Origins and Evolution of Human Diet was an academic web site at the University of Arkansas devoted to discussion of evolution and the human diet. They had good articles on the conferences link. Here is one from the archives: Boyd Eaton's Evolution, Diet and Health which argues that current w-6 : w-3 imbalance together with absolute dietary DHA intake quite low in human evolutionary perspective may be relevant to the frequency of unipolar depression.
After spending a week fine-tuning my new eating plan, I decided to add workouts back into my routine. On a typical week, I'll go to a cardio or strength class (I like boxing) once or twice and do some yoga or stretching at home another night. I dove right in and hit up my favorite boxing studio, Rumble. But I was really nervous. What if I didn't have enough energy? What if I passed out during class? What if I got so hungry I caved and bought a slice of pizza on the walk home from class?
"Every fad diet thinks it has discovered the root of all evil," says Dr. Ochner. But nutrients in legumes, whole grains, and dairy—all of which are forbidden on the paleo diet—can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy weight, he says. Cutting dairy, the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets, is especially worrisome for women who want to avoid osteoporosis.
Soon, Glassman started advertising seminars. For $4,500 plus airfare and accommodations, he would come to you. Or, for $1,000 a head, people could come to Soquel. He would lecture on everything he had concluded about fitness and run participants through workouts. Meanwhile, CrossFit.com devotees were attracting followers of their own. Robb Wolf, a biochemist and former powerlifter from Seattle, visited the Glassmans in early 2002. He and some friends were starting a little gym--could they call it CrossFit?
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)
Several examples of recent and relatively speedy human evolution underscore that our anatomy and genetics have not been set in stone since the stone age. Within a span of 7,000 years, for instance, people adapted to eating dairy by developing lactose tolerance. Usually, the gene encoding an enzyme named lactase—which breaks down lactose sugars in milk—shuts down after infancy; when dairy became prevalent, many people evolved a mutation that kept the gene turned on throughout life. Likewise, the genetic mutation responsible for blue eyes likely arose between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. And in regions where malaria is common, natural selection has modified people's immune systems and red blood cells in ways that help them resist the mosquito-borne disease; some of these genetic mutations appeared within the last 10,000 or even 5,000 years. The organisms with which we share our bodies have evolved even faster, particularly the billions of bacteria living in our intestines. Our gut bacteria interact with our food in many ways, helping us break down tough plant fibers, but also competing for calories. We do not have direct evidence of which bacterial species thrived in Paleolithic intestines, but we can be sure that their microbial communities do not exactly match our own.
The digestive abilities of anatomically modern humans, however, are different from those of Paleolithic humans, which undermines the diet's core premise. During the 2.6-million-year-long Paleolithic era, the highly variable climate and worldwide spread of human populations meant that humans were, by necessity, nutritionally adaptable. Supporters of the diet mistakenly presuppose that human digestion has remained essentially unchanged over time.
According to Adrienne Rose Johnson, the idea that the primitive diet was superior to current dietary habits dates back to the 1890s with such writers as Dr. Emmet Densmore and Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Densmore proclaimed that "bread is the staff of death," while Kellogg supported a diet of starchy and grain-based foods. The idea of a Paleolithic diet can be traced to a 1975 book by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin,:41 which in 1985 was further developed by Stanley Boyd Eaton and Melvin Konner, and popularized by Loren Cordain in his 2002 book The Paleo Diet. The terms caveman diet and stone-age diet are also used, as is Paleo Diet, trademarked by Cordain.
Yes, the Whole30 diet encourages you to reintroduce off-limits foods. But the purpose of an elimination diet is to discover which foods do and don't work for you. Add everything back in at once, and you won't be able to tell which ingredient is causing the problem. Plus, after 30 days of squeaky-clean eating, gorging on junk will probably leave you feeling pretty crummy.
In making the case for meat, Cordain presents anecdotal evidence of Eskimos who lived their full life without a heart attack. The Eskimo diet consists of 97% meat, which he concedes causes all Eskimos to develop atherosclerosis—a common precursor to heart disease. But Cordain says Eskimos never die of heart disease. He discusses one Eskimo who lived 45 years and another who lived 53 years, both without heart disease! He then jumps to the conclusion that because these Eskimos didn’t get heart attacks, even with severe atherosclerosis, meat must have protected them from heart disease. So Cordain’s best case for lots of meat is that you can live to the ripe age of 45 or even 53 without a heart attack. But do people—even unhealthy smokers or the obese—generally get heart attacks before age 53?
Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship by Sarah Fragoso. Piper, Phoenix and Parker are not ordinary children–they are super heroes that travel the land helping other children learn about living the healthiest, most exciting, most super lives possible. They are known as The Paleo Pals, and this is a story about how they help out Jimmy, a little boy who is not sure if eating paleo food is even one tiny bit exciting or super. Published February 7, 2012.
Evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk writes that the idea that our genetic makeup today matches that of our ancestors is misconceived, and that in debate Cordain was "taken aback" when told that 10,000 years was "plenty of time" for an evolutionary change in human digestive abilities to have taken place.:114 On this basis Zuk dismisses Cordain's claim that the paleo diet is "the one and only diet that fits our genetic makeup".
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek synthesizes the science into one readable source. The book is excellent for general low-carb high-fat moderate protein diets. While they begin with the idea that we should eat like a caveman, they do not follow the conclusion to its logical end and have us avoid the classes of foods our ancestors would have found unrecognizable. They avoid the metobolic syndrome, but not the autoimmune diseases. They mention that monosaturates should be favored, though they are not emphasized in the menu example. The book's daily menu examples also all include dairy in one form or another. No tips are given tips for those who do not do dairy. Published May 19, 2011. The Amazon reviews average to 4+.
CrossFit, Inc. does not dispute that its methodology has the potential to cause rhabdomyolysis. The company states that exertional rhabdomyolysis can be found in a wide variety of sports and training populations and argues that its critics have conflated CrossFit's high awareness of rhabdomyolysis with high risk. One CrossFit spokesman stated that "ESPN's report on the 53 deaths in US triathlons from 2007 to 2013 should have put the issue to rest."