The Paleo Manifesto Book Summary - The Paleo Manifesto Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Paleo Manifesto summary

John Durant

Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health

4.3 (42 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant is a guide to living a healthy lifestyle based on principles of Paleolithic diets and hunter-gatherer societies. It explores the evolutionary basis of human nutrition, fitness, and social behavior.

Table of Contents

    The Paleo Manifesto
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    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.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Paleo Manifesto?

    Key ideas in The Paleo Manifesto

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Paleo Manifesto about?

    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.

    The Paleo Manifesto Review

    The Paleo Manifesto (2013) by John Durant is an insightful exploration of the benefits of returning to our ancestral diet and lifestyle. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a measured and well-researched argument for adopting a paleo lifestyle, backed by scientific evidence and Durant's personal experiences.
    • Blending history, anthropology, and nutrition, the book presents a well-rounded perspective on the paleo movement, making it informative and thought-provoking.
    • With its fascinating stories about early humans and the impact of modernity on our health, the book manages to engage readers and keeps them eager to learn more.

    Who should read The Paleo Manifesto?

    • Anybody looking for a sustainable, intelligent diet
    • People tired of calorie-counting methods to lose weight
    • Anyone interested in the history and development of the human diet

    About the Author

    John Durant is a leading figure of the paleo movement. He is the founder of Paleo NYC and Barefoot Runners NYC, and blogs at He’s been featured on The Colbert Report, NPR and in The New York Times.

    Categories with The Paleo Manifesto

    Book summaries like The Paleo Manifesto

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Paleo Manifesto FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Paleo Manifesto?

    The Paleo Manifesto encourages a return to our ancestral roots and lifestyle for better health and well-being.

    How long does it take to read The Paleo Manifesto?

    The reading time for The Paleo Manifesto varies, but you can get the Blinkist summary in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Paleo Manifesto a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Paleo Manifesto is worth reading for its insights on ancestral health and lifestyle, offering valuable information on improving well-being.

    Who is the author of The Paleo Manifesto?

    The author of The Paleo Manifesto is John Durant.

    What to read after The Paleo Manifesto?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Paleo Manifesto, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Wild Diet by Abel James
    • Neurodharma by Rick Hanson
    • Happiness by Darrin M. McMahon
    • The Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig
    • Always Hungry? by Dr. David Ludwig
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck
    • Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo & Alexander Bennett
    • Keto Answers by Anthony Gustin
    • Million Dollar Habits by Brian Tracy
    • Co-Intelligence by Ethan Mollick