On to the results. Participants, on average, saw large improvements in nearly every meaningful measure of health in just 10 days on the "paleolithic" diet. Remember, these people were supposedly healthy to begin with. Total cholesterol and LDL dropped, if you care about that. Triglycerides decreased by 35%. Fasting insulin plummeted by 68%. HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, decreased by 72%. Blood pressure decreased and blood vessel distensibility (a measure of vessel elasticity) increased. It's interesting to note that measures of glucose metabolism improved dramatically despite no change in carbohydrate intake. Some of these results were statistically significant, but not all of them. However, the authors note that:
In all these measured variables, either eight or all nine participants had identical directional responses when switched to paleolithic type diet, that is, near consistently improved status of circulatory, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism/physiology.
Translation: everyone improved. That's a very meaningful point, because even if the average improves, in many studies a certain percentage of people get worse. This study adds to the evidence that no matter what your gender or genetic background, a diet roughly consistent with our evolutionary past can bring major health benefits. Here's another way to say it: ditching certain modern foods can be immensely beneficial to health, even in people who already appear healthy. This is true regardless of whether or not one loses weight.
This solidifies my thinking along several lines:
- It's not about weight / fat loss, primarily (these study participants were overfed to keep them from losing weight during the study).
- It's not about carbohydrate within reason (they kept the same carb ingestion levels as before).
- It is all about Real Food all the time. Just dump the shit. Eliminate all grains, all legumes, all sugar, all processed vegetable oils, and all products derived therefrom. Eat as much as you want of the following: natural fats (animal, olive, avocado, coconut), meat / fowl / seafood, vegetables (starchy ones within reason), fruits (focus on berries), and nuts (peanuts aren't nuts).
It is so simple, so enjoyable, you'll feel better than you can remember in your entire life, and it works 100% of the time for 100% of the people.
Shit: Don't. Eat. It.
Later: I see Dr. Eades has a post on it, too.