The real ‘paleodiet’ was rich in carbs

05 Jan
Beets and acorns is the real paleofood… or at least part of it.

From Science Nordic (h/t Pileta):

Stone Age hunters liked their carbs

Analyses of Stone
Age settlements reveal that the hunters were healthy and would gladly
eat anything they could get their hands on, including carbohydrates –
contrary to the modern definition of the Paleolithic, or Stone Age diet.

The Stone Age hunter’s food contained large amounts of protein from
fish, lean mean, herbs and coarse vegetables and has formed the basis of
one of today’s hottest health trends: the paleo diet.

The modern
version of the Stone Age diet excludes foods rich in carbohydrates. This
exclusion of carbs is based on the idea that Stone Age hunters didn’t
have access to bread, rice or pasta.

But is it true that Stone Age hunters and gatherers didn’t eat any carbohydrates at all?

Karg, an external lecturer at Copenhagen University’s Saxo Institute,
specialises in archaeobotany. She says that Stone Age hunters, unlike
many followers of the modern Stone Age diet, joyfully munched away at
carbs when the opportunity presented itself.

“Carbohydrates have
been part of their diet. In flooded settlements from the Palaeolithic
and Mesolithic periods, traces of roots and seeds from various aquatic
plants and wild grasses have been found.”

continue reading at Science Nordic

Acorn “bread” was widely
used in Atlantic Europe until recently because cereals were not always
reliable enough in this humid climate. Beets soon became a common agricultural

Posted by on January 5, 2013 in Denmark, European prehistory, Paleolithic food


5 responses to “The real ‘paleodiet’ was rich in carbs

  1. Marnie

    January 7, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Curtis W. Marean has long support the idea that hunter groups also gathered. See "Hunter–Gatherer Foraging Strategies in Tropical Grasslands: Model Building and Testing in the East African Middle and Later Stone Age"JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHAEOLOGY 16, 189–225 (1997)ARTICLE NO. AA9703091997Nothing new here, really.I've vaguely noticed the Paleolithic Diet thing. Eyeroll. I've also run across papers showing that gathered seeds formed part of pre Neolithic diets.

  2. Maju

    January 7, 2013 at 9:32 am

    You can't believe how many people, notably in their 50s and such, seem to believe that our Paleolithic ancestors ate almost only meat. On the other hand it is of course "nothing new".

  3. Marnie

    January 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I've spent a lot of time on my blog discussing game following behavior, but perhaps with the exception of the Inuit, it has certainly never been the case that people ate only meat. Even the Inuit probably ate berries and fish, when available.Probably, the "Paleolithic Diet" looked a lot more like the "Julia Child Diet" than the meat only diet.

  4. DDeden

    January 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Marnie, you may find this article of interest:"Chad Weller, a Miami-based ultra athlete and running coach, has kept to a vegan diet for 18 of his 35 years on earth. He's been an endurance runner for 15 of those, and has competed in more than one hundred races to date, 10 of which were 100-milers" "The (Thailand) North Face 100K will take runners through fruit plantations, past Thai temples, and into wild and somewhat unpredictable territory. But it isn't the possibility of poisonous snake bites or even running out of hummus wraps on the trail that concerns Weller the most — it's the heat." "Fruits and vegetables come from the earth, so you can think and feel lighter. And meat's something heavy, and there are so many things that have to happen for you to get the meat to your table. Vegetables, you just pick them out of the garden, and you either grill them or eat them raw."

  5. Maju

    January 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Sure. I don't recall the details but I did watch a documentary on TV on these matters and the experiments were demolishing: high protein diets are not good for high performance at all (in the short term at least). Also eating small portions (instead of fewer big meals) helps to keep you alert and efficient through the workday (as you don't spend much energy in digestion, which brings you to nap-state).


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