Study participants Lyndall Parkinson (left) and Joan Chisholm (right) in the kitchen with Angela Genoni.
The paleolithic-diet (paleo-diet) attempts to mimic the food eaten by pre-agricultural humans.
It includes no grains, minimal dairy products, and is high in meat, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
40 women will be involved in the study, with half being assigned the paleo-diet and the others a diet based on the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
Changes in participant’s risk of heart disease and diabetes will be assessed by measuring their blood glucose and cholesterol levels at the beginning and end of the four-week period.
Lead researcher Angela Genoni from the School of Exercise and Health Sciences said previous studies had shown the paleo-diet can help people lose weight.
“This will be the first time outcomes from the paleo-diet will be directly compared with a traditional healthy diet,” she said.
“It has been hypothesised that the change in human diets brought about by agriculture occurred too rapidly for genetic adaptation to take place and that the consumption of western style foods may contribute to a range of common chronic diseases.”
ECU is currently recruiting women aged 18 to 70 who are not currently taking medication for the study.