What True 'Paleo' Dieters Should Be Eating Is Actually Disgusting

Source: Getty

If you're considering going paleo, you probably already know you have to sacrifice a lot — from the delicious processed carbs in pizza and bread to the sweet crunch of breakfast cereal. Here's one thing you probably didn't know you'd have to start crunching on instead: snails.

As it turns out, the real paleo dieters — our hunting and gathering ancestors — loved the gooey, slow-moving critters, and thanks to a recent study, we now know they started munching on them thousands of years before we initially thought. Ten-thousand years ago to be exact.

Paleolithic residents of modern-day Spain who inhabited caves in an eastern region called Cova de la Barriada some 30,000 years ago left a trail of snail shell pieces and the tools they may have used to roast them, according to new research published in the journal PLOS One last week.


Source: PLOS One

Our ancestors in the neighboring Mediterranean basin didn't nosh on the slimy invertebrates until 20,000 years later, making these remains the oldest known evidence of human snail meals in Europe.

Source: Getty

The real paleo diet has nothing to do with weight loss: Determining what our ancestors ate is key to discovering where and how they lived. One theory was that in Europe, the first humans to physically resemble us had far more diverse tastes than our Neanderthal cousins, which helped us beat them out. But recent evidence suggests Neanderthals were just as open to new foods — they may even have snacked on shellfish.


How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Erin Brodwin

Erin is a science and health writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Popular Science, Scientific American and Psychology Today.

MORE FROM

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

White House says it knows of potential Syrian chemical attack, warns Assad of "heavy price"

The Trump administration did not provide any evidence backing the threat.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.