SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Recently, CBS 5’s Dr. Kim Mulvihill decided to go back in time and eat like a caveman. Since then, she has reaped several health benefits.

It’s called the Ancestral Health or Paleo movement. The idea: that the human gene pool, our DNA, has changed little since the Stone Age.

“We’re basically hunter and gatherers living in the 21st century with all this technology and our genes don’t know what to make of it,” said Mark Sisson, author of the book “Primal Blueprint.”

CBS 5 HealthWatch: Caveman Diet Trend Videos
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Sample Paleo Diets:
Table Of Paleo Foods | Two Day Diet | Detailed Diet 1 | Diet 2

Some experts believe the ancient DNA that runs our bodies is designed to work best when fueled with real, unrefined, unprocessed food. While our modern diet may save us time, effort and money, they say it’s making us sick.

Dr. S. Boyd Eaton called them “the diseases of civilization” caused by the mismatch of our lifestyle and genes. “Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis,” Eaton said.

UCSF endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig said today’s modern diet that’s packed with processed foods actually drives up insulin levels. He said that too much insulin is the real culprit: making us hungry, fat, and fatigued.

Related Coverage:
Ancestral Health Symposium
Ancestry Foundation on Vimeo
The Paleo Diet

“Everybody says TV and video games make people sedentary. Garbage. Not true” said Lustig. “Here’s what makes people sedentary: insulin. Insulin makes people sedentary.”

So, in the name of science, under the guidance of UCSF researchers, Mulvihill ate like a caveman. It was a good fit.

In just 10 days, her total cholesterol had plummeted from 221 to 170. Her triglycerides went down, as did her blood pressure. Mulvihill was also no longer pre-diabetic. She felt full of energy.

But what did she eat? According to Sisson, when it comes to a Paleo or Primal diet, it is simple.

“You can eat all you want, whenever you want. From this big list of very tasty foods: Meat, fish, fowl, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, a little bit of fruit, some chocolate, maybe a little red wine,” Sisson said. “You can eat all you want, whenever you want as long as you don’t eat from this list that contains sugars, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, seed oils, and you know, grains.”

Here is a sample menu from one day that Dr. Mulvihill followed.

Orange Juice and coffee
Fresh fruit and dried plums
Poached eggs or pork tenderloin

Carrot Juice
Big salad with greens, sliced tomatoes, almond slivers, avocado, cucumber slices, topped with a chicken breast and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Tomato juice
Spinach Salad with mandarin orange slices
Sautéed vegetables
Filet Mignon
Couple of dates and fresh fruit

Mulvihill said it’s okay to cheat sometimes. She enjoyed cupcakes, even a bun with her hamburger. Bottom line: the less you cheat the more weight you’ll lose. But Mulvihill said she is good 80 to 90 percent of the time.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (22)
  1. Tom says:

    Thank you for broadcasting this. People need to not only hear and understand that they need to eat healthier, but they also need to follow through with actually eating healthier. my girlfriend and I have started a diet that is much like the “Ancestral Health” idea. Lots of veggies and as many as possible raw veggies. Yes we eat meat, but only one every month or two. Dairy products are out of the question. Illuminating all dairy and eating lots of fruit that is high in vitamin C has also illuminated the need for expensive and harmful drugs like Advair and ProAir. Changing our diet has left us feeling much better and we now have this extra $300/month. Oh, this has also resulted in less doctor visits and we feel awake all day instead of being tired after eating. In addition to this we have been staying away from plastic as much as possible. Water tastes so much better when is has not been spoiled by plastic. Maybe it’s the absence of BPA? Either way, we are not spending our money on man made/processed foods that fill the pockets of the 1% and we are relearning how to do things that our grandparents used to do…like cooking for ourselves.

    Salsa: Jalapenos (or bell peppers), white onions, tomatoes, garlic, 1 tbsp salt (for a large salad bowl size), fresh squeezed lemon or lime, finely chopped cilantro. all diced (yes even the salt lol)

    Guacamole: 2 avocados, 1-2 serrano or jalapeno, 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro, 1 tbsp lemon or lime, black pepper and leave the diced tomato out until you are ready to eat.

    1. Jerzy says:


  2. JB says:

    We’re living longer than our ancestors ever did. I’m 78 years old, my blood pressure is 115/72, my cholesterol and triglycerides are in check and I’m not fat. We’re all gonna live till we die, so enjoy it while you can.

  3. Ian Lucas says:

    Thank you for writing about this. I know of many, many people (including myself) who have literally turned their lives around eating along these lines. In my own case, I did it as a deployed serviceman, so it can be done anywhere. It turns many folks into outright foodies, too!

  4. Rochelle Paleo says:

    Thanks for doing this report and for showing such positive results. It’s working for me, I’m so glad that it’s working for Dr. Mulvihill too.

  5. Howard Hughes says:

    The paleo diet? If you believe in evolution then you believe in the paleo diet . if you believe in creation then the paleo diet goes out the window! you cant believe in Both

    1. MamaGrok says:

      Totally false, HH. Evolution or natural law, natural selection or design, or BOTH … it’s all the same. I believe in eating the way God made me (and all my ancestors) to eat – history & biology show the path. No false dichotomies here.

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