The evidence on paleo diets

    Remember this once-popular diet?

    Here’s our page on the paleo diet, which covers eight randomized trials enrolling about 2,500 participants:

    Paleo diets: benefits, downsides, and FAQs.

    Paleo diets spiked in popularity about ten years ago. Interest has steadily declined ever since.

    Worldwide trend for the "paleo" search term.

    Is it because paleo is wrong or harmful? Unlikely. In my opinion as a guy who spends too much time reading nutrition stuff and was involved in the ancestral health community many years ago, much of paleo’s “diet market share” split off into keto and some other related diets.

    That’s not to say paleo diets are without critique. There are plenty:

    • There’s no single paleolithic diet that humans ate — our ancestors were spread among many different food environments. Rigid paleo food plans can lead to confusion and low adherence.
    • Not everything that was eaten long ago is healthy in any amount, nor are modern foods universally unhealthy.
    • It can be hard and sometimes expensive to maintain a paleo diet in the modern food environment.
    • Paleo (and many other restrictive diets) can lead to yo-yo dieting in some people.

    At the end of the day though, it’s usually a good idea to include lots of minimally processed plants and/or animals into your diet. That’s at the core of the paleo diet, and whether you do it all the time or just much of the time is up to you. You don’t have to call yourself “paleo” or any other term to eat this way!


    Kamal Patel
    Co-founder, Examine