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The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living Paperback – August, 1989

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Eaton (a physician) and his co-authors contend that the greater part of our genetic make-up was established thousands of years ago in pre-agricultural hunting and gathering societies. Ill-suited for today's environment, our bodies are struggling to survive a disturbing array of diseases of civilization. Although their approach is novel, what the authors recommend is what most doctors advise for good health: a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, regular exercise, and avoidance of tobacco and excessive alcohol. They offer several conjectural chapters on the status and contributions of early women and the benefits to children of a natural upbringing. A thoughtful, if somewhat belabored, book. Anne Twitchell, EPA Headquarters Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (August 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060916354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060916350
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,330,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Paleolithic Prescription provides detailed advice on living well based on evidence from our evolutionary past.The authors,physicians and anthropologists from Emory University,have written an eminently readable work.They deserve great credit for their extensive research.
The book's main theme is that humans today are genetically little different from our hunting and gathering ancestors.The agricultural revolution some 10,000 years ago and the industrial revolution some 200 years ago radically changed our relationship with the Earth.The authors marshall evidence that much degenerative disease can be attributed to our essentially pre-agricultural bodies being unable to adapt to post-agricultural and post-industrial conditions.
Both the Zone books by Dr.Barry Sears and Protein Power by the Eades list The Paleolithic Prescription as a reference.The principal focus of the book is nutrition but the authors also contrast the relationship between the sexes that occurred when we forsook our evolutionary heritage.
The book is not based on conjecture.A handfull of hunting and gathering peoples still exist on our planet.Extensive anthropological observations as well as fossil evidence provide convincing evidence.
The authors do not deny the merits of modern medicene.They feel we can apply the lessons of past life ways and enjoy optimal health in the best of both worlds.I would like to ask the authors if the lowering of the infant mortality rate through the conquest of infectious disease [with its subsequent deterioration of the gene pool] is in the planet's best interests in the long run.
This is a profoundly important book.I rank it among the top 5 most influential books of my life. It is essential reading for anyone caring about preventing degenerative health problems:cancer,cardio-vascular,asthma,arthritis,etc.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Christopher M. Porro on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i've read a lot of crazy things both for and against the so called "cave man" diet. some would say its an unfounded fad diet from the 80's. on the other side you have cave man diet websites telling you beans and potatoes are toxic.

this book isn't either. i feel its a sound, well reasoned look at diet from a different perspective. the basic premise is to look at the foods man's body evolved on. what has man been eating for the last 50,000 years? how is this different from todays diet? how can this paleolithic diet be approximated with modern foods? what would the heath benefits be? how does the modern diet differ in salt content, fat content, carbohydrate content? what diseases are more prevalent with todays diet?

its looks at both the fossil record and modern hunter gather societies to determine the content of the paleolithic diet.

in addition to diet it covers (in less depth) exercise, and some lifestyle.

weather you take up the diet or not i feel its informative and very interesting.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The paleolithic diet recommendations in this book are a bit more conservative in that whole grain breads and pastas, legumes and some low fat dairy products are allowed. I believe alot of the other popular paleolithic diet books severely restrict if not eliminate these items along with most carbohydrates. In fact, the diet recommended in this book reminds me a great deal of the Mediterranean Diet. Someone interested in eating healthier versus someone wanting to lose weight will find it very helpful. Provides a good foundation from which to become familiar with the paleolithic diet without being too extreme.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By The Mad Doctor on March 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book introduced the paleolithic diet idea. The scholarship and originality are great. This idea is the basis of any kind of intelligent diet save two, the Medit. and Japanese. It is the best of them all. But for the more current and based on recent science you need to check out the Cordain book or Audette. I have researched diet for years and the paleo concept not only makes the best sense scientifically per evolution and biochemistry, but in practice as well. Hats off on the start of the best diet movement yet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dale Bach on March 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the most prophetic books of all time, as far as I'm concerned. It is the origin of the very popular (and best) diet of all time ---the Paleo Diet (if you don't believe me, wait and see!). It also beat out the recent Jared Diamond article that just came out in Newsweek with its chapter on "The Natural Child" ---radically reminding us that childhood sex play (along with extended breast-feeding; quick response to all baby's cries, etc) is healthy and natural to our species-typical development (Dr. Diamond's Newsweek article ---which also discussed child sexuality--is "How to Raise a Hunter-Gatherer Child" ----but this book beat it out by a whopping 20 years+ !). The book also spearheaded another cutting edge dynamic: Paleo-Exercise (just recently beginning to make its mark in New York and California, especially). Why is it so dead-on right? Because the book takes the obvious (but somehow still controversial) position that we're primate animals who would do well to eat, exercise, and rear children as did the human primate "hunter-gatherers" who lived happily and optimally for a couple hundred thousand years (before we fell into our modern "cul de sac" that is now hitting a brick wall). The wild animal of any species living in its natural habitat is always the healthiest ---we're about to discover (over and over) that the human primate animal is no exception to this zoological principle! This book truly got it right ---and it's prophesy will grow in stature as time flows onwards.
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