Humans adapted over a period of 2.3 million years to a diet high in quality and diversity. Genome-nutrition divergence describes the misalignment between modern global diets and the genome formed through evolution. A survey of hominin diets over time shows that humans have thrived on a broad range of foods. Earlier diets were highly diverse and nutrient dense, in contrast to modern food systems in which monotonous diets of staple cereals and ultraprocessed foods play a more prominent role. Applying the lens of genome-nutrition divergence to malnutrition reveals shared risk factors for undernutrition and overnutrition at nutrient, food, and environmental levels. Mechanisms for food system shifts, such as crop-neutral agricultural policy, agroecology, and social policy, are explored as a means to realign modern diets with the nutritional patterns to which humans may be better adapted to thrive.