suffered an increase in blood sugar. Dr Staffan Lindeberg, the study’s leader, said: “If you want to prevent or treat diabetes type-2, it may be more efficient to avoid modern foods than to count calories or carbohydrates.”

This is old news to Ray Audette, author of Neanderthin (Saint Martins Press). He’s eaten like a caveman for more than 20 years, after being diagnosed with diabetes. He looked into ancient diets, and “realised that grains, beans, potatoes, milk and sugar would not be edible to me,” he says. “After I stopped eating them, my blood sugar went normal within the week. I’d also been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for about a dozen years before that. It went away and never came back.”

This way of eating is not for everyone. I’ve always liked meat and eaten fruit and vegetables, so it was easy for me. Five years after going Stone Age, I still take a size 32 in jeans and continue to have more energy. So there’s no going back; I’m staying in the Stone Age.

The stone age diet: what to eat

  • Rule of thumb: If you can’t gather it from a bush or tree, or spear it, it’s probably best not to eat it.
  • What you can eat: Lean meat and fish. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Eggs. Dried fruit (without added sugar or vegetable oil). Nuts and seeds.
  • What you can’t eat: Sugars, grains (no oats, wheat, barley or rye, etc), beans, peanuts (a bean not a nut) and starchy vegetables (such as potatoes). Dairy products.

Carnivore cuisine

Owsley Stanley, known as the Bear, has eaten an all-meat diet for nearly 50 years. When he was young, he read that Eskimos ate only meat and fish, yet were very healthy and fit. This convinced him that humans are meant to be purely carnivorous. “I have eaten as a total carnivore for 48 years,” he says. “I am nearly 72 and I have much the same body as I did at 30.”

Stanley came to notoriety in the 1960s as an LSD chemist, celebrated in songs by the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan. It was Stanley who created the Purple Haze acid made famous in the Jimi Hendrix song.

Stanley recently posted his seven rules for healthy eating on the internet. They are:

  • Eat only food from animals
  • No vegetables
  • Limit liver intake
  • Avoid milk (except for butter and cheese)
  • Eat as much fat as you like
  • Don’t cook your food much
  • Avoid salt

Stanley had a heart attack in recent years, but he blames it on the broccoli and other”poisonous” vegetables his mother used to feed him as a boy. (Stanley’s website is at http://www.thebear.org)

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