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Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Ancestral Health, Media

Ancestral Health Lecture

Ancestral Health Lecture


Ancestral Health can be applied in many areas of our health.

During this lecture, I discuss how physicians can apply the principles of evolutionary medicine and ancestral health to improve the health of our patients. This lecture is about an hour in length with a short Q&A at the end. I would love to discuss my presentation with anyone in the comment section below.  The target audience of the lecture was a group of medical professionals, but should be understandable to the general public. If you are having trouble explaining why you eat “paleo” to your friends or family, then sit down and take a few minutes to watch this. You should be able to explain with a better understanding the principles of ancestral health.

Thank you for watching and I hope you enjoy the lecture.

Here are some of the notes from that presentation.


  • Describes a certain adaptation which at one time was well adaptive in a certain environment.
  • But this trait is “mismatched” to the environment in which the trait is currently present.
  • Example: Sweet taste. Evolutionarily the taste of sweet provided an advantage, because we came to associate this with high calories. This taste provided an advantage to us. Now this is a modern mismatch. This drive for sweet produces negatives health effects.

Four Key Modern Mismatches

  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Lack of Movement
  • Stress

Grains should be viewed as a Luxury item

  • Traditionally difficult to produce
  • Eaten in low quantities until recent modern technological advancement

Dietary Guidelines

  • Advent of the dietary guidelines correlates with obesity
  • Some studies show that as a population we are close to following the guidelines
  • The guidelines correspond to an increase in designed foods which match the macro-nutrient specifications
  • From 1970 to 2000 we have increase total calories on average by 250 with almost all of this being carbohydrates especially processed carbohydrate.

How Dr. Henriksen Eats:

  • Real food that is fresh and natural.  Foods like meat, vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds.
  • Foods which are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, rather than foods that have more calories but less nutrition.
  • I’m not lacking carbohydrates – I just get them from vegetables and fruits instead of bread, cereal or pasta.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Trends in intake of energy and macronutrients–United States, 1971-2000. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2004 Feb 6;53(4):80-2.
  • Hartwig, Melissa, Dallas. It Starts With Food. 2012
  • Kuipers, Remko, et al. “A Multidisciplinary reconstruction of Paleolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation.” Nutrition Research Reviews. 2012
  • Lindeburg, Stephan. Food and Western Disease. 2010