Does Science Back Up the Paleo Diet?

Fans of the paleo-diet are very dedicated ones. They report not only looking better, but also feeling better. Trace looks at whether this is just a passing fad, or if it deserves a closer look.

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Natural History Highlight- Investigating the Diet of Neanderthals

“Although no one can be sure what caused the Neanderthals to disappear, many theories have been proposed. One of those theories suggests that Neanderthals had a very focused diet.”

The Paleo Diet: Caveman Cure-All or Unhealthy Fad?

“The idea of the Paleo diet has been around for decades, but it’s really taken off over the last couple of years, with a slew of books, blogs, and a prominent podcast espousing its virtues. And no wonder—it has a compelling sales pitch.”

The Beneficial Effects of a Paleolithic Diet on Type 2 Diabetes and Other Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

“A 2009 report by Jönsson and colleagues in Cardiovascular Diabetology has highlighted the potential benefits of a Paleolithic diet for patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). ”

What’s Wrong with the [____] Diet?

“From Oprah’s liquid diet to Atkins’ low carb diet, there are tons of fad diets out there each with plenty of health claims and scant scientific evidence to support them. A lot of these diets promise greater weight loss. These claims are unsubstantiated.”


What Is The Paleo Diet?

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43 Replies to “Does Science Back Up the Paleo Diet?”

  1. Toopkarcher

    The amount of vegan commenters here is crazy lol. Soon when the majority of these mofos are vegan there'll be people saying shit like: Go Meat Eater! Save the planet from cows and chickens! ROFL

  2. Weldon Smith

    I think Paleo goes a little far, but it's definitely healthier than the average western diet. simply because it cuts out all processed foods and sugar, which is probably the main reason it works so well for so many.
    cool vid.

  3. David Whitfield

    A more modern look at the Paleo diet is a bit more simplified. Grains and breads are OK, basically go back to before food was industrialized, not the paleolithic era, we are not those humans anymore. But still, toxic foods are toxic, and slowly destroy our bodies in the trace amounts we consume them. Methyl chloride for instance is used as a sanitizer for much of the produce and meats we eat, and ammonium chloride is used to make unripened fruits look ripe.

  4. Michael Cook

    just wondering, how many doctors and scientist are overweight from eating high amounts or carbs, grains, refined oils, and sugars. The USDA has been pushing their food pyramid for decades, and yet 2/3 of Americans are over weight. How much of these scientific studies are government funded? Paleo isn't the end all be all perfect diet. It's about avoiding foods that cause digestive issues, and immflamation, and other issues. I follow the spirit of the paleo diet, but still eat dairy, some grains (rice, oats, quoina.) It's more about eating healthy foods instead of crap out of a box, freezer meals, avoiding gmo products.

  5. anna james

    It works so I dont really care what you guys think are right if its getting the weight off for Americans that's what matters unless you are going to give an alternative then don't bother w these videos

  6. Ryan O'Leary

    Just to clarify for those uneducated, when the video reads, "today we have fossilized teeth, covered in fossilized junk. So we know Neanderthals ate wheat, barley, and legumes", they are simply referring to the Neanderthals in the Neolithic period. That period was the start of agriculture, and domesticated animals. Although the information about their food sources were correct, the paleothic era was a lot different that the Neolithic era. I would suggest checking other sources than just this, for those uneducated (No offense DNews).

  7. TexasEagleGroup

    I'll take on just one of your incorrect facts. Humans evolved to drink other animals milk? This is false. Over 75% of the world is lactose intolerant. While in the United States we have a smaller percentage in Asia over 90% of the population is lactose intolerant. Humans are the only animal that drinks another animals milk.

  8. Lou Lou

    I've been eating paleo for almost 5 years now and I cant imagine going back to how I used to eat. Also I think this whole low fat or low carb things are neither good. Balance is key.

  9. Banepfc

    There is not enough food to feed the entire planet the paleo diet. In order for one selfish, inconsiderate and greedy westerner to have his meats a bunch of other people in another part of the world will die. As if the meat industry isn't damaging enough to the environment, these paleo thugs now want to increase the meat production.

  10. jsagers2008

    The Paleo diet is pure fantasy. We are really guessing what life was like for early man. Let's say that the hypothesis is correct. That does not mean it's the best diet for man.

  11. Dominic Mutzhas

    Lean meat essential?! Essential means: you can't be very healthy without it. I think that's BS, since meat contains carcinogenic proteins, inflammatory cholesterol; is still a significant amount of fat which interferes with blood circulation; meat causes huge insulin spikes which is linked to obesity; meat leads to the formation of nitrosamines in our body, because it is lacking essential phytonutrients; meat is a load of alien hormones ( many stress and fear hormones from living a shit life and being killed ) which dis balance our body; meat putrifies in our guts, causing leaky gut and gut cancer etc… I could go on forever. If you don't believe me…this is actually backed up by science, look it up on

  12. Stevie Wang

    The main advantages of the paleo diet are completely eliminating bad carbs (processed sugars + A LOT of grains and wheat products) that spike your insulin levels (high in the Glycemic Index) thus increasing fat storage. Along with simply eating too many calories, bad carbs are by far the #1 cause of the obesity epidemic. The "low fat/high carb" dietary craze of the 80s and 90s has completely failed. Thus with that being said, if you're OVERWEIGHT or DIABETIC then the paleo diet will prove to be the best diet in terms of losing weight the fastest given that your caloric intake is also AT A DEFICIT. However, if you are of a healthy weight then adding dairy products and healthy grains (legume, barley, maize, couscous, oats, quinoa, etc) will be beneficial as the carbs will go straight towards energy expenditure. Just avoid the processed sugars and bad carbs (95% of bread, 95% of cereal, 95% of all pasta, bagel, white rice, biscuits) that go straight to fat storage.

  13. Ashley Casey

    Humans never mutated to eat dairy products at all. Nearly 3/4th of the global population is intolerant to lactose. And to add, we also aren't doing too hot on our high-sugar/ high-fat diet right now, with terrible teeth, weaker bones, and smaller brains. Suggesting that we can revamp our entire digestive track in 10,000 (out of evolving for over a million) is ridiculous. 

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