Seriously. In Going Ape, the BBC's Claire Heald writes about how nine volunteers ate an ape-like diet for a couple weeks.

They set up home in a tented enclosure at Paignton Zoo, Devon, next to the ape house, in an experiment filmed for TV. The idea, says Jill Fullerton-Smith, who helped organise the trial, was that modern diets, often dominated by processed foods and saturated fats, cause costly health problems.

They ate what is described as "a three-day rotating menu of fruit, vegetables, nuts and honey" and you've probably already guessed the results. They were just fine. In fact, they were better than fine. Here's how it breaks down:

Overall, the cholesterol levels dropped 23%, an amount usually achieved only through anti-cholesterol drugs statins.
The group's average blood pressure fell from a level of 140/83 - almost hypertensive - to 122/76. Though it was not intended to be a weight loss diet, they dropped 4.4kg (9.7lbs), on average.
At the same time, they increased the soluble fibre which binds cholesterol in the gut, so that it is expelled, and increased the intake of plant sterols - which help to lower cholesterol.

And, some of the participants were so full from the abundant vegetables in their diet that they weren't able to finish their daily allotments. No matter, they reportedly had excellent energy levels and were in a good mood.

Food for thought.

See Also

Posted by jzawodn at January 14, 2007 08:19 AM

Reader Comments
# Joe Duck said:

Wow, these results are remarkable. Obviously a healthy diet here but I would not have expected weight and cholesterol drops of that size.

My "please pass the ... " diet has not been working well this holiday season, so I think it may be time to go Ape.

on January 14, 2007 09:58 AM
# Alex said:

Think you forgot the "t" at the "food for though" part ;-)

on January 14, 2007 02:44 PM
# R Walker said:

Typical this is just 5min down the road from me and we get to hear nothing about it until it hits the national news

Torbays local paper and advertising is a waste of time as usual.

on January 15, 2007 03:35 AM
# Rob Steele said:

But who wants to imitate a bunch of ape imitators?

on January 15, 2007 12:49 PM
# Rob Steele said:

I should have said "Who wants to ape a bunch of ape apers?"

on January 15, 2007 01:46 PM
# healthybpm said:

The ape diet must be akin to the stone age diet...a diet high on veggies and meat and zero on grain and potatos. Though it seems to help, we can never live the stone age life that was filled with movement and was never sedentary.

on January 17, 2007 03:08 AM
# James Hunaban said:

Go ape and drink green tea as well.

on May 2, 2007 12:37 PM
# Fast weight lose said:

Get active. If you have a tread mill try watching tv while speed walking or working up a sweat. Try doing 30 push ups in between commercial breaks, keep your body guessing and keep your body stressing!

on May 1, 2009 09:26 AM
# lose weight quick said:

Good post..Thousands and perhaps millions of people have achieved success with this plan. If you truly want to reach your goal, the best diet to lose weight quick is control your food simply and it's easy, which is another reason this plan should be your choice.

on May 16, 2009 01:55 AM
# Online Weight Loss said:

Of course their cholesterol dropped; a vegan diet is free of dietary cholesterol. You can only gain it by eating other animals.

on July 15, 2010 10:17 AM
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