The Paleo diet has become hugely popular, thanks in part to its success on social media, but scientists are now beginning to turn against the fad and posit that it could be doing more harm than good.

Marlene Zuk, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Minnesota, will deliver a paper on her findings about the Paleo diet today at a dieticians conference in Australia, and, as she has done in the past, will state that the Paleo diet is not as great and healthy as a lot of people have been claiming. 

Zuk states that the diet "is based on the idea that human genetics have not changed or evolved over the past 10,000 years, since the time before the use of agriculture. Plenty of evidence exists that our genes have changed over the last few thousand years, and these changes mean we can eat foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors could not", including dairy products and grains. 

She also argues that no one knows enough about what early humans ate to be able to properly copy their diet, and that all the foods we eat today, from the meat to the vegetables, are totally different to what was available then. 

Those who follow the diet may be missing out on vital nutrients, and it is believed that could create long term health problems, in particular for adolescent girls who may be at risk of developing osteoporosis later in life as a result of not getting enough calcium. 

Jane Scott, a researcher at Curtin University, explains the weight loss that most people experience when they start the diet is more to do with what they're not eating than what they are: "when you cut out your carbohydrates, the cereals and things, you actually cut out a lot of junk food and things which have lots of sugar. Out go the cakes, biscuits, pastries and snack foods" which will inevitably lead to weight loss. 

Are you a Paleo nut, or rather do you think that Zuk is right in what she says?

Via Raw Story. Pic via Lord Jim/Flickr