Scientists taking a careful look at the oldest humans’ fecal samples have found evidence that the Neanderthal diet contained a “significant” amount of vegetation.
The findings, published this week in the journal PLOS One, challenge the long-held idea that Neanderthals ate primarily meat and ignored plant foods.
In this study, researchers looked at fecal biomarkers of plant intake such as plant stanols and sterols. They found that although our ancestors were primarily meat eaters, there was definitely some roughage in their diet too.
Previous studies have examined teeth remnants to determine the “hardness” (i.e., fibrous) content of prehistoric diets.
So the next time a paleo-pushing diet fanatic tells you to swear off certain plant foods – tell them, poop samples prove that cavemen love fiber too!