When I speak at cancer conferences, I’m often asked about the low carb Paleo diet, so here goes. The Paleo diet is based on what researchers imagine was the diet of our Paleolithic (Stone Age) hunter-gatherer ancestors, hence the name ‘Paleo’. The idea is that our bodies haven’t changed that much and as a result haven’t adapted well to modern processed foods, so the Paleo diet stays with the what are thought to be the Stone Age basics. These include lean meats, salmon, shellfish, eggs, nuts, and healthy fats. Also favored are all of our favorite non-starchy vegetables in abundance, plus starchy winter squashes and sweet potatoes in moderation. Like the squashes, fruits are also eaten sparingly because of their natural sugars. Since it’s believed that grains and dairy weren’t part of this ancient diet, all forms of them are excluded, and the highly processed foods that are made from them, think pasta and bread. Also excluded are starchy veggies like legumes (peas, beans, peanuts – sorry peanut butter lovers) and white potatoes. This makes the Paleo diet very low carb and appeals to those cancer survivors who want to avoid sugar in all its forms, plus, because of all the starchy foods it excludes, it can also help with weight loss. But despite these apparent upsides, the Paleo diet is not nutritionally balanced, nor is it recommended by the American Institute for Cancer Research. If you choose to eat Paleo, be sure to limit your intake of red meat, as this is known to be linked to increased cancer risk. Eat a rich variety of healthy phytonutrient-rich vegetables with whatever proteins you choose, and make sure to have some plant-sources of calcium to make up for the lack of dairy foods. Here are some recipe ideas that fit the Paleo way.