6

votes

What's left for us to eat...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 25, 2012 at 9:49 PM

As I read through all these threads, I have started to wonder what is left that is healthy for us to eat??? It seems like by the time you take nightshades, fruits, veggies with oxalates, all dairy, all grains, high carb veggies - at what point are we really starting to limit our nutrient intake by limiting all these different types of foods?

I'm pretty sure 'cavemen' didn't look at a pepper and say 'oops, nightshade - can't eat that, it causes inflammation'. I think that they ate what they came across, hence the term 'Hunter Gatherer'.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Road kill isn't paleo. Cavemen don't have cars or roads.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:45 PM

I vaguely aim for at least 66% plant food by volume, but at least 66% animal foods by calories. I probably miss the mark a bit because I eat coconut milk and oil and avocados frequently for fat.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:17 PM

Easier on paleo than on a USDA pyramid/plate type diet that is. Much easier.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:16 PM

I've found it easier to get the RDA. I'm not logging now, but I was for a long time tracking everything in cronometer. So long as I ate meat or fish, eggs and greens everyday all the numbers were great. I'm pretty sure that I could live on those alone with no problems other than some minor boredom.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on June 26, 2012
at 03:29 AM

New Jim Gaffigan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YDTfEhChgw

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 26, 2012
at 02:15 AM

If your curious about your micro-nutrient intake, run it through a food diary program. I am on a pretty restrictive combination of SCD, paleo and fodmaps, and I still manage to get all my nutrients and totally enjoy my food.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 26, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Gaffigan's latest one, about working out at the gym, facing the window full of homeless people, made me spit out my drink- so true.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 26, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Funny enough, I exhausted my Netflix supply of Gaffigan today - just listening to his routines while I worked.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:03 AM

+1 for recognizing the joys of creativity in the kitchen and discovering new foods. There is so much fun to be had with this kind of attitude.

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:54 PM

This. If everyone came into Paleo with a perfectly healthy gut, one could easily deal with many of these foods. Unfortunately, unless someone is born and raised eating this way, and to an extent, if their parents were as well, it's very rare.

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Great answer! People are making this more complicated than it needs to be (autoimmune disease and interolance affected aside).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:17 PM

almost anything if you have a healthy gut.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:06 PM

I am sitting here waiting for my Spaghetti Squesh to cool so I can cook them tomorrow night. My kids are thrilled to try it. Made some Paleo-compliant sauce for it. Maybe, if they are nice to me, I will even make some steamed broccoli. Lots of stuff you can eat!!! You just have to get creative with your cooking and open up that spice rack. I made a sauce the other night with veggies and some organic salsa. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Yup, running around Africa or northern Europe with a spear is really quite beyond me. As is sitting on a savannah digging tubers. I could go for some clam digging though.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:25 PM

their way of living to farm. See Hadza, see San, see "why should we when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world". Yes, famine periodically struck. We know that humanity has gone through some bottlenecks where population shrank to near extinction levels. People then would have eaten anything. Sorghum starch granules have been found on cooking areas many millennia old. But "starvation food" really doesn't say much about what we eat to thrive. Modern humans have been known to boil and eat boots and eat bark under extreme duress. It only means that anything is better than starving.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:24 PM

"Paleo isn't about reenactment" - LOVE this!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:19 PM

That would have depended on situations. A lot of people looking at what past HGs would have eaten conclude that they lived with relative abundance. Overall population per area was low, people roamed in small groups, and the land had not been damaged with large cities sitting on the best real estate for foraging. Coasts would not have been filled with tourist beaches, but with animal, sea and plant life waiting for the picking. Modern HGs mainly live in areas that were marginal enough that modern farmers didn't want the land. Nonetheless, many of those HGs eat very well and refuse to give up

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Evolutionary theory behind paleo posts a flag that says, you MAY NOT tolerate this. But it certainly doesn't mean you DON'T tolerate this. Then you do the n=1 to find out what's what for the individual, based on others experience also as a guideline. I personally don't know a single person who has ever has problems with sweet potatoes. (other than the misguided few who don't find them the tastiest thing to ever grow underground). Some of us, because of metabolic syndrome can't eat them because we have to manage carb intake, but that's another matter.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Ditto sweet potato, in fact ditto 99% of the foods we eat, even animals bear no relation to their palaeolithic predecessors.

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:04 PM

I completely agree with your point. Early people were very knowledgeable which foods made them sick and which did not. However I think that due to the necessity of actually finding food in a hunter gatherer society, they were not as 'picky' as we are today as they did not have the wide variety of foods available to them.

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12 Answers

9
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:01 PM

Some of the restrictions are mostly used by people who have particular problems such as autoimmmune disorders with the nightshades.

Paleo isn't about reenactment, it's about finding what's optimal. Evolution of humans with only the last 10000 years spent with agriculture points the way towards what is likely optimal. As far as peppers go, only the few people who traveled out of Asia and down the Americas coastline ever would have encountered peppers - they're new world crops, only introduced to most of our bloodlines (unless you're part South American native) a few hundred years ago.

Dairy would have been introduced to some of us and genes that allowed digestion of lactose @ 5000 years ago. This mainly applies to those of us with European (especially northern European or Mideastern ancestors). Most Africans (except Masai) and Asians are lactose intolerant.

But again, all this points the way. Dairy is suspect because it is of recent introduction. Some of us handle it, some don't, and it may be somewhat subtle when it's a problem. Because most of it have never been dairy free for any length of time, we don't recognize the discomfort as abnormal until we do a trial and it goes away. This is a good area for self experimentation.

What's good to eat (this is a short and abbreviated list simply based on what I personally am eating while doing a Whole30, your list may be different): Salmon, shrimp, crab, cod, anchovies, sardines, tuna, beef, pork, chicken, lamb.... Eggs... lettuce, basil, broccoli, cauliflower, beet greens (mostly people no problem with oxalates), cucumbers, dandelion greens, bok choy, cilantro, tomatoes (see no autoimmune problems), eggplant, peppers, green beans, squash, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, taro, plantain.... Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, melons, all fruits if you don't have metabolic syndrome. Avocado, coconut, lard, palm oil, olive oil, olives.....

Sorry, fingers cramping, list too long, didn't write.

239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

(664)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:06 PM

I am sitting here waiting for my Spaghetti Squesh to cool so I can cook them tomorrow night. My kids are thrilled to try it. Made some Paleo-compliant sauce for it. Maybe, if they are nice to me, I will even make some steamed broccoli. Lots of stuff you can eat!!! You just have to get creative with your cooking and open up that spice rack. I made a sauce the other night with veggies and some organic salsa. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:05 PM

Ditto sweet potato, in fact ditto 99% of the foods we eat, even animals bear no relation to their palaeolithic predecessors.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Yup, running around Africa or northern Europe with a spear is really quite beyond me. As is sitting on a savannah digging tubers. I could go for some clam digging though.

Fab409ac4a30957e3ed508514f7bff02

(295)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:19 PM

Great answer! People are making this more complicated than it needs to be (autoimmune disease and interolance affected aside).

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Evolutionary theory behind paleo posts a flag that says, you MAY NOT tolerate this. But it certainly doesn't mean you DON'T tolerate this. Then you do the n=1 to find out what's what for the individual, based on others experience also as a guideline. I personally don't know a single person who has ever has problems with sweet potatoes. (other than the misguided few who don't find them the tastiest thing to ever grow underground). Some of us, because of metabolic syndrome can't eat them because we have to manage carb intake, but that's another matter.

E40b2fc9ddcf702bab9d61d28b8c8440

(505)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:24 PM

"Paleo isn't about reenactment" - LOVE this!

5
239bcbf6d0013fd74890f5c7305daf64

on June 25, 2012
at 11:12 PM

I have only been Paleo for six days, but I hit it with my full (considerable) girth. Although I am not a paleo expert, I have a fantasy of having my own cooking show so I am a major foodie. I have found hundreds of recipes online and many others that could be easily made paleo with a few substitutions. Go to a farmers market and find something you cannot identify. Buy it...and disect it. You may not like it, but give it a shot. Try meats in a new and exciting way. Ever taken hamburger and thrown it on top of a veggie salad? I just spent two hours in my kitchen conducting and orchestra of paleo-cooking to see what madness I can come up with. My wife has even started joining me for my mad scheming. You can have a ton of fun with Paleo cooking.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:03 AM

+1 for recognizing the joys of creativity in the kitchen and discovering new foods. There is so much fun to be had with this kind of attitude.

5
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on June 25, 2012
at 09:53 PM

Well, it leaves animals for a start. But if you think early humans didn't learn that some things were poisonous and that they merrily ate every plant they came across then I'd wager you're mistaken. And that's neglecting questions of availability. However, most of those things you're taking away are generally recognised to only be necessary in extreme cases, with negligible impact on health for the minority. One thing paleo does advocate however is to at least find out if one of these things is impacting your health. Doesn't seem foolish to me.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:19 PM

That would have depended on situations. A lot of people looking at what past HGs would have eaten conclude that they lived with relative abundance. Overall population per area was low, people roamed in small groups, and the land had not been damaged with large cities sitting on the best real estate for foraging. Coasts would not have been filled with tourist beaches, but with animal, sea and plant life waiting for the picking. Modern HGs mainly live in areas that were marginal enough that modern farmers didn't want the land. Nonetheless, many of those HGs eat very well and refuse to give up

46c9fbd45b82453f6a2dfe614a853314

(1876)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:04 PM

I completely agree with your point. Early people were very knowledgeable which foods made them sick and which did not. However I think that due to the necessity of actually finding food in a hunter gatherer society, they were not as 'picky' as we are today as they did not have the wide variety of foods available to them.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:25 PM

their way of living to farm. See Hadza, see San, see "why should we when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world". Yes, famine periodically struck. We know that humanity has gone through some bottlenecks where population shrank to near extinction levels. People then would have eaten anything. Sorghum starch granules have been found on cooking areas many millennia old. But "starvation food" really doesn't say much about what we eat to thrive. Modern humans have been known to boil and eat boots and eat bark under extreme duress. It only means that anything is better than starving.

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on June 26, 2012
at 02:45 AM

I have been paleo for about 15 months. I don't avoid nightshades or dairy (never had a problem with either), but I completely avoid all grains and corn and eat very little processed sugar.

It is somewhat limiting, but so what? It is kind of the point because most common American foods are very bad for you, so it only makes sense that to have a healthier diet you have to avoid most foods.

Most of my meals are based around meat, eggs, and vegetables. I don't worry too much about starchy vegetables as long as I have them in moderation and after working out. But there are a LOT of vegetables out there, and they can be prepared in all different ways, and are fun and interesting and satisfying.

In a nutshell, eat plants and animals. Lots of people talk about eating 2 pounds of meat every day or whatever, but I try to eat about 2x as many vegetables as meat by volume.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:45 PM

I vaguely aim for at least 66% plant food by volume, but at least 66% animal foods by calories. I probably miss the mark a bit because I eat coconut milk and oil and avocados frequently for fat.

2
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:30 AM

Jim Gaffigan voice Hot Pockets!! Lol, seriously, cook real food. If it comes out of your body undigested, either chew more, or avoid eating it. Bell peppers don't get digested by my guts, but, it's not for lack of trying. Tablespoons of coconut oil at a time aren't pretty in the aftermath for me, so I scale it down and use animal fat. Guts are a tricky business, especially if you're like me, and you've been unintentionally tearing them up with wheat, or, rather intentionally living of of beer for a long time. If you can't re-create it at home without a chemistry set, give that food a pass.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on June 26, 2012
at 01:10 AM

Gaffigan's latest one, about working out at the gym, facing the window full of homeless people, made me spit out my drink- so true.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 26, 2012
at 01:00 AM

Funny enough, I exhausted my Netflix supply of Gaffigan today - just listening to his routines while I worked.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on June 26, 2012
at 03:29 AM

New Jim Gaffigan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YDTfEhChgw

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:43 PM

There are no perfect foods, but that is okay because we are pretty robust omnivores. Most hunter-gatherer societies have come up with some complicated processing methods to render the anti-nutrients and toxins in certain foods less potent as well, so just because a food might be problematic raw, doesn't mean it can't be good for dinner.

Hunter-gatherers become very knowledgeable about their foodstuffs pretty quickly if only through trial and error, which is part of the benefit of humans being masters of oral traditions, safety and preparation methods can be shared from generation to generation.

All of the foods on your list people avoid are important to avoid if someone is unwell and trying to do a specific elimination or healing diet after a lifetime of eating "neolithic agents of disease", but if the digestive tract is intact, and there aren't other autoimmune issues they likely aren't a problem.

1
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on June 26, 2012
at 03:54 AM

I could really go for an In-N-Out double double protein and animal style right about now.

1
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 26, 2012
at 02:33 AM

Where I live I have an entire ocean with one of the highest diversities of species available to me right here in the immediate area. There are shellfish, bony fish, sharks, sea urchins, squids, squishy things (squirts, cucumbers), spiny lobster, snails, kelp, sea mammals. On land there are various small mammals, deer, bear, wild turkeys, wild pigs, band tail pigeons, quail, other birds. There are lots of fresh greens to be had in spring, things gone to seed in summer, cherries in September, acorns in fall. There are wild prunus fruits in fall, yucca, elderberries and further inland are agave in spring and early summer. In winter there are wild mushrooms. There are lots of aromatic herbs. There's nary a pepper, tomato, potato, quart of milk, grain or sweet fruit to be found. Yet the native peoples of this area had one of the highest standards of living for Native Americans.

1
1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

on June 26, 2012
at 02:31 AM

Paleo is MUCH more about 'reenactment' that about what isi 'optimal'.

What is 'optimal' anyway?!?! And before you answer that, are we talking about a 12hr a day 300lber sitting in an office chair where the longest walk of the day is from the car to the elevator or are we talking about the marathon runner? or the crossfit 5x a week/powerlifter/black belt/police officer?

Rest assured, 'cavemen' of the paleolithic time period consumed animals. And lots of them. They ate the same meals over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. How much time do you think was spent hunting down a cabbage??? vs hunting down a rat/rabbit/fox/deer/whatever 4 legged creature??? Im pretty sure the deer pays off 10,000-1 vs a cabbage.

That being said, what IS there for us to eat? Not a whole heck of a lot. 99% of meat sold in America is grain fed garbage that is as paleo as HFCS 'honey' or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Edible leafy vegetables are coated in pesticide and fungicide and god knows what else.

That pretty much leaves grass fed food and organic veggies, and don't forget road kill.

Road Kill. FTW

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 26, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Road kill isn't paleo. Cavemen don't have cars or roads.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 26, 2012
at 11:07 AM

just my opinion, but when you are starting out, that certainly does cross you mind!

Then if you've gotten to the point that you can not eat much of anything, its time to reevaluate and consider a 'healing' diet of some sort to change it, its certainly not something you want to live with long term for health reason as well as your general overall outlook.

0
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on June 26, 2012
at 03:21 AM

"When the hunt fails we eat plants".

at what point are we really starting to limit our nutrient intake by limiting all these different types of foods?

Never as long as you include animals in your diet.....

That said. These "can't eat this" and "can't eat that" are quite individual and primarily due to previous toxic load and damage. Fixing these may take the extra steps of elimination, but as its already been pointed out once healing has occurred you may experiment with adding certain things back in.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 25, 2012
at 11:07 PM

"But if you think early humans didn't learn that some things were poisonous and that they merrily ate every plant they came across then I'd wager you're mistaken." Where did you get that from? You infer so much from other people's responses that are just wild misinterpretations.

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