diet” of berries, nuts, lean meat and fish could help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, a new study shows.
Scientists found that volunteers who ate the Stone Age fare for just three weeks had lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of clots.
They also lost an average of five pounds in weight.
Our early ancestors lived on a diet lacking in cereals, dairy products and refined sugar for centuries before farming developed and some scientists believe that the human body is still best suited to this kind of food.
Volunteers in the trial, run by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, were allowed to eat only foods from a prescribed list, which included fresh or frozen fruit, berries or vegetables, lean meat, unsalted fish, canned tomatoes, lemon or lime juice, spices and coffee or tea without milk or sugar, for three weeks.
All dairy products were banned as well as beans, salt, peanuts, pasta or rice, sausages, alcohol, sugar and fruit juice.
However, participants were allowed up to two potatoes a day.
They were also given some dried fruit, cured meats and a portion of fatty meat as a weekly treat.
After three weeks, the 14 volunteers who completed the study had lost an average of five pounds, the findings, published in the current issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, show.
Systolic blood pressure, the higher of the two readings taken, had fallen by an average of just under 5 per cent, while levels of a clotting agent in the blood, which can cause heart attacks and strokes, dropped by 72 per cent.
Dr Per Wandell, who led the study, said that the research proved that even short term use of the diet had “favorable effects” on the major risk factors for heart disease.
However, he warned that the lack of certain foodstuffs could have other impacts on overall health.
“One negative effect was the decreased intake of calcium (from dairy goods),” he said, “which could be a risk factor for osteoporosis later in life.”
Heart disease is one of the leading killers in Britain. Every year approximately 117,000 deaths in the UK are caused by heart disease, accounting for approximately one in five of all deaths in men and one in six deaths in women.
Previous studies have suggested that the “caveman” diet could offer protection against diabetes.
systolic blood pressure：心脏收缩压