The modern caveman

In the fastest city on earth, an ancient way of eating takes root

There is something pleasingly ironic about a Stone Age diet becoming popular in one of the most futuristic cities in the world. (This is not, in fact, such an unusual juxtaposition, as the popularity of raw fish in overcooked Tokyo will testify.) And yet the Paleo diet, as we report in today’s Arts & Life, has taken off in Dubai, with a steady stream of dieters picking their way through the same limited menu choices as our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate in the Paleolithic era.

Paleo diets are merely one of a smorgasbord of diet trends (don’t call them fads or their adherents, already low on blood sugar, will get angry), including, pleasingly enough giving the description, a Scandinavian diet that promotes fish and demotes potatoes. That may be the biggest problem with so many diet options – as with the number of products in the average supermarket, it is hard to know which to choose and rather tempting to sample them all.

Anything that forces us to watch exactly what we put into our mouths is good, of course. Although there is a second irony in following a diet that requires such careful choices: our ancestors, after all, ate whatever they could get their hands on.

Published: June 22, 2014 04:00 AM