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The Paleo Manifesto

Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

By John Durant
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant

The Paleo Manifesto (2013) is the go-to guide to going paleo. It explains why the Paleo diet is in sync with our ancestors’ diet, and how you can use humanity’s anthropological and evolutionary history to get fit, feel great and lead the healthy lifestyle you’ve always wanted to.

Key idea 1 of 7

The lives we lead today are at odds with our evolutionary history.

Despite all the incredible technological innovations of the modern world, we aren’t getting any healthier or happier.

Just compare the typical day of an average person today with that of his ancestors. For instance, before the author became a leading force in the paleo movement, he lived in New York City and was clocking endless hours at a consulting firm, day after day.

He worked well into the night and went to the office on the weekends. He barely had time to exercise, and subsisted on take-out food. To make matters worse, he replenished his depleted energy by overloading on caffeine.

But what about the typical day of an ancient human, without all the technology?

Our ancestors dedicated most of the day to the necessities of survival – hunting, gathering and cooking. That lifestyle is still inside of us; we’re actually better suited to our ancestors’ lifestyle than our contemporary technology-driven one.

For clear evidence of the negative impacts of modern living, let’s look at what happened to the gorillas – our nearest primate cousins – at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Even though they were kept on a strict diet according to official health guidelines, the gorillas were always sick. They suffered from obesity, high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and triglycerides and had a marked level of heart disease indicators. On top of that, they had behavioral issues, like yanking out their hair and regurgitating their food before re-ingesting it.

However, as soon as the zookeepers replaced the processed gorilla biscuits with natural plants, the gorillas’ health stabilized and their behavior normalized.


Because they were eating what they ate in the wild, that is, what their bodies had adapted to eating through evolution.

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