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Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs - Ars Technica

Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs - Ars Technica

Our ancestors ate a Paleo diet. It had carbs - Ars Technica
Oct 01, 2022 1 min, 55 secs

Studies of the Hadza diet reveal that they eat a seasonally changing variety of meat, fruit, tubers and honey — a far cry from today’s meat-heavy “Paleo diet.”?

The diet is named after the Paleolithic era, a period dating from about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago when early humans were hunting and gathering, rather than farming.

What do today’s Paleo diets look like.

I would say the same is true of the predominant Paleo diets today — most are very meat-heavy and low-carb, downplaying things like starchy vegetables and fruits that would only have been seasonally available before agriculture.

But our ancestors’ diets were really variable.

The other thing is that, partly due to that variability, but also partly due just to people’s preferences, there’s a lot of carbohydrate in most hunter-gatherer diets.

So the idea that ancient diets would be low-carbohydrate just doesn’t fit with any of the available evidence.

You have a kind of romanticizing of what hunting and gathering was like.

We know that traditionally that’s going to focus more on hunting than on gathering because of the way a lot of these small-scale societies divide their work: Men hunt and women gather?

The human diet is much broader than that of our ancestors or great apes such as orangutans, gorillas or chimps.

But a quarter of them are still hunting and gathering and get all their food from wild game and plants.

They are this really wonderful community of folks to work with, but they’re also really valuable in terms of giving us a snapshot of what hunting and gathering really looks like, day to day, in real life.

We’ve also learned that honey is a really big part of their diet.

The one surprising thing from working with the Hadza — and it’s not just the Hadza, but a lot of the work there kind of sparked this — is how important honey is.

Honey is just sugar and water — pretty high-carb and definitely not part of most modern “Paleo” diets.

So they seek it out, just like we seek out good-tasting food in our environments.

The Hadza guys will look at this tree and confirm that there’s actually honey

The birds have adapted to a world in which humans get a lot of honey


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