Research Claims Paleolithic Man Ate Zone Diet

Kuipers et al, “Estimated macronutrient and fatty acid intakes from an East African Paleolithic diet” British Journal of Nutrition Online first printing Sep. 23rd, 2010.

The canonical “Zone” diet promoted by Barry Sears calls for 30% of calories from protein, 40% from carbohydrates, and 30% from fat. These Rx’d targets are subject to slight variation depending on individual needs, but according to Sears, the range of hormonally optimal ratios of protein/carbs run from 0.6 to 1.0, and higher levels of fat are acceptable for athletes and others whose energy expenditure is particularly high.

This paper, by researchers from the Netherlands, Britain, and America (the authors include Paleo-guru Loren Cordain) attempts to model a variety of hunter gatherer diets based on a database of available East African foodstuffs. The study argues that Paleolithic humans ate a diet that was composed of approximately 25-29% protein sources, 39-40% carbohydrates, and 30-39% fat.

Dudes, that’s the Zone.

If I were Barry Sears I would be jumping with joy today.


  1. Dear Matt:

    Thank you for the reference.


Let me know what you think...