Debunking the paleo diet | Christina Warinner | TEDxOU

TED Fellow Christina Warinner is an expert on ancient diets. So how much of the diet phad the “Paleo Diet” is based on an actual Paleolithic diet? The answer is not really any of it.

Dr. Christina Warinner has excavated around the world, from the Maya jungles of Belize to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, and she is pioneering the biomolecular investigation of archaeological dental calculus (tartar) to study long-term trends in human health and diet. She is a 2012 TED Fellow, and her work has been featured in Wired UK, the Observer,, Der Freitag, and Sveriges TV. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010, specializing in ancient DNA analysis and paleodietary reconstruction.

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19 thoughts on “Debunking the paleo diet | Christina Warinner | TEDxOU

  1. Embarrassingly poor presentation. She makes a range of false statements, then debunks her own false statements, and then concludes the presentation by recommending the exact foods the paleo diet recommends. Anyone who has read a book on the paleo diet from a leading author will shake their heads, and those who haven't done any in depth reading on the subject will lap this up. Anyone who is genuinely interested in the paleo diet read a book by loren cordain, robb wolf or mark sisson. Don't be led by a silly women who clearly hasn't spent any real time understanding the message being sent out by the world leading experts. she's debunking a diet she's recommending lol.

  2. woaw she misses the point here lol people grinding up seeds and grain is a form of processing food which means you haven't gone back in time far enough, the whole point is to eat nothing processed, just what our EARLY ancestors would have eaten before we were human, before we were homoerectus, so it's just meat veg fruit rainwater that's it, the quantities of which are up to you.

  3. this is just hilarious, people NEED to WAKE UP, watch documentary food inc. and do research on vegans how much healthier all of them are compared you meat eaters only.

  4. Awesome Video clip! Sorry for chiming in, I would appreciate your initial thoughts. Have you tried – elumpa paleo eating alchemist (just google it)? Ive heard some amazing things about it and my old buddy Taylor eradicated the belly fat problem with the easy Paleo recipes it gives you.

  5. The biggest problem with the paleo diet is that we haven't stopped evolving since the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago.  If you really want to invoke evolutionary history, don't go to the cavemen, go to the time before we industrialized our food supply.  Everything from bad then was healthy, both plant and animal foods.  Vegans and meat-based paleo dieters are both wrong to the extent they condemn those ancient staples that come off the small farm.  Both oats and wheat, AND butter, eggs, and beef are healthy.  Humans are the consummate omnivores, largely undetermined by instinct.  If this wasn't the case we wouldn't have spread all over the globe with a vast array of different traditional diet patterns.

  6. I try to follow a "paleodiet" for the last two years and never seen these pyramid or recommendations…

    I don't know where you have taken you're information but it's obviously wrong, probably made by some bunch of ignorants who don't care if they are saying healthy things or not, just want to sell books and make fast money because know it's cool.

    The funny thing it's that your three last recommendations are ones of the most important I'm following, and for me this is paleodiet.

    If you're a good scientist maybe you should start with a more scientist book, Loren Cordain would be a good start.

  7. I think she took the term paleo wayyyyy too seriously. No shit todays fruit and vegatables aren't EXACTLY the same as what our ancestors ate. The point is if you eat food in its most natural unproccessed nutrient dense form, you will reap the health benefits. #duh

  8. recent studies show that vegetarians live 9 years longer than meat eaters….. 9 miserable baconless years…

  9. Debunking this video as vegetarian propaganda.  What did cavemen eat in winter, when there were no plants, but plentiy of animals kindly leaving their tracks in the snow? Cavemen ate animals, medieval man ate animals, modern man eats animals, get over it.

  10. Having a TedTalk is a huge career boost, and a provocative title attracts a residual audience.
    Her purported "angle" or insight actually does little to debunk the real thought leaders in the paleo community. She's attacking paleo at it's most superficial level with the specifics most paleo experts already explain in their literature–that starches were eaten, but depended upon region rather than mono crops shipped globally; that meat was important, but hard to come by, and therefore not the bulk of the "meal"; that veggies were and are the foundation and should comprise the bulk of one's meal. That fat is precious, and good fat from healthy wild animals is key to absorbing the nutrients in all those veggies.
    I believe meat, with it's amino acids and essential fats, may have been a huge preoccupation for our ancestors, organizing the way tribes interacted with other animals, and a goal bred into our primal societies, but when it's attained easily and to excess as it can be these days, it's out of proportion with our evolutionary capability to process it.
    Meat has become more of a crop which has been progressively demobilized and 'planted' for control and easy access.
    The complexity of the environment is being leached from these animals–their fatty acid composition, mineral and vitamin profile, is becoming less beneficial. So we eat more and more of them to get the same benefits.
    Consider eating pricey grass-fed beef and buffalo and wild caught fish as well as wild game. Check out the book "Cows Save the Planet.

  11. Limiting one's self to only eating things edible to Primates is the only rule in NeanderThin. Without technological intervention, grains,beans,potatoes,ruminant milk and refined sugars are not edible to any species of Primate.

  12. Ok, so I've been looking through the comments and a lot of people are saying 'but I've been on the Paleo diet for months, years and I feel good…' or 'but we are omnivores, we can eat meat, what is she on about?'. I might be wrong but she's just saying that everyone claiming the Paleo diet is not how our ancestors ate, she's not saying 'don't eat any of the food in the Paleo diet'. That's what I got from this talk: she's just (in very simple terms) saying that all these people that write about the Paleo diet are lying because they're claiming that the diet is based on what our ancestors ate, not that the actual diet is wrong. Again, might be mistaken but that's how I saw it.

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