The Paleo Diet – Good Idea or Paleofantasy?

What is the Paleo diet? Should we eat like our stone age ancestors? How did our ancestors eat, exactly? How far back should we go to identify humans’ healthiest diet? Can modern hunter-gatherers be a stand-in for our ancestral hominins in terms of diet?

Hadza and honey

1) Quickly skim this recent piece in the Huffington Post

2) Next read Eaton (2006)-Ancestral human diet

3) Most importantly, read this review:

Paleofantasy by Marlene Zuk

4) Then read about artificial sweeteners here

5) Optional extra. Paleo microbiota

Writing Assignment:

For Tuesday: Pima Indians (Tohono O’odham) of Arizona have the highest rates of diabetes in the world. They eat processed foods and refined carbohydrates like other Arizonans (the typical American diet).  Their Pima relatives who farm in the Sierrra Madre of Mexico eat a more traditional diet and have much less diabetes and obesity. In light of the Paleo diet hypothesis and the backlash it has generated, how would you explain the differences in diabetes between the two closely related groups

Optional Extra credit Writing Assignment:

Several papers have been written about balancing selection, evolution and Factor V Leiden (FVL) mutation since the Lindqvist paper was published 6 years ago. Skim these and see if you can find any evidence to back up the hypothesis that FVL helps women survive bleeding in childbirth (or if another idea makes more sense).

Citing Articles are here

Read the van Mens article

Weiler Favor V Leiden in sepsis

Basque Polymorphisms

Factor V Metaanalysis

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