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Can Eating Like an Ape Change Your Health in 12 Days?

June 25, 2007 | 65,803 views

In an experiment filmed for TV, nine British volunteers set up camp for twelve days in a tented enclosure at Paignton Zoo in Devon, next to the ape house, and ate the diet our ape-like ancestors likely consumed.

The volunteers consumed up to five kilos of raw fruit and vegetables each day, in a diet regime devised by nutritionist.

The diet was based on research showing that such a diet could have health benefits for cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

The volunteers lived on a three-day rotating menu of fruit, vegetables, nuts and honey. In the second week, standard portions of cooked oily fish were added. Salt intake was cut to 1 gram a day (from a previous average of 12 grams), saturated fat consumption was cut to 5 to 13 percent of daily calories, and levels of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol in the gut, were increased significantly.

Over the twelve days, the volunteers lost weight and saw their blood pressure and cholesterol levels fall. The average volunteer lost almost 10 pounds, their cholesterol levels dropped 23 percent, and their average blood pressure fell from 140/83 (very nearly hypertensive) to 122/76.

BBC News January 11, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The "Evo Diet" volunteers ate 2,300 calories worth of raw fruits and veggies, water, and a bit of cooked oily fish. You can watch the video above to see how their stay went.

Not surprisingly, the group experienced good energy levels and mood, healthy weight loss, and their cholesterol levels dropped an amount that can
rival any statin drug. The omega-3 fats found in fish and krill oil will influence your HDL cholesterol levels far more safely and effectively than taking a pill will -- and for a small fraction of the cost, typically even less than the copayment to purchase the expensive medications.

The health improvements experienced by the British volunteers occurred most likely because switching from a diet based on processed foods to one based on whole foods like fruits and veggies is bound to have a beneficial effect. However, eating a vegetarian-type diet is not for everyone. While carb nutritional types will thrive on it, protein and mixed types require some high-quality meat in their daily diet to be healthy.

This is precisely what you would expect.

However, and I do mean a big HOWEVER, the major fine tuning on this approach is that not everyone is designed to thrive on the relatively high carbohydrate diet.  At least one third of the population would likely initially improve on this program because of the elimination of processed foods, but then their health would start to decline because they require a much higher level of protein and fat.

I would be one of those people as I am a protein nutritional type and do not at all do well on a vegetarian diet.

So the take-home message here is not to switch over to a solely plant-based diet, but rather to recognize that eating
foods from nature will vastly improve your health. Find out your nutritional type and tailor your diet to your specific needs, and you're in for an even bigger boost to your health and well-being.

Your body was designed to eat natural foods as they are found in nature, not artificial substances that are created in a lab. I would urge a return to the foods of your Paleolithic ancestors. Those are the foods that the human body adapted to over hundreds of thousands of years, long before fairly recent (in evolutionary terms) farming techniques loaded our diet with simple sugars and carbohydrates.

If you really want to be healthy, reduce or eliminate grains and sugars from your diet, and eat the foods you evolved to eat.

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