Are you familiar with the Paleo diet? It’s a relatively new phenomenon that embraces the presumed diet of the Paleolithic era which lasted over 2.5 million years and ended about 10,000 years ago as humanity switched from hunter-gatherer foods to agriculture. The foods consumed by people on Paleo diet are mostly grass-fed and pasture raised meats, fish, wild vegetables, wild fruit, roots, and nuts. The big non-nos are grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and any processed oils.
You may wonder if such diets are able to provide the full nutritional needs of modern humans. Arguments on this matter abound. But there is certainly some merit to diets that call for minimal or no processed foods. On the other hand, humanity has had over 10,000 years of great experience advancing itself into an agrarian society, increasing lifespans by 300% and learning to enjoy baguettes, cheese, and fine wine. All of these were not available to the caveman.
What’s interesting to note is that once a certain type of diet becomes trendy, food companies look to innovate around it. So even though cookies are not something that comes to mind when you think of early homo sapiens, one small manufacturer has brought forth the Caveman Cookie.
From the website:
Caveman Cookies are a Paleolithic take on the traditional oatmeal-raisin cookie. Sweet, but satisfying with a high protein content, these cookies are for cavemen in need of a quick pick-me-up… before hunting tigers.
OK – nice pitch. But what’s really inside?
What you need to know:
Caveman comes in three flavors: Original, Tropical, and Alpine. although their website does not include nutrition information, we asked them to send us the data, expecting a gobbledygook of processed ingredients. We were pleasantly surprised. Here are the ingredients for the 3 different flavors:
Original: honey, almond meal, walnuts, raisins, ginger, nutmeg & cinnamon
Tropical: Almond meal, honey, coconut, macadamia nuts, ginger
Alpine: honey, hazelnut meal, almond meal, toasted carob
This is about as unprocessed as you can get, unless the almonds and hazelnuts would be left whole. Also, did cavemen toast carob? But in all seriousness,
Nutritionally, these are cookies. As such, they are obviously high in sugar (about 1.5 tsp per cookie) with 50 calories per cookie. We don’t think cavemen would have eaten this every single day, and you shouldn’t either.
But compared to many other cookies ou there, Caveman does offer a simple easy to understand value proposition and a reassuringly simple to understand ingredient list.
Bottom line: Give them a try.