Stone-Age diet may aid diabetics

By Martin Hickman

A study found those who followed a Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer diet had a greater fall in incidences of carbohydrate-linked blood sugar rises than those who followed a modern-day Mediterranean diet (pictured). Photo / Thinkstock
A study found those who followed a Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer diet had a greater fall in incidences of carbohydrate-linked blood sugar rises than those who followed a modern-day Mediterranean diet (pictured). Photo / Thinkstock

People with diabetes could improve their condition by forgoing modern foods for a "Stone-Age" diet, a study suggests.

Scientists at Lund University in Sweden found a prehistoric choice of fruit, nuts, vegetables and lean meat better controlled poor blood sugar than recognised contemporary alternatives such as the Mediterranean diet.

Participants in the study suffered from raised blood sugar and most had symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

Fourteen copied the diet of Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers, who lived off the land tens of thousands of years ago.

Another group of 15 patients adopted the modern-day Mediterranean diet of whole-grain cereals, low-fat dairy products, fruit, vegetables and unsaturated fats.

After 12 weeks, the carbohydrate-linked blood sugar rises had fallen 26 per cent in the Stone Age diet group compared with 7 per cent for the others.

Dr Staffan Lindeberg, who led the study, said: "If you want to prevent, or treat, type 2 diabetes, it may be more efficient to avoid some modern foods than to count calories or carbohydrates."

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