A major part of the revival of intense interest in the ancestral diet has been generated by a “Return to Your Roots” movement in Native American populations.
Prior to 1936, there were no known cases of diabetes mellitus in American Indians. Today, one out of every five Native Americans has diabetes, compared to one out of every 20 in the total non-Indian adult population in this country.
Experts believe that Native Americans have developed diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, kidney disease, alcoholism and other chronic medical disorders at high rates because of what they eat. Beginning in the 1930s, government commodity programs and other factors led to very poor eating habits by Native Americans. Bad diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, quickly followed, almost like an epidemic shadow.
Experts also believe that these diseases are not inevitable in Native Americans, if only they could go back to their ancestral diet.
This would mean eating leaner game meats, green vegetables and nuts instead of sugary breakfasts, convenience food products, fast foods, soft drinks and alcohol.