Type 2 diabetes can best be controlled by following the simple diet of Stone Age people, according to new Swedish research. When they conducted the first clinical study of the effect of the typical Stone Age diet on modern humans, Swede scientists found that the TV ad slogan “It’s so simple a caveman can do it!” is more than just a snappy catchphrase.
Advocating a Paleolithic or Stone Age diet for health reasons is nothing new. In 1985 an article appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting a “caveman” or hunter-gatherer diet was much more in tune with our bodies than modern food. Stone Age people ate lean meats, fish, nuts, vegetables, and fruit, and mankind ate this kind of diet for over 100,000 generations.
With the emergence of agriculture only 500 generations ago, mankind first began eating dairy products, cereals, and refined fat and sugar. And only the last two generations have grown up eating highly processed food.
Many scientists believe that human bodies are still best adapted to so-called Stone Age food, and researchers at Lund University, Sweden, set out to discover whether this is true. Dr. Staffan Lindeberg, spokesman for the researchers, said his group began by taking note that there are human populations today still eating hunter-gatherer diets in Papua New Guinea and other isolated locations, and that in these places there is “a remarkable absence of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”
In the new study, the researchers compared 14 patients who followed a Paleolithic diet for three months with 15 patients who followed a Mediterranean diet — which is considered the healthiest modern diet — made up of whole-grain cereals, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and refined fats. The Paleolithic group, in addition to eating only lean meats, fruits, fish, etc., also avoided salt, dairy foods, and grains. At the beginning of the study, all of the participants, according to the researchers, “had increased blood sugar after carbohydrate intake (glucose intolerance), and most of them had overt diabetes type 2. In addition, all had been diagnosed with coronary heart disease.”
After 12 weeks, the blood sugar rise in response to carbohydrates in the Paleolithic groups was markedly lower (-26%), while it was about the same in the Mediterranean group (-7%). At the end of the study, all of the Paleolithic patients had normal blood glucose.
The conclusion of the research is clear, according to Dr. Lindeberg: “If you want to prevent or treat diabetes type 2, it may be more efficient to avoid some of our modern foods than to count calories or carbohydrates.” So simple, a caveman can do it.
KAY'S NOTE: The SCD is so simple . . . even a caveman can do it!