More on the 10-Day, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Diet Study

A follow-up to my previous post: Improvement in a wide range of health indicators was documented in nine sedentary, non-obese people with no known health problems who ate a grain-free, dairy-free, hunter-gatherer-type diet for ten days. These people were supposedly healthy to begin with, but they still, on average, saw these large improvements in health:

  • Triglycerides decreased by 35%.
  • Fasting insulin dropped by 68%.
  • HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, decreased by 72%.
  • Measures of glucose metabolism improved dramatically.

Study researchers graphed baseline insulin resistance vs. the change in insulin resistance during the course of the study for each participant. Even the most “normal” of the healthy sedentary participants in the study showed improvement, but those who were the most insulin resistant or had the highest lipid levels improved the most when they switched to the hunter-gatherer-type diet. For this reason, the authors plan to study the effect of the diet in patients with type 2 diabetes in the future.

Though the study was small and there was a lack of a control group in the trial, the fact that everyone improved is still quite telling. The participants included males and females and people of different ancestral descents (African, European and Asian).

The usual diet the participants ate averaged 18% of calories from protein, 44% from carbohydrates, and 38% from fat. The beneficial hunter-gatherer-type diet they switched to contained 30% of calories from proteins, 32% from fat and 38% from carbohydrates. In other words, they switched to eating slightly less carbohydrate, less fat and considerably more protein (but especially non-grain, low-glycemic types of carbohydrates and different types of fat); this new diet prompted the body to want to shed fat. However, the investigators wanted to take weight loss out of the picture to know that the diet itself can improve cardiovascular risk factors. So, to do that, they had to increase the participants’ calorie intake by an average of 329 calories a day just to get them to maintain their weight.


Frassetto LA, Schloetter M, Mietus-Synder M, et al. “Metabolic and physiologic improvements from consuming a Paleolithic, hunter-gatherer type diet,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 11 February 2009;doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.4. – View PubMed abstract of this study

Melissa’s Comments:

Just wanted to fill you in on a few more specifics of the previous study. They add more evidence that eating against the grain is the key to promoting optimal health. Something I pointed out in my Going Against the Grain book but I’ll point out again: Those who have the most serious heart disease and diabetic risk factors are the most in need of going completely against the grain and eating a Paleolithic, or hunter-gatherer-type diet. Even healthy people benefit from eating that way, but those who have the longest way to go to improve their health, benefit the most.

More studies on this diet are planned, but you don’t have to wait until the studies are completed to start eating against the grain and seeing across-the-board dramatic improvements in your health. I outlined the basics of a therapeutic diet nine years ago when I designed the Anti-X Extra Healing Diet Plan for the Syndrome X book, but I designed a more healing diet (a modern version of the hunter-gatherer diet) when I created the Totally Against the Grain Diet in my Going Against the Grain book. If you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes (or even if you don’t), use this information as a springboard to take action. The evidence is becoming clearer and clearer: You can follow the diet I outline in Going Against the Grain and start turning around your health in just ten days!

© Copyright 2009 Melissa Diane Smith

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


See all Monsanto articles

Sign Up for the FREE Nutrition News & Notes e-newsletter

I want to be informed about local Tucson events
* Required Fields
Don't worry! I respect your privacy and will NOT share your personal information with anyone.

Most Recent Posts