The Paleolithic Diet: Caught in the Stone Age?


Our ancient ancestors battled the elements, and were prey as well as predator. Before agriculture, they hunted and gathered their food from what roamed and grew wild. Their lives were short, but the types of food probably weren’t as much of a challenge as the shortage of food. And they didn’t appear to suffer from diabetes, obesity and other food related ailments. That has inspired some to emulate as close as possible the so-called Paleolithic Diet, which includes meats from grass-fed, pasture- raised livestock; fish; vegetables; fruits; roots and nuts; and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

It was good enough for the human 20,000 years ago. But is it fit food for modern humans?

We hear from noted nutritionist and author Marion Nestle about the benefits and drawbacks.

Also joining us is OSU anthropologist Kristen Gremillion, author of the new book “Ancestral Appetites: Food in Prehistory.”


  • Kristen Gremillion (OSU Anthropology Professor and author)
  • Marion Nestle (NYU Professor of Nutrition and Author)

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Join The Conversation

  • Marty Wilson

    I look forward to listening to this in the archives. The Paleo diet has been a lifesaver for countless people – me included. Avoiding processed foods – and eating in a manner that mimics how our bodies evolved has been key to reversing diseases, building muscle mass and slowing many aspects of the aging process. It’s worth looking into…. Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson are just a few of the Paleo luminaries who have written about this historically proven lifestyle.

  • dael v escher

     considering the prevalence and the profundity of hemp in the environment and the fact that all eight essential amino acids are in the seeds in the proportions that the body uses them, it would seem only logical that this plant would have been a top dietary item not only for pre-human but also post human consumption as an essential forming physiologic design parameter. Canabinoid metabolism is endemic to our physiology as well.

    • dael v escher

      recent studies released find that rats fed fat release endo-canabinoids in their intestines

  • Darbydave0

    Marion Nestle was the most patronizing and arrogant guest I have ever heard on your show.  Hasn’t she ever heard of ash pits or pollen records for determining diets in prehistoric eras?They use them to determine what animals ate, so why not humans?