I'm wondering if there have been any studies that show the long term benefits or risk of excluding most forms of carbohydrates and grains from your diet. Also are there studies that show that eating processed foods in moderation are that detrimental to your health? This would help me understand long-term benefits and risks of this diet as compared to other diets.
I woulld start by reading the Perfect Health Diet. I would also read Good Calories Bad Calories by Taubes. The later book will help overcome a lot of the convential wisdom of today.
I think it's very unlikely that this could ever be done. Large population studies on Inuit or early Siouxan cultures could possibly have done it, but not anymore. And longevity would not be controlled for modern living.
To get what you're asking for you'd need 10 generations of paleos. 10,000 participants. Something like Framingham, the China Study or the National Weight Control Registry. Not to criticize PH Diet, but proving a long term benefit can't be done for something that's only existed for less than half a generation.
Edit: A comparison of national longevities might give very broad clues on the best diet.
Argentina has very high national meat consumption (probably high grass fed too) with pretty good longevity rank of 68th worldwide (though in other reports a very high rate of CV mortality). About 1.3 years behind the USA, and 10 years ahead of vegetarian India. This illustrates the problem - is everything controlled? - but it also demonstrates that the high meat diet doesn't confer centenarian-hood. Iceland might be a better example, except that the meat there probably skews highly to seafood over other meats.
And I haven't a clue for why Monaco has the highest longevity in the world. Maybe study them for the best diet.
Then write a book and get rich.
The best "study" I know of took place from about 2.6M years ago to about 10,000 years ago. Nature did the study based on trial and error and laws of biology.
I would beware of food introduced in the last 10,000, the long term risks both poorly understood and ignored. :)
Your own body hasn't got the time for wait for research proof. The underlying concept is so simple it is most likely correct. Accept it. Or not. If you wait it's too late. Only one person wins or looses.
I was reading an article on Dr. Eades website today that was written a while ago that explained how anthropological research of what man ate prior to the agricultural era is very strong.
I can tell you that the China Study, the Low Fat Hypothesis - 7 countries study, and many other food related research studies are riddled with problems pertaining to a lack of accuracy and a lack of appropriate interpretation of results.
Food studies are inherently difficult. However, there are many studies that have been done showing that diets high in carbohydrate cause tremendous blood sugar/insulin problems and lead to weight gain and other diseases related to inflammatory side effects. A variety of studies show that those who lose weight with lower carb regimes do better in terms of fat loss.
Also, an analysis of the actual nutrient composition of a typical Paleo diet shows that they are actually higher in nutritional value than a standard American diet despite the lack of grains.
The only reason that grains were increased was because of the faulty notion that decreasing fat in the diet was somehow good. The lipid hypothesis has been disproven. The other book that is good is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.
Robb Wolf's book also has some good science info. Also Nora Gedgaudes Primal Body Primal Mind is packed with research studies that related to all sorts of hormonal impacts of various diets.