Swedish scientists have just published a research paper that indicates that eating a diet rich in lean meat, vegetables, berries and nuts is effective in lowering YOUR chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Keeping in mind that it was only a three week study, and additional long term research will be required, scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that the volunteers reduced body-fat, lowered their blood pressure and slashed levels of a blood-thickening agent (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) known to cause deadly clots.
The results, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, support earlier scientific and real world findings that praise the health benefits of the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet.
The theory behind this way of eating is that prior to the advent of agriculture (10,000 years ago) our ancestors lived only on foods that could be speared or picked from trees and plants.
Some scientists argue the human genome has been unable to keep pace with our advances in agriculture and food preparation. The theory is that the modern human body is not genetically programmed to thrive on our modern diet. Our technology may be modern, but our bodies haven’t fully caught up and chronic ailments like obesity and type 2 diabetes are the result.
To that end, following the Paleolithic/Caveman Diet means no cereals, bread, milk, butter, cheese or sugar but plenty of lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
To test its effect, the Swedish researchers recruited 20 healthy volunteers and put them on caveman rations for three weeks.
Each patient was assessed for weight, body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol at the beginning of the experiment.
They were then given a list of stone-age foods they could eat, including fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar.
Banned foods included beans, salt, peanuts, dairy products, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.
However, they were also allowed up to two potatoes a day and a weekly treat of dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat.
After three weeks, the volunteers were tested again.
Among the 14 who successfully completed the diet, the average weight loss was around five pounds. BMI dropped by 0.8. Systolic blood pressure fell by an average of three mmHg. And the levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 dropped by 72 per cent. Other favorable effects were the increase in antioxidants and a healthier potassium-sodium balance. One potential negative was the reduction of calcium. This effect should be addressed in further studies.