Anyone share some good links or recommended reading that can detail more Ancestral Eating on a regional basis
example: Nordic culture adapted to milk, reason why alot of Caucasians from that area don't develop lactose intolerance at 20 as opposed to native Americans or Africans which almost all do
or the Asians adaptation to rice/soy etc
I want to read more about the difference in historic diet by regions
asked byStephen_Aegis (22913)
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on May 27, 2010
at 12:39 PM
This is kinda a side note: I am still waiting on my results, but 23andme.com does genetic testing for both medical and ancestral genes. Combined would give you a good starting point since Ancestral can answer questions about where your people are from while the medical side can give you an idea of if you have genetic markers for lactose intolerance or celiac etc. The trick is to wait for them to put their tests on sale for $100, since the regular price is outrageous.
on May 27, 2010
at 09:21 PM
@Thor Says, you must not be an American, haha. Im Western, Southern and Eastern European in equal mixes and my girlfriend is East Asian. Needless to say I dont think I can track down a ancestral based specific diet for myself let alone my future kids.
on May 27, 2010
at 08:43 PM
I'm no expert on this but I'll take a stab.
I think regional differences are probably not that important in the big picture.
If you take a child born to two Japanese parents, and raise him in a family of Swedes, the kid will grow up speaking perfect Swedish.
Similarly, if you were born in Iceland but were raised by the Tokelau, I think you would do just fine on a diet of coconut, fish, fowl, and starchy root vegetables.
As long as you avoid foods that are completely outside the evolutionary experience of our species or demonstrated Neolithic agents of disease, you should thrive, because your genetics is programmed to thrive on a basically Paleolithic diet. (I'm borrowing heavily from PaNu here.)
I understand there are some murky areas, like milk. As a 30-year-old Asian male, I think it's quite possible that I would not thrive on a traditional Maasai diet, if I were to start it tomorrow. I don't tolerate lactose well, although I can handle 2-3 glasses of raw, grass-fed milk daily. I don't know how I would have done on a traditional Maasai diet if I had been raised on one from birth, though.
Regarding Asian cultures and soy, I doubt there is a significant adaptation there. If the experts are to be trusted, it seems that Asian cultures traditionally did not consume soy products in large quantities, preferring to treat them as condiments, and often in fermented forms. I don't know whether this is exactly true. How do you define "traditional"? How far back in history are we looking at? But in any case, the tofuburgers you'll find at Whole Foods certainly had no place in any traditional Asian diet.
If there are Asian adaptations to rice, I would speculate that such adaptations are not necessarily reflective of optimal health outcomes, but rather a mitigation of negative health outcomes. As PaNu says, tolerated is not optimal!
My personal interest in nutrition for the last year or so has mainly been in optimizing health, longevity, and quality of life (with a minor eye toward athletic performance). I understand that other people have different goals, but personally, I find it hard to get very interested in regional/ethnic variations in adaptations to certain foods.
I say the burden of proof lies with those who want to demonstrate that such adaptations allow individuals or groups to thrive EVEN BETTER with the inclusion of soy, rice, whatever (as opposed to a basically Paleolithic diet that omits those foods, but includes meat, offal, seafood, vegetables, some fruit, some nuts/seeds).
That said, I think your question is an important one in principle, but it's getting down to the fine-grained details of nutritional biochemistry and short-term evolution. For many people who want to follow a no-nonsense approach to health and fitness, I feel as though looking at regional differences is more trouble than it's worth.