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Everyone is doing the Paleo Diet wrong, according to new research


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Photo: Stocksy/Jeff Wasserman

Some culinary food inventions are genius—edamame pasta, caulirice, and zoodles definitely fall into this category. But obviously not everything food engineers dream up is healthy. (Exhibit A: all processed food.)

The Paleo Diet was of course crafted to eat more purely, the way our ancestors did. But according to new research published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Paleo followers may be limiting their diet more than they need to.

Today’s loyal Paleo eaters go heavy on the meat and fish, limiting fruit and nuts. But archaeologists in Israel’s Jordan Valley recently discovered that cavepeople (dating back 780,000 years ago) actually ate a wide variety of foods, including vegetables, roots, seeds, nuts, and fruit. Meat and fish definitely had a place, but the other foods were eaten much more often than people previously thought, primarily because they were so readily available.

According to new research, Paleo followers may be limiting their diet more than they need to

Here’s what else they learned by studying ancient skeletons: Our ancestors ate food that was in season (a lo-fi version of the farmers’ market?), cooked a lot using fire—some nuts, roots, and plants are toxic until doing so—and weren’t picky eaters (they ate what they found).

It just goes to show that a healthy, well-rounded diet—don’t skip those fats!—of fresh and whole foods is, no matter what diet you follow, a smart move. Raise your hand if you’re ready to say “yes” to that homemade maple pumpkin almond butter now.

Ready to add more fruit to your diet? Here’s how to do it without OD-ing in sugar. And if the Paleo Diet isn’t making you feel great, this could be why.