What happens when you put 9 people in a zoo and feed them meals fit for an ape? BBC producers were hoping for some moments of grumpiness and maybe a little regret over joining the experiment, but surprisingly, that's not what they got. Instead, the 9 volunteers -- after an initial adjustment to their new diet -- found themselves feeling energetic and happy.
The experiment was created to see what would happen to blood pressure and cholesterol levels if people eliminated processed foods and saturated fat from their diet. Served a diet full of raw fruits a nd vegetables and appropriate servings of oily fish, the diet was meant to mimic that of our closest animal relative, the ape. The fish was served to tweak the diet into more of a hunter-gatherer type menu -- hence the name the "Evo" (for evolution) diet. Each participant was served 2300 calories per day, but often, because there was so much bulk in the fruits and vegetables, they didn't finish their meals.
Everyone lost weight, though that wasn't the point of the experiment. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels plummeted. In fact, cholesterol levels dropped an amazing 23% -- something usually only achieved through medication. The participants left feeling great and with some valuable lessons in what good nutrition could do for them. What they didn't achieve was a riveting reality TV show -- I guess nutritious foods is good for you, but not for ratings!