Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

John Carbone, Ph.D., RD, Chair

Committee Member

Stefan M. Pasiakos, Ph.D.


The Paleo diet has become popular for promoting good health, but there is little available research on its nutritional adequacy or its long-term effects. The present literature review explores the strengths and limitations of the research on health-related outcomes and nutritional adequacy derived from following a Paleo dietary pattern. An original pilot study is also presented which uses survey and diet journal data to qualitatively explore the nutritional adequacy of the Paleo diet and the Healthy U.S.-style Pattern (HUS) recommended within the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as followed through self-adherence in an American population. Analysis of week-long diet journals of six healthy, physically active, young adults (HUS, n = 4; Paleo, n = 2) showed similar dietary quality between the groups with sub-optimal intake of several micronutrients. Nutritional adequacy for the Paleo participants could be improved with increased vegetable and fruit intake, daily inclusion of calcium fortified nut-milks, and leaner protein sources