The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


Modern Western societies seem to suffer from a veritable epidemic of serious diseases, two of the most serious of which are cardiovascular disease and cancer. In contrast, hunter and gatherer groups have a very low incidence of such diseases. Despite the diversity of hunter and gather diets, they all share the same characteristic: the absence of a Western diet. This suggests that there is something uniquely inflammatory about a Western diet, which is high in both fats and carbohydrates. Departures from a Western diet appear to result in better health. Experimental studies have shown that heart disease can be reversed by adopting a very low-fat, high-carbohydrate, plant-based diet. The results for cancer are less clear. A low-fat, plant-based diet seems to offer promising results, but so does a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. Perhaps forcing the metabolism into burning either fatty acids alone or glucose alone is beneficial, so long as one does not mix fat and carbohydrates.