ABSTRACT: Traditional populations with food habits similar to those of prehistoric humans may provide important clues to healthy foods for modern humans. Therefore, in a cross-sectional survey we studied some of the disease pattern of the Trobriand Islanders, Papua New Guinea in 1990. We found a striking absence of ischemic heart disease, stroke, hypertension, type-2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome. This may be related both to regular physical activity and an ‘ancestral-like’ food pattern largely based on starchy root vegetables, fruit, fish and coconut. The high carbohydrate intake will be discussed in connection with recent evidence from dietary intervention trials in Westerners. It will be proposed that food choice is more important than counting calories or macronutrients for long-term health.