The caveman diet: Is it healthier eating like a Neanderthal?

The ‘caveman diet or paleo-diet’ has become very popular these days. But, is it only a passing ‘fad’ that reemerged from the past and will soon disappear back into it? Maybe. There’s so many diets out there it can make your head spin. Which one do you choose?

How would one know how the caveman ate half a million to two million years ago? And, when he learned to build a fire, how did that change his lifestyle?

There are many theories, but how could one ever know the truth about what the natural diet of man actually consisted of way back then? You could speculate about it all day long…

Farming is relatively new. The ‘caveman’ didn’t have a very large choice of produce to eat as we do now. They ate what they foraged around for during each day. Even though we truly don’t know what they ate way back then, I think we can take an educated guess? It probably wasn’t a lot, and when they ate it all up, they may have moved on to greener pastures.

We also don’t know how healthy they were. I think I heard cavemen didn’t live past the age of thirty. It must have been tough finding food in those days. No refrigerators or grocery stores. Only your hands, legs, cleverness, digging tool and a spear.

I am sure man was always on the ‘hunt’ for more calories, and cooking food would eventually provide them. Cooking and the added calorie intake might have been responsible for the increase in his brain size as well as body mass. Who knows? [1].

Mr. and Mrs. caveman didn't eat any refined or processed foods like we have in our cupboards today.

The paleo’s likely didn’t have strokes, heart attacks, diabetes and high blood pressure because they didn’t eat junk foods.

There was not an abundance of meat they could easily catch. They didn’t have farmers to raise cattle, pigs and chickens for them. There were no butchers to slaughter and package all the pieces nice and pretty.

I don’t know how early man survived on raw foods alone, because it simply wouldn’t have provided enough energy ‘uncooked’.

When I eat raw fruits and vegetables like leafy green salads alone, I have to eat something else with it. I can’t eat enough fruit to provide the missing calories. I need something more. This is where potatoes and rice come in.

Cooked starchy food supplies the missing calories. Cooked potatoes, beans and rice provide enough calories, also nuts and seeds.

How many cavemen simply starved to death because they didn’t down enough calories? In the modern world, we take in more calories than we can burn up in a single day: No ‘overweight’ cave people sitting around eating hamburgers, fries, pizza, chips and dip, cookies, candy, pies and cakes!

Cooking must have increased our human population. There are health benefits to a ‘hunter-gatherer’ type diet our ancestors ate [2].

What cave people ‘likely’ ate…

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Tubers like yams
  • Berries and other fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and meat when and if available
  • Eggs, when they could find them

What they didn’t eat…

  • Dairy
  • The huge amount of refined grain like we eat every single day in breads, cereals and snacks
  • Processed and refined food
  • Junk food
  • Refined oil like olive
  • Refined sugar
  • Salt


Website Title Frontiers in neuroscience.
Article Title Human Brain Expansion during Evolution Is Independent of Fire Control and Cooking.
Date Published April 25, 2016
Date Accessed January 16, 2018

Website Title European journal of clinical nutrition.
Publication Month August
Publication Year 2009
Article Title Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet.
Date Accessed January 16, 2018

Note- contact your doctor before you change your diet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s