Some research indicates that eating modern foods can result in depleted nutrition and increased toxicity in humans. Since the 1970s, scientists have promoted the idea that returning to the eating patterns of our Paleolithic ancestors could help avert many diet-related diseases that are epidemic today. The Primal diet builds on this assumption, offering guidance on what early people likely ate to survive and thrive. Mark Sisson unveiled his “Primal Blueprint” to provide a roadmap back to the ways of ancient hunter-gatherers. Get primed on Primal diet basics, how it compares to paleo, and if it’s right for you.


1. Primal Beginnings

Former athlete Mark Sisson published Primal Blueprint in 2009. He set forth rules based on evolutionary biology to help people understand how food and behavior choices impact genetic expression. He relied on extensive research to determine how people lived before the agricultural revolution, believing that following those primitive patterns can help people achieve optimal fitness today. Sisson’s “blueprint” includes these guidelines:

  • Eating plenty of animals, plants, and insects
  • Ample movement at a low-level aerobic pace
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Running fast occasionally
  • Getting sufficient sunlight and sleep
  • Avoiding poisonous things and trauma
  • Using the mind
Mark Sisson Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

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