Paleo vs. Modern Diets: Types of Foods
Early on, before fire was controlled, only food which could be eaten raw was consumed.
This ruled out grains, legumes, and some tubers such as potatoes. Even when early people started to use fire to cook food, they were mainly limited to roasting or toasting it. Besides meat, a few nuts or grains roasted by the fire were pretty much all they ate. Additionally, before animals were domesticated (around 5,000 to 6,000 years ago) milk and dairy products were not consumed.
Obviously, any refined sugars other than occasional honey, or any processed foods, were totally out.
Paleo vs. Modern Diets: Protein
What exactly was eaten by early people clearly varied according to geography, but most of the diets are thought to be at least half animal foods (including insects), and many up to 70 percent food of animal origin. Gathering enough plant food to support highly active people simply wouldn’t have been feasible in most places.
The simple truth is there’s no easy way to compare how we eat now and how people in the Paleolithic period ate. Not only were the same foods not readily available, but their lifestyle, life span, and methods of cooking were markedly different leaving a “hole” of sorts in trying to come up with similarities in such a different time and space for humans.