That’s essentially what the modern-day “paleo” diet is. Processed foods are out and whole foods that require basically no prep are in.
“This eliminates most heavily processed foods like crackers, chips, and cookies,” explains Roger Adams, Ph.D., founder of Eat Right Fitness. “Even bread isn’t considered part of the paleo diet as it requires too much technology to make it.” Dairy, legumes and beans, alcohol, sugar, and even some starchy vegetables are off the table, too. What’s left is pretty much the healthiest kind of grub around, which is why some research touts the diet’s benefits.
One study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared the effects of the paleo diet to a low-fat diet and concluded that those who went paleo lost nearly three times the amount of weight than people who ate little fat. Another study in the journal Nutrition Research found that going paleo may also benefit your cholesterol levels, a health marker that’s been linked to diabetes and heart disease.
It can be a tricky transition, though, so if you’ve been considering eating like a caveman, read on to find out what you should know before going full paleo.