when discussing paleo with vegan/vegetarian friends, they always retorted with the claim that aztecs/mayans thrived on grains yet were successful.
"The Aztecs, coming south from the deserts of New Mexico, had in the 14th century occupied sites in the valley of Mexico, an area rich in lakes, whose produce (fowl of many kinds, fish, frogs, water insects, algae) the newcomers adopted with enthusiasm. They flourished and established their dominion over a wide area...Sahagun tells us they feasted...on white tortillas, grains of maize, turkey eggs, turkeys, and all kinds of fruit. "
Also that Gladiators were vegan http://www.archaeology.org/0811/abstracts/gladiator.html
are these claims that cultures that thrived on grains were healthy, even true?