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A small number of people believe that we should be eating like our ancestors did 50,000 years ago. They believe that the agricultural revolution that happened 10,000 years ago when we learned to grow grains and herd animals is the main reason we are overweight.

The Wall Street Journal ran an article on July 14, 2002 that advocated eating as if we still lived in the Paleolithic era. An antidote to this somewhat absurd position was published by Dr. Ruth Kava, director of nutrition for the American Council on Science and Health. She points out that energy balance is neglected in the arguments on which nutrient it is that makes us fat and, therefore, ignores the most fundamental science in this debate. The form of calories we take in is not as important as the number compared with those we burn through activity.

Eating like a caveman doesn't mean eating a lot of meat. It means tracking that animal all day before you kill it and eat it. Few of us are willing to live that way, so we need to adapt our behaviors to the modern world. If you want air conditioning, your own car, and electrical appliances, you need to find other ways to burn calories on a regular basis. This may be an ugly proposition to many, but it is the only one that works.

Checked 5/3/07

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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