Wikipedia:Today's featured article/March 20, 2008

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A traditional fish stew (Bouillabaisse served without bread)

A Paleolithic-style diet is a contemporary diet regime, consisting of commonly available modern foods. It emulates the diet of wild plants and animals that humans and their close relatives habitually consumed during the Paleolithic (the Old Stone Age), a period of about 2 million years duration that ended about 10,000 years ago. First popularized in the mid 1970s by a gastroenterologist named Walter L. Voegtlin, this dietary approach is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors. Proponents of Paleolithic-style diets differ in their dietary prescriptions, but all agree that people today should eat mainly meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts, and avoid grains, legumes, dairy products, salt and refined sugar. This dietary approach is a controversial topic amongst nutritionists and anthropologists. Advocates argue that modern human populations subsisting on traditional diets similar to those of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers are largely free of diseases of affluence, and that such diets produce beneficial health outcomes in controlled medical studies. Supporters point to several potentially therapeutic nutritional characteristics of preagricultural diets. Critics of this nutritional approach have taken issue with its underlying evolutionary logic, and have disputed certain dietary prescriptions on the grounds that they pose health risks and may not reflect real Paleolithic diets. (more...)

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