Paleolithic Diet – Are Today’s Hunter Gatherers Healthy?

farm animals

People who like their steaks, pork chops and bacon suggest that meat and fats can’t cause health problems as humans have been hunter gatherers since the dawn of time.

Accepting that this might be true and ignoring the fact that most of us don’t hunt any more (at great energy and exercise expense) there is usually another important fact that is often overlooked. That is the vast difference between the kinds and amounts of fats present in meats of  domesticated farmed animals and their wild (natural) counterparts.

The hunter gatherer diet is obviously more than just meat, but today that’s the bit we’re focusing on.

Fat Content of Meats

When fat content of farmed animals is compared to wild animals there are differences:

  1. Farmed animals contain far more fat than the wild animals our ancestors hunted
  2. They also contain more bad fats and hardly any good fats

Beef contains between 18-40% fat by weight, depending on the cut. Beef has been inbred to produce a meat with a marbled appearance which results from unnaturally hard fats deposited within the muscles. This is said to improve taste and moistness.

Nomadic cattle eaten in East Africa contain between 2-3% fat. Although these animals have been domesticated they have not been inbred and retain the leanness of their wild relatives.

Pork runs between 30-50% fat. Wild warthogs are about 2% fat.

Lamb contains between 20-40% fat. Wild sheep are lean and muscular with 5% body fat.

In short, domestication and breeding has dramatically increased the fat content of the ‘hunter’s diet’.

Consequences of Bad Fats

Bad fats contribute to many degenerative illnesses. These include cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Good fats protect us against these diseases. By eating farmed meat regularly we tip the balance way over in favour of the bad fats.

These type of health problems mainly affect populations who eat diets high in beef and pork, and spares people who live on natural complex carbohydrate diets – made up of mostly vegetables and grains.

Degenerative diseases also miss people out who eat meat from wild animals and wild fish.

Beef and pork are not the only cause of degenerative disease. All food altered from their natural state, i.e. processed foods, contribute to our bodies wearing out and breaking down.

As awareness is increasing things are changing, but very slowly, with healthier recommendations.

To help improve and preserve your health

  1. Decrease the amount of red meat you eat to a minimum
  2. If you have to eat red meat choose grass fed animals – these are leaner than the normal grain fed animals

The Paleo Diet

Great info in this video.


Comments and questions welcomed

Uber Health to you, Dr Julie (any ads that appear are nothing to do with me, I am NOT endorsing)

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

5 thoughts on “Paleolithic Diet – Are Today’s Hunter Gatherers Healthy?”

  1. Really interesting blog, I enjoyed reading this. I must admit, I thought meat was just meat & haven’t thought about it from this angle before.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top