We are Carnivores by Nature
– 2.5 Million Years of Facts –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

April 25, 2021 [printfriendly]


Humans have evolved for approximately 2.5 million years. For the first 2 million years or so, our ancestors primarily ate elephants and other very large animals – predominately the fatty tissues as well as muscle meat, organs, and collagen parts. In addition, they perfected ways to crack bones to savor the bone marrow and brain tissues.[1],[2] Then, as large mammals began to diminish around 300,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens turned to medium-sized animals. But all along, our human ancestors were predominately carnivores who relished fat.

And now this fact has been proven by a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel and at the University of Minho in Portugal. They published their cutting-edge research in March 2021 in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

The researchers stated, “It is hard to convince a devout vegetarian that his/her ancestors were not vegetarians, and people tend to confuse personal beliefs with scientific reality. Our study is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary.”

The investigators used genetics, metabolism, physiology, morphology and archaeology of tool development to settle the question: “Were Stone Age humans specialized carnivores or generalist omnivores?

The scientific team came to this conclusion: Stone Age humans were specialized carnivores until about 20,000 years ago. Then, some plants were brought into their diet.

The scientists based this statement on facts:

  • Human stomach acidity is extremely acidic, indicating a meat diet in which the acid not only would kill harmful bacteria that was decaying meat but also would break down animal protein.
  • Human fat is stored in large numbers of small fat cells like other carnivore predators, whereas omnivores have few but large fat cells. Humans can make use of these high fat reserves by rapidly turning them into fatty acids and ketones for energy when needed.
  • Areas of the human genome are closed off to enable a fat-rich diet, but the areas of the omnivore genome are open to enable a sugar-rich diet.
  • Archaeological evidence supports a meat-based diet.
  • Stable nitrogen isotopes in the bones and teeth of prehistoric humans point to consumption of meat with a high fat content.
  • Specialized tools for obtaining and processing vegetable foods only appeared more recently along the evolutionary continuum.

Here is a 10-minute radio interview where Andrew Pinsent speaks with Dr. Miki Ben-Dor, one of the study’s authors and a researcher at Tel Aviv University in Israel.


For a more in-depth discussion, watch and listen to Dr. Paul Saladino’s Podcast with Dr. Miki Ben-Dor in this informative, 2-hour interview.


Diet & Disease

Starting about 12,000 years ago, farming slowly ushered in what would become a dramatic change in the human diet and in human development. Over time, farming forced humans to eat more and more processed foods and less and less nutrient-dense, animal-based foods. These abrupt changes along with various agricultural and food processing chemicals have been major factors in the development of chronic diseases. And these changes are contrary to “Mother Nature” and go against our DNA Blueprint.

The Paleomedicina Clinic in Budapest Hungary has been treating severe chronic disease and cancer since 2011. The doctors in the clinic have treated over 5,000 patients. The clinic’s treatment primarily consists of a diet that is reminiscent of the diet through which our ancestors flourished during 2.5 million years of evolution – a diet that is animal-based.

An animal-based or carnivore diet emphasizes fat along with muscle meat, organs, and collagen parts. Generally, 70% or more of the volume of a plate of food should consist of animal products, and less than 30% could be some plants that are low in anti-nutrients (i.e., phytates, oxalates, lectins). In addition, there should be more animal fat measured in grams than animal protein. You can read how I eat an animal-based diet in my mini-eBook, Better Belly Blueprint.

The doctors at the Paleomedicina Clinic have published their patients’ case reports, which show compelling evidence for the healing qualities of our ancestral way of eating. A carnivore-based diet not only is good for the human body, but also is the ideal nourishment to heal the human body.

This way of eating is one of my ten Unconventional Cancer Protocols.


Highest Fat-to-Meat Content

If you are eating an animal-based diet, you are always looking for sources of high quality, pastured and grass-fed, grass-finished meats and organs. My local butcher has access to some of these cuts. But not always. Several farms that offer this high standard and will ship to a home address include:

In your search for the best, select the fattier choices. Here are cuts of meat ranging from the highest fat grams to the lowest per 100 grams of total weight. Unfortunately, the fat content in these cuts can vary from sample to sample. Also, the way you cook the meat will determine how much fat remains to be consumed. But this table lists suggestions of the meats to buy if a high-fat content is your goal. And that’s my goal!

If you prefer to add more fat to your plate of food, consider adding suet (kidney fat) to your preparation of the meat. Suet is high in saturated and monosaturated fats with some omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. For example, when I am making one of my many recipes using ground beef or ground lamb, I add a couple of tablespoons of suet into the hot saucepan. After it melts, I add my ground meat and do my thing.


My Takeaway

I did not have to be convinced that a nose-to-tail, animal-based diet is the healthy way of eating for humankind. But it was fascinating to read and learn the new research that confirms my understanding and conviction. Although modern diets have changed, our biology has not. We are still carnivores biologically.

Most readers know that I am in the throes of a cancer journey which has its ups and downs. One observation that stands out for me is that primal societies today rarely have chronic diseases or cancers. Our environment (including diet and all the external insults we put our body through) is the major culprit for these diseases in the civilized world. Just after my diagnosis in 2018, I wrote about the reasons I developed multiple myeloma. By incorporating a carnivore diet into my Protocols, I provide a nutritional means to regain my health.

For the most part, I am enjoying a quality of life. On the other hand, I am not in remission. I have not created a cure for cancer. But my excitement is that I am healing my body by establishing a robust immune system. And my animal-based diet with an emphasis on fat is a vital factor in my development of a healthy gut and an efficient and effective immune system.


[1] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S104061821500097X?via%3Dihub

[2] https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/advances/5/10/eaav9822.full.pdf



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1 Comment

  1. For some people their GI doesn’t deal well with the cooked/rendered fat. I’m one of them. However, I’ve found that I can eat raw fat quite happily. At first you may be put off by the texture, but I’ve grown to really like the mouth feel of the raw fat. Suet is a good option as are other larger fat trimmings, which are more plentiful. Just cut it into bite sized hunks for snacking.

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