How Healthy—and Accurate—Is the Paleo Diet?

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Meat and vegetables are the centerpieces of the Paleo Diet, but the diet may not be a very accurate.

The Paleo Diet, which is based on how our Paleolithic ancestors supposedly ate—lots of meat and vegetables, no grains, sugar or dairy—is hugely popular. Ann Gibbons examines anthropologists' critiques of the diet and reveals that it is based on some major misconceptions. In her article "The Evolution of Diet" in the September issue of National Geographic, Gibbons shows that meat was not as dominant a part of the Paleolithic diet as it is made out to be, and that "man the hunter" relied a great deal on "woman the forager." She applauds the Paleo Diet for steering people away from processed foods and toward local fruits and vegetables, but investigates whether it really is a healthier way to eat.