12

votes

Are we really not adapted to eat neolithic foods?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 15, 2012 at 3:56 PM

It is often heard on these boards that shortly after switching to a grain free paleo diet, one can no longer digest grains without a definite reaction or discomfort. To which the response is that you're gut microbiota have changed for the better. But why is it necessarily for the better? The premise of the paleo-diet is that we eat the foods we've evolved to eat, and if we can adapt not to eat something in a matter of weeks to months, why cannot we adapt to eat something over a period of hundreds or thousands of years (grains, legumes, dairy, etc).

I am not trolling so please don't close this. I don't currently eat any grains or legumes (eat a little dairy) in my diet but am genuinely curious about this.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 17, 2012
at 02:10 AM

I figured youwould knowi wasn't including people with legit problems like actual celiac disease, nut allergies, etc. I don't want people getting sick! I'm referring to otherwise healthy, normal folk who espouse other healthy people should limit their food choices thinking its a healthy thing to do. Especially if limiting the food choice ends up making that person even less able to deal with the food.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:37 PM

So then Matt, what does one do when they are still gluten intolerant after allowing for gut healing to occur? Simply put, (again) one must accept the premise that everyone is not adapted to tolerate all foods. Ben made it clear that all humans should be able to tolerate the same things. I am stating this is a false assumption.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Your right....the bottle of Jack is looking better and better. Heck I know plenty of alcoholics that didn't die of liver cirrhosis either. May as well have at it.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:44 PM

We're all going to die someday, fretting over gluten causing a disease 50 years from now... I'll pass on that.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@Jason, we don't know all the reasons for gluten-sensitivity, nor is there only one reason for it. I think Ben's point is that gluten sensitivity may well be a symptom of a overarching health problem. That's my opinion as well - a lot of gluten sensitivity is simply leaky gut; heal the gut, lose gluten sensitivity.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@Jason, we don't all the reasons for gluten-sensitivity, nor is there only one reason for it. I think Ben's point is that gluten sensitivity may well be a symptom of a overarching health problem. That's my opinion as well - a lot of gluten sensitivity is simply leaky gut; heal the gut, lose gluten sensitivity.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Maybe if you only consider acute response dysfunctions. Seems to me there are implications far beyond the immediate digestive effect. Just because you can digest a food does not make it fit for consumption. I can "digest" a bottle of Jack and a handfull of jelly beans if I want.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:25 PM

@Ben....Not to mention that if I recall you ascribe to WAPF traditional preparation methods. I think that would be an important matter to make people aware of (unless traditional preparation is also now a maladaption that we need to fix in your opinion). Actually I can handle grains just fine, but am of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence they are not an optimal food source and are a likely suspect in a variety of chronic health issues. The word "chronic" being of prime importance since symptoms do not present themselves till the process is well under way.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:42 PM

@ ben61820: But you then make the assumption that all humans are adapted to thrive on the same foods. Scientific research has proven this to be false. Using the example of Celiac/gluten sensitivity is a prime example. Many people can tolerate grains, but people that have this problem are never going to be able to handle grains. This is genetics in action, not something you will be able to change. My point is simply, we all as humans have adapted/evolved to thrive on different diets. Food is truly not a one size fits all thing.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:23 PM

@ thhg: Ideally yes, but of course that's not possible for many. This is why there is so much variance in Paleo. Many people dial in the specifics of their diet through trial and error to arrive at the optimal diet for their body. This ends up being about as close to ancestral as anyone can hope for. Also remember that many people today are not of any one ancestral heritage, but a blend of many several. People have not lived in isolated communities where the influx of new genes was rare for quite some time now.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:59 PM

@jason, only removing the cause of the irritation is not addressing the core issue of why that food, again that others can eat with no problems, is hurting you. Of course you'd initially omit that food but my point is to recover oneself to the point that one can again bring in the food so that you can then be as tolerant and able as the rest of the globe. The problem lies in the person, the problem does not lie in the food.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:54 PM

@ foreveryoung: Exactly!

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Besides which MSG and HFCS are not part of anyone's ancestry. Wheat noodles like udon and ramen would have at least Neolithic origins in Korea/China.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:45 PM

And @Jason, should everyone then eat according to their ancestral pattern? If so how far back do you take it? Past one generation few people in the US have a unique geographic ancestry.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:38 PM

@Harry my point is that they've done rather well long term, not just subsisted short term. If you held all the other factors constant - sanitation, medical care, level of activity, caloric intake, etc. - MAYBE dropping the MSG, udon and HFCS in favor of beef and bacon would give them an additional 5 years from where they are now. But clearly a paleo diet did not get them to where they start.

6473dcb4b0e9b839615d650c168d2747

(638)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:30 AM

"Since there is no sure way to determine if you are truly adapted to a Neolithic diet, the safest course is to remain Paleo." THIS!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 03:37 AM

that's very unpaleo

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 03:34 AM

@ thhq - yes they would, if they followed paleo suitable for their migration patterns/ancestry, what leads you to believe they would obtain no benefit from reducing wheat and processed carbs?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:50 AM

I really like this answer, btw.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I get what you're saying and thank you for clearing the difference up. I actually realized it after I wrote the question, but I've edited it now. So it could be said we've evolved on a certain diet, but can adapt to a wide array of food sources if push comes to shove. Our ability to adapt to these is what's allowed us to persist and evolve as a species over many years. Adaptation is short-term, evolution is occurring momentarily, but only measurable on a long-term basis. Correct?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:44 AM

@ jason- yes I realized that mix-up shortly after I wrote the question. Thanks for clearly delineating the difference in your answer though. Much appreciated.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Epigenetics at work here. The human genome is fixed, but regional expression is correlated to regional stimuli based on input. That the Japanese are more tolerant is anecdotal in this case.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:19 AM

You are confusing adaptation with evolution. Adapting to any given food source is what makes us the top food chain omnivore. Evolution is how we have remained such. I explained the mechanics of evolution versus adaptation below. Realize that just because we can adapt to a food source does not make it optimal or desirable, just tolerable.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:46 AM

The Japanese invented both MSG and HFS, eat lots of rice and wheat and relatively little red meat, and have some of the highest longevities. Would they live longer if they ate paleo? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it is clear that paleo is not the only game in town for health.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:41 AM

If you can digest it, it's food. The point of paleo dieting is that some foods are better than others for a variety of reasons.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:17 AM

If your system freaks when grains are there, and everthing else is in balance then clearly the issue is the grain! As stated, your response would indicate that some physioliogical problem exists. Those problems (perceived or real) should always be treated by the least invasive. Removing the cause of the irritation is the most logical answer.

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:43 AM

Well said. Something I have been thinking about for a while.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:32 AM

Good topic. I've been saying that true health to me is the ability to thrive on any item that other human beings have been able to thrive on. I don't see how limiting one's ability to deal with certain foods is in any way a wise or beneficial action. Rather the opposite, while paleo items may be some of the best, one should hone the ability to take it all without whining.

6ff541f607a51e47830eacb39e1ad8e4

(140)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:04 AM

It is more than a blood sugar control issue. It doesn't happen as much eating potatoes, potato salad or even drinking a soft drink. I may feel like wanting an after lunch cup of coffee if I have non wheat carbs but not as debilitating as eating wheat where I can be too tired to get a cup of coffee.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I wasn''t a vegan for more than 2 years, probably a bit less but I found I had no problem adding back meat and immediately felt better, within a few hours.

E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Personally I found the whole -you can no longer digest meat- thing after being veg to be untrue. I was meat free for 12 years and when I fist ate it again I was convinced I would be ill since, according to what I read, my body would no longer have the enzymes to digest it. Instead I felt amazing and super energized with not even a hint of digestive distress...so who knows..

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Same with me! Even rice.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, I can still eat pizza or drink beer when the mood strikes without "noticeable" intestinal distress. Like you pointed out though, that is only one point to the grain story. As to your questions foreveryoung....I'd say each of those points are quite individual AND that traditional preparation makes a huge difference. The last point is risk/reward....there is little to no risk to excluding grains while the reward could literally change your life.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Alec - I know exactly what you are talking about. Sadly. I am even worse - it happens to me after ANY GRAINS.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:37 PM

That just sounds like poor blood sugar control more than anything else.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:27 PM

I am curious about this too. I am really craving some oats right now. High carb paleo with lots of tubers is starting to get boring and repetitive.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I'm also not 100 percent convinced that briefly removing something and experiencing discomfort upon reintroduction means automatically that the food must be bad for you. I just don't like feeling terrible so I don't want to see if the terrible feeling with reintroduction of these foods is only temporary.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:10 PM

I'm mostly joking. I never got much joy from Cheerios to begin with. I think there are many people who don't experience any pain at all from eating grains. And I don't have the credentials to throw a boogeyman "but you willllll in the long run" prediction. But it seems like the majority of people feel much better without 'em. At the risk of sounding relativistic, whatever works for you.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Thanks Diane. Will do. I can eat grains on occasion with no ill effects either, but choose not to for the reason you mentioned- better foods to eat. But are the problems with grains then really only when they start to largely displace other nutrient dense items? Like, is there a certain threshold beyond which further consumption of grains is detrimental, but under and above zero is beneficial?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:05 PM

yeah but those are highly processed grains, not whole food grains. I haven't eaten a bowl of cheerios in over a decade, but, I have eaten oatmeal and sprouted grain bread throughout a couple years of high school with no ill effects. These are grains, and in all honesty, the benefits I have experienced from omitting these food and switching to paleo diet have been maybe a 5% improvement, at best, but I cannot attribute it solely to removing these items, because I've also continued to improve in athletic performance.

724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

(325)

on August 15, 2012
at 03:58 PM

this is a really good question, thank you for asking it :)

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10 Answers

best answer

7
Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

on August 15, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Quitting grains and then having them cause problems upon reintroduction is akin to someone quitting smoking then getting ill if they return to the habit. Smokers build a tolerance to the nicotine, just as some have a tolerance for grains. So really you are not evolving, just adapting.

As for the question about evolving to eat Neolithic food, many people may have, but it is dependent on many factors. Our genes evolve by survival of the fittest, as in only offspring that have adapted to a certain environment or food source will live into reproductive age and pass their favorable genes to the next generation. The problems with Neolithic foods such as grains is that the disease processes that can occur from their consumption do not appear until after adulthood and the less favorable genes have been passed on. So, it is quite possible to have populations that have become well adapted to this diet, but it cannot be ascertained until those individuals are well into adulthood. Since there is no sure way to determine if you are truly adapted to a Neolithic diet, the safest course is to remain Paleo.

Just my two cents.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:50 AM

I really like this answer, btw.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:49 AM

I get what you're saying and thank you for clearing the difference up. I actually realized it after I wrote the question, but I've edited it now. So it could be said we've evolved on a certain diet, but can adapt to a wide array of food sources if push comes to shove. Our ability to adapt to these is what's allowed us to persist and evolve as a species over many years. Adaptation is short-term, evolution is occurring momentarily, but only measurable on a long-term basis. Correct?

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:54 PM

@ foreveryoung: Exactly!

6473dcb4b0e9b839615d650c168d2747

(638)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:30 AM

"Since there is no sure way to determine if you are truly adapted to a Neolithic diet, the safest course is to remain Paleo." THIS!

6
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:16 PM

Mat Lelonde has pointed out something along these lines before, paraphasing: just because we haven't evolved to consume a food, that does not mean we are incapable of digesting it.

The overwhelming majority of folks can and do consume neolithic foods without issue. Dysfunction should not be considered normal, too often in paleo circles dysfunction is characterized as the norm (e.g. gluten intolerance/celiac).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:44 PM

We're all going to die someday, fretting over gluten causing a disease 50 years from now... I'll pass on that.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Your right....the bottle of Jack is looking better and better. Heck I know plenty of alcoholics that didn't die of liver cirrhosis either. May as well have at it.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Maybe if you only consider acute response dysfunctions. Seems to me there are implications far beyond the immediate digestive effect. Just because you can digest a food does not make it fit for consumption. I can "digest" a bottle of Jack and a handfull of jelly beans if I want.

5
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:03 PM

I know people here don't like Loren Cordain, but you should read some of his papers on his website about grains. It's not all about gut flora.

Personally I can still eat grains without discomfort. But I rarely do since there are so many better things to eat.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, I can still eat pizza or drink beer when the mood strikes without "noticeable" intestinal distress. Like you pointed out though, that is only one point to the grain story. As to your questions foreveryoung....I'd say each of those points are quite individual AND that traditional preparation makes a huge difference. The last point is risk/reward....there is little to no risk to excluding grains while the reward could literally change your life.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Thanks Diane. Will do. I can eat grains on occasion with no ill effects either, but choose not to for the reason you mentioned- better foods to eat. But are the problems with grains then really only when they start to largely displace other nutrient dense items? Like, is there a certain threshold beyond which further consumption of grains is detrimental, but under and above zero is beneficial?

4
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Losing one's ability to eat Neolithic foods is not a good thing.

We should strive to be able to handle all foods that other humans can handle.

Limiting oneself is unwise.

If one avoids wheat, or all grains, because they feel they can not handle them well the true answer is to deal with the route issue: why does your system freak when grains are there? Simply eliminating the grains is only a bandaid answer.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 03:37 AM

that's very unpaleo

Ba09704971e33481f5716c4790648966

(1794)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:43 AM

Well said. Something I have been thinking about for a while.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:59 PM

@jason, only removing the cause of the irritation is not addressing the core issue of why that food, again that others can eat with no problems, is hurting you. Of course you'd initially omit that food but my point is to recover oneself to the point that one can again bring in the food so that you can then be as tolerant and able as the rest of the globe. The problem lies in the person, the problem does not lie in the food.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 17, 2012
at 02:10 AM

I figured youwould knowi wasn't including people with legit problems like actual celiac disease, nut allergies, etc. I don't want people getting sick! I'm referring to otherwise healthy, normal folk who espouse other healthy people should limit their food choices thinking its a healthy thing to do. Especially if limiting the food choice ends up making that person even less able to deal with the food.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:37 PM

So then Matt, what does one do when they are still gluten intolerant after allowing for gut healing to occur? Simply put, (again) one must accept the premise that everyone is not adapted to tolerate all foods. Ben made it clear that all humans should be able to tolerate the same things. I am stating this is a false assumption.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@Jason, we don't all the reasons for gluten-sensitivity, nor is there only one reason for it. I think Ben's point is that gluten sensitivity may well be a symptom of a overarching health problem. That's my opinion as well - a lot of gluten sensitivity is simply leaky gut; heal the gut, lose gluten sensitivity.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:41 AM

If you can digest it, it's food. The point of paleo dieting is that some foods are better than others for a variety of reasons.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:17 AM

If your system freaks when grains are there, and everthing else is in balance then clearly the issue is the grain! As stated, your response would indicate that some physioliogical problem exists. Those problems (perceived or real) should always be treated by the least invasive. Removing the cause of the irritation is the most logical answer.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

@Jason, we don't know all the reasons for gluten-sensitivity, nor is there only one reason for it. I think Ben's point is that gluten sensitivity may well be a symptom of a overarching health problem. That's my opinion as well - a lot of gluten sensitivity is simply leaky gut; heal the gut, lose gluten sensitivity.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:42 PM

@ ben61820: But you then make the assumption that all humans are adapted to thrive on the same foods. Scientific research has proven this to be false. Using the example of Celiac/gluten sensitivity is a prime example. Many people can tolerate grains, but people that have this problem are never going to be able to handle grains. This is genetics in action, not something you will be able to change. My point is simply, we all as humans have adapted/evolved to thrive on different diets. Food is truly not a one size fits all thing.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 04:25 PM

@Ben....Not to mention that if I recall you ascribe to WAPF traditional preparation methods. I think that would be an important matter to make people aware of (unless traditional preparation is also now a maladaption that we need to fix in your opinion). Actually I can handle grains just fine, but am of the opinion that there is sufficient evidence they are not an optimal food source and are a likely suspect in a variety of chronic health issues. The word "chronic" being of prime importance since symptoms do not present themselves till the process is well under way.

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Humans are clearly omnivores and can subsist on a variety of foods for the short term but there are definite physiological consequences for diets well outside the expected range in the long term. There appears to be a trend indicating that recent entrants (e.g. Australian Aboriginals) into Westernised diet and lifestyle practices suffer far more from metabolic syndromes, yet their genetic variations - as reported in genome wide association studies - do not fully explain these susceptibilities.

There are 2 possibilities on the mechanism of adaptation. One you've already mentioned, which involves changes to the enterotype, i.e. the collective of bacterial species in the gut, and the other is epigenetics, which are changes to gene expression as a result of environmental exposure.

It's important not to confuse short term adaptations - such as becoming more (or less) tolerant to certain carbs - with evolution, which involves permanent changes to the genome that come about as a result of selection and in many cases take thousands or more years to manifest.

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:28 AM

Epigenetics at work here. The human genome is fixed, but regional expression is correlated to regional stimuli based on input. That the Japanese are more tolerant is anecdotal in this case.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:49 PM

Besides which MSG and HFCS are not part of anyone's ancestry. Wheat noodles like udon and ramen would have at least Neolithic origins in Korea/China.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:45 PM

And @Jason, should everyone then eat according to their ancestral pattern? If so how far back do you take it? Past one generation few people in the US have a unique geographic ancestry.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 01:46 AM

The Japanese invented both MSG and HFS, eat lots of rice and wheat and relatively little red meat, and have some of the highest longevities. Would they live longer if they ate paleo? Maybe yes, maybe no, but it is clear that paleo is not the only game in town for health.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:38 PM

@Harry my point is that they've done rather well long term, not just subsisted short term. If you held all the other factors constant - sanitation, medical care, level of activity, caloric intake, etc. - MAYBE dropping the MSG, udon and HFCS in favor of beef and bacon would give them an additional 5 years from where they are now. But clearly a paleo diet did not get them to where they start.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 03:34 AM

@ thhq - yes they would, if they followed paleo suitable for their migration patterns/ancestry, what leads you to believe they would obtain no benefit from reducing wheat and processed carbs?

Aa5154ef908fc4a5c255c552f32e334e

(256)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:23 PM

@ thhg: Ideally yes, but of course that's not possible for many. This is why there is so much variance in Paleo. Many people dial in the specifics of their diet through trial and error to arrive at the optimal diet for their body. This ends up being about as close to ancestral as anyone can hope for. Also remember that many people today are not of any one ancestral heritage, but a blend of many several. People have not lived in isolated communities where the influx of new genes was rare for quite some time now.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:02 PM

I don't know if we are or if we are not. I don't think anybody knows. However, from the very little that we do know, yes, we are evolved to eat meat, fruit and vegetables. As for those grains... hmmmmm....

If we take dairy, many people around the globe develop lactose intolerance in adulthood, yet some people's digestive systems have evolved to handle lactose in dairy.

One thing for sure - nobody on our planet has evolved to eat processed food. Processed foods will kill us as species.

2
A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:01 PM

I've thought about this. I guess it makes us kind of selfish. We personally experience the health benefits but our descendants will never know the joys of a pain-free bowl of Cheerios.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:05 PM

yeah but those are highly processed grains, not whole food grains. I haven't eaten a bowl of cheerios in over a decade, but, I have eaten oatmeal and sprouted grain bread throughout a couple years of high school with no ill effects. These are grains, and in all honesty, the benefits I have experienced from omitting these food and switching to paleo diet have been maybe a 5% improvement, at best, but I cannot attribute it solely to removing these items, because I've also continued to improve in athletic performance.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:10 PM

I'm mostly joking. I never got much joy from Cheerios to begin with. I think there are many people who don't experience any pain at all from eating grains. And I don't have the credentials to throw a boogeyman "but you willllll in the long run" prediction. But it seems like the majority of people feel much better without 'em. At the risk of sounding relativistic, whatever works for you.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on August 15, 2012
at 04:12 PM

I'm also not 100 percent convinced that briefly removing something and experiencing discomfort upon reintroduction means automatically that the food must be bad for you. I just don't like feeling terrible so I don't want to see if the terrible feeling with reintroduction of these foods is only temporary.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:02 PM

When I switched away from SAD I went through a rough two weeks of detox. I was literally sick for two weeks my digestive health was in the tubes. Then everything started to work again, and it started to work better than it had before. My point is that we are VERY adaptable animals. It's the primary reason we have become the dominate species (we are not strong, we are not fast, we don't have big fangs -- we one thing going for us, a big brain that lets us adapt). Once you adapt to a new way of eating, if you switch back, you have to adapt again. Your body has to get used to massive insulin spikes and getting it's fuel through the tiny stores of glycogen in our muscles. But if you eat SAD for a few weeks you will feel just like you did prior to eating primal.

1
0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

on August 15, 2012
at 07:24 PM

yeah i don't eat grains except for rice...but I am skeptical. I mean vegans who have been off meat for years usually can't digest it anymore & meat is very healthy. Paleo people who say they have bad reactions to grain are no different than vegans who have difficulty digesting meat when they decide to add it back.

however I think a paleo gut is "for the better" because you are getting way more nutrients into your body & apparently you can better avoid things like cancer and leaky gut syndrome

E45c5a1c8df73da5e03bb6e7e90f8420

(644)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:34 PM

Personally I found the whole -you can no longer digest meat- thing after being veg to be untrue. I was meat free for 12 years and when I fist ate it again I was convinced I would be ill since, according to what I read, my body would no longer have the enzymes to digest it. Instead I felt amazing and super energized with not even a hint of digestive distress...so who knows..

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I wasn''t a vegan for more than 2 years, probably a bit less but I found I had no problem adding back meat and immediately felt better, within a few hours.

1
6ff541f607a51e47830eacb39e1ad8e4

(140)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:26 PM

Are we adapted to eating grains? For me eating wheat puts me to sleep like an Ambien. If friends wanted to go to lunch at an Italian restaurant I used to agree to go thinking an occasional indulgence won't hurt. But I was having trouble getting home fast enough without fear of getting pulled over for DUI. It was that bad. Once I got home I would sleep for 4 to 5 hours and wake up at 6 or 7pm with barely enough energy to move.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:08 PM

Alec - I know exactly what you are talking about. Sadly. I am even worse - it happens to me after ANY GRAINS.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:10 PM

Same with me! Even rice.

6ff541f607a51e47830eacb39e1ad8e4

(140)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:04 AM

It is more than a blood sugar control issue. It doesn't happen as much eating potatoes, potato salad or even drinking a soft drink. I may feel like wanting an after lunch cup of coffee if I have non wheat carbs but not as debilitating as eating wheat where I can be too tired to get a cup of coffee.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 15, 2012
at 06:37 PM

That just sounds like poor blood sugar control more than anything else.

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