Then and Now: The Evolution of Diet

by | Apr 29, 2021 | Healthy Lifestyle | 1 comment

This recipe was submitted by Coach Alisa Weaver. Teaching and coaching is her passion.

Inside Scoop: Within the last century our nutrition has dramatically changed. Today’s diet and the diet of our great-grandparents are not the same. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of diet and modern-day diet plans.

Over the last century, the diet has significantly changed, our eating habits became almost unrecognizable compared to our great-grandparents’ nutrition.

What is the evolution of diet? How have our eating habits changed throughout history?

Today, we are lucky to be surrounded by choice, there is a vast selection of foods, and there is no need to spend hours cooking for the whole family. But on the flip side, ready-made meals, fast food, and takeaways have become a significant part of our diet.

Fortunately, more and more people are begining to realize that the modern way isn’t always the better way.

We have become more focused on our health and appearance. More importantly, parents take time and effort to choose the best infant cereal and other high-quality products for their little ones. Eventually, we all try to figure out the best diet plan for us and our kids.

So, was our great-grandparents’ nutrition healthier? What has changed? Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of diet and see the most effective modern-day diet plans.

The Evolution Of Diet

Meat, Eggs And Dairy

You’ll be probably be surprised but the origins and evolution of the western diet began with the introduction of animal husbandry and agriculture about 10,000 years ago. However, we won’t dig that deep!

About 100 years ago, our recent ancestors ate much healthier kinds of animal products than we do now. Animals grew up outdoors on the grass, with a lot of human love too. If people lived in a rural area, they raised their own animals, or they could purchase meat and poultry from the local butcher who may have even known the animals personally. And a milkman delivered dairy products from a not so far away dairy.

Factory farmed animal products were just inconceivable at that time. Genetically modified feed, antibiotics, and growth hormones were never fed to animals.

But, luckily or unluckily, agriculture was quickly developing. Nowadays, billions of animals and fish are raised in U.S. factories.

Most of these animals never see daylight, living in tiny, dark, unsanitary conditions where various diseases spread quickly. They eat unnatural feed loaded with drugs and chemicals that directly affect people’s health who eat those animals.

Fruits And Vegetables

A century ago, our great-grandparents grew fruits and vegetables in their gardens when organic farming was the norm. Their plants and crops were full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Today, the soil quality is disrupted by the consistent use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, which deplete it of vital nutrients. Run-off from factories pollutes soil and water, making them a source of illness risks.

Luckily, some farmers hope to shift the criteria for success in farming from high harvest to higher nutrient content. They battle depleted soil while improving yields and product flavor. So, it’s vital to support organic farmers and grow fruits and vegetables in our own gardens.

Processed Foods

Back in the old days, meals were cornerstones of our culture in a much different way. There was not any junk food, even such a simple thing as soda was sold in a pharmacy or soda shop. People valued real, tasty, nutrient-dense food, made from scratch, and obviously, ingredients were of a high quality.

Unfortunately, the situation began to change in the 1960s when the idea of fast food and shortcuts became the norm. However, modern-day processed foods have nothing in common with the original intention.

About 90% of all processed foods in the USA include genetically modified components, flavors, artificial colors, and sweeteners. Besides, such products are stabilized with chemical preservatives and trans fats and packaged in plastic that is known to cause cancer and birth defects.

All these changes in diet and eating habits are the reason why so many people in the modern world suffer from the so-called “diseases of affluence” – obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To avoid many health issues, we should be able to maintain a healthy relationship with food our ancestors took for granted. And it’s totally possible to do it!

Firstly, you need to buy products from local organic farms with natural fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat, eggs, and dairy.

Secondly, do follow a well-thought, healthy diet plan. And last but not least, use modern technologies (e.g., diet plan app) that make dieting more effective and fun.


Today’s Most Effective & Healthiest Diet Plans

Paleo Diet

A paleo diet is an eating plan designed to resemble the nutrition of hunter-gatherer ancestors thousands of years ago.

Although our ancestors lived in different parts of the world, hence had different diets, yet scientists believe their nutrition consisted of whole, natural foods. Due to physically active lives and whole-food-based diet hunter-gatherers might have much lower rates of diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart issues.

On top of that, studies have shown that the paleo diet leads to weight loss and significant health improvements.

What to include in your paleo diet plan? Maybe these yummy paleo cookies?! 

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Spices
  • Herbs
  • Healthy fats and oils

What to avoid?

  • Processed food
  • Soft drinks
  • Sugar
  • Diary products
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Vegetable oils
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Margarine
  • Trans fats

Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet.

It means that it’s necessary to reduce carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat.

Due to this, the body becomes super effective at burning fat for energy. Lots of studies have shown that the keto diet is the best one if you want to lose weight and improve health.

This diet has benefits against Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, epilepsy, and cancer.

What to include in your keto diet plan?

  • Fatty fish
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Butter
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Healthy oils
  • Herbs and spices
  • Low carb vegetables

What to avoid?

  • Sugary products and meals
  • Sugar-free diet foods
  • Unhealthy fats
  • Fruits
  • Starches
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • Sauces
  • Root vegetables
  • Alcohol

What About An App For Diet Tracking?

The best app for diet and weight loss can boost your discipline, engagement, motivation, and accountability – things you need to keep diet and lose weight. Whether you need an add to log meals, count calories, or track your fitness sessions, there are plenty of apps for Android and iPhone devices.

Here is a list of the best apps based on their reliability, efficiency, and high user ratings:

  1. Ideal Weight
  2. MyFitnessPal
  3. Lose it!
  4. WW (Weight Watchers)
  5. Noom
  6. DailyBurn
  7. Calorie Counter PRO MyNetDiary
  8. Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker
  9. Fooducate Nutrition Tracker
  10. Lose Weight in 30 Days
  11. Happy Scale
  12. Calorie Counter by FatSecret
  13. YAZIO Food & Fasting Tracker
  14. Monitor Your Weight
  15. aktiBMI
  16. iTrackBites

The importance of eating a well-balanced diet is non-negotiable, and it seems that our great-grandparents were good at proper nutrition. We should learn the best from them!

Have you found the right diet plan for yourself? Share your ideas with us!


Alisa Weaver

Hey everyone, it’s Coach Alisa Weaver 🙂

Teaching and coaching is my passion and career choice. I find great satisfaction to see others achieve their goals, whether it is recovery from injury or surgery, strengthening the body for competition, or just becoming fit. 

I think that anyone can improve their fitness level no matter what their physical condition may be. By pushing yourself, discipline, not giving up together we can make your goals happen.


Naughty Nutrition

Naughty Nutrition

1 Comment

  1. Kelly Hubbard

    Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thank you in your effort!


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