In the 1970s, gastroenterologist, Dr. Walter L Voegtlin, introduced the idea of the Paleolithic diet in his book, The Stone Age Diet, paving the way for similar diets such as the Caveman diet, the Hunter-Gatherer diet, and the most well-known Paleo diet.
The core principles of these diets are the same, whilst they vary in terms of restrictiveness and the foods that are allowed to be ingested as part of the overall diet.
Voegtlin pioneered the concept that we should learn from our ancestors and revert to a more natural way of eating, removing sugar, salt and processed foods from our diet. Instead focusing on lean proteins, lots of fruit and vegetables, and only consuming healthy fats in the form of nuts, seeds and natural oils.
Restrictions on the Paleo diet typically limit or omit the intake of dairy products, cereals, starchy vegetables, and sugar.
Now, the logic behind the Paleo diet does have its flaws since the foods that would have been available to our ancestors would have varied considerably depending on where in the world they resided. Our ancestors were also much more physically active than we are today. After all, if they wanted to eat then they had to hunt and gather, exerting much more energy than the sedentary lives we lead today.
Despite this, the Paleo diet has been proven to aid weight loss, as well as provide other benefits for those with digestive or inflammatory issues.
The Paleo diet is well known across Western Europe, North America and Australasia, however, many followers of the diet find it difficult to stick to when travelling or eating out due to its restrictive nature.