2

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Low Fiber High Carb vs High Meat Fat

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 13, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Are there any examples of healthy cultures who eat a lot of carbohydrate with a low fiber intake, say 400 grams of carbs and only 20-30 grams of fiber or a culture who eats a high flesh fat diet, non-dairy based?

I know the Chinese eat a fair amount of carb from white rice so their fiber intake must be somewhat low. However, I don't how healthy they really are. High fat cultures such as the French, Swedish or the Masai seem to eat a lot of fat from dairy, but not from animal flesh, such as tallow and lard. Dairy has its problems but it is much more nutrient dense than tallow and lard, which are essentially empty calories.

I guess what I am trying to determine is whether a high carb diet could be healthy despite being moderate in fiber and if a high fat intake from animal flesh eaten anywhere in the world besides the paleosphere.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 14, 2012
at 04:28 AM

The Okinawans good fats and proteins in the mix of good health..... http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2009/08/benefits-of-high-saturated-fat-diets.html

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 14, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Yeah, as I have written inuits eat high fat flesh diet with little if any fiber and they are known to be very healthy. High carb without much fiber is probably not possible in traditional cultures as they don't have access to refined carbs.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Thanks. The carb to fiber ratio is not what I expected. When 60% of my calories come from carbohydrate I am eating upwards of 50 grams of fiber a day.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:16 PM

Thanks for the answer Eugene K, but I am not really questioning whether high carb or high fat are paleo or not. I was just wondering if any cultures consume a high carb diet without much fiber, in other words a high glycemic diet or a high fat flesh diet.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 13, 2012
at 11:11 AM

According to one study I read, modern north eastern african huntergathers get about 50-55% calories from fat, 20-25% protein, and 25-30% carbs. Id say thats a little lower fat than the paleo standard (and a little higher carbs than low carb), but not out by much.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 13, 2012
at 11:08 AM

Maybe thats a cold climate thing, but theres certainly no fear of fat in people living in the wild. So, yes, a bison muscle is less fatty than a cow muscle. Makes perfect sense. But bisons do still have body fat, its just not on the muscle, and muscle aint all HGers ate. (Plus there are fattier wild animals - seal, elephant, hippo, whale etc - and those animals are stacked with fat)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 13, 2012
at 11:02 AM

Now ill admit, that sedantary animals like cows, and sheep tend to be fattier than most game animals (but not all). But then we trim all that off, and only eat the muscle. Most doco's and videos that ive seen on hunter gatherers, they eat the whole animal, going for certain parts first such as -drink the blood, eat the liver and heart, eat the fatty parts. After these bits they go for the lean muscle meats. I have heard of certain HGers eating alot of seal and whale blubber, and profusely adding it to their food.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 13, 2012
at 10:55 AM

Even fire cooking was most likely some distance from the flame. And fire was only invented part way through. I doubt if you cook a whole animals wide animals leg, or chest, either over the fire or with hot rocks, that the fat content would suddenly become like a butchers trim cuts.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 13, 2012
at 10:53 AM

^ Totally with BBF here. If you eat ALL of even a lean animal, theres more fat there than in the butchered cuts of meat we generally get. It only takes a quick reveiw of game meats, such as wild venison etc, to realise there is significant fats there. Paleo man did not through things away that were valuable. Add to the counter argument - when cooking, a significant portion of cooking was slow cooking, by burying the meat, wrapped in leaves, with hot rocks. There is plenty of evidence for this technique. We all know roasts taste nicer...

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:02 AM

100% of the meat Paleo man ate was not cooked. Yes, I'm aware that certain parts are given to the dogs (I doubt significant numbers of Paleos had a dog.) That being said, they still ate whatever useful forms of food they could find. Even lean animals have significant amounts of body fat. It's supposed to be there. Storing body fat for long term use is absolutely a beneficial trait, especially since Paleo man wasn't guaranteed to find food on a daily basis and without a doubt, ketosis was a common occurrence from time to time.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 03:19 AM

Also, you're assuming obviously that animals make up a large part of their diet. So, if they had readily available access to animals, why would it be conducive to store body fat for long term use?

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 03:18 AM

@BBF- if you watch videos online of modern day HGs, they feed the intestines to the dogs, and they roast the meat over an open fire, which doesn't exactly do a good job of rendering fat. The animals they're catching are also quite lean by todays standard to begin with, as being a fat animal is not very conducive to survival in the wild.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 13, 2012
at 02:04 AM

To summarize: I don't think a high-fat diet was a high-fat diet for our ancestors. I think it was an "average fat" diet. Thus, there should be no qualms about cooking your food in lard or pouring butter over your food. Not to mention, there's nutrition in the fat as well and some vitamins require the presence of fat to be absorbed in the first place. It's difficult to overdo saturated fats.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on August 13, 2012
at 02:01 AM

Paleo man ate every part of the animal, thus he also ate the fattier parts of the animal as well (such as the kidneys, liver, and maybe even the intestines from time to time.) They didn't have the luxury of throwing away parts of the animal. Considering fat is more often used as a structural macro than anything else, I don't think there's any harm in consuming a high fat diet. Fact of the matter is, most butchers nowaday trim the fat off their animals because it's commonplace for people to be grossed out by the "extra" fat. I'd make the argument that MOST meat nowadays is lean.

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on August 13, 2012
at 12:32 AM

I do think however that you're on to something in the sense that such a dense fat source would not be possible on a regular basis. I mean, if the animal fat is available, it's certainly going down the gullet, but the question of "how often" does pose a potential issue. I think the biggest anthropological folly is being committed by Nora Gedgaudas & Co. in claiming that ancestral diets were very low carb and very high fat. Maybe when someone gets a mammoth, but on a day-to-day or year-to-year basis? Doubt it.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 12:28 AM

Yeah it's cool PA. I know what you mean, I was expecting a response like that from someone.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 12:27 AM

Yeah, seems that way to me too. But Mark Sisson is ripped and says it's animal fat should make up the majority of my calories! LOL

1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on August 13, 2012
at 12:27 AM

Not saying I agree or disagree, but just because our ancestors did or did not do something doesn't mean we should follow suit. Sorry, had to play devil's advocate.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 12:27 AM

Yeah, seems that way to me too. But Mark Sisson is ripped and says it's animal fat should make up the majority of my calories!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 13, 2012
at 12:24 AM

My beliefs too. Which is why I am questioning the use of tallow and lard. Seems highly unnatural.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 13, 2012
at 12:17 AM

I do not believe that our ancestors ate a high fat diet. IF you watch videos of animals they're hunting, the animals are incredibly lean, and they roast it over an open fire, which lets the grease drip off. Nutrients are more important than fat.

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4 Answers

1
77310f6f5e03afaad68b60c4cebb6bbe

on August 28, 2012
at 06:56 AM

The Okinawans and Kitivans are farmers not HGs.

The Japanese longevity claims are totally worthless. Deaths are not recorded in a central database and vast numbers of pensions are paid to the families of people who are almost certainly dead.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/world/asia/15japan.html

1
54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

on August 13, 2012
at 03:00 AM

High fat, zero carb is eaten traditionally by inuits. High carb is eaten by kitavans and okinawans.

They are very healthy, but once they introduce refined carbs, vegetable oils and gluten, they start to have problems.

Kitavans and okinawans are not hunter gatherers though so it is questionable if such lifestyle was available during paleo.

Answering your question - high carb can be healthy for healthy physically active people (insulin sensitive).

Whether high carb is paleo or not is an open question. I think that at some points people had access to high carb food sources even high up north (berry or honey season)

On the other hand I can't eat too much animal fat as it's very filling. At the same time I can overeat carbs constantly, probably because my ancestors didn't have access to dangerous amounts of carbs for long periods of time, so no protective mechanism evolved.

54f75fb54778cfa947990bec1175307a

(665)

on August 14, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Yeah, as I have written inuits eat high fat flesh diet with little if any fiber and they are known to be very healthy. High carb without much fiber is probably not possible in traditional cultures as they don't have access to refined carbs.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:16 PM

Thanks for the answer Eugene K, but I am not really questioning whether high carb or high fat are paleo or not. I was just wondering if any cultures consume a high carb diet without much fiber, in other words a high glycemic diet or a high fat flesh diet.

1
336c383a3c4d28652d7ab888c79108a3

on August 13, 2012
at 02:38 AM

http://okicent.org/docs/anyas_cr_diet_2007_1114_434s.pdf

http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2010/07/traditional-okinawan-diet-sweet.html

1785 calories/day - 85% carb, 9% protein, 6% fat with 23 grams of fiber per day

Average life span and maximum life span in the Okinawan, Japanese, and U.S. populations was 83.8 and 104.9 years, 82.3 and 101.1 years, and 78.9 and 101.3 years, respectively.

The older cohort of Okinawans (aged 65-plus) is remarkable in many ways. Of particular interest is that they possess among the highest functional capacity and the longest survival in Japan, the country with world???s longest-lived population. Life expectancy at birth for the year 2000 was 86.0 years for Okinawan women and 77.6 years for Okinawan men, respectively. Life expectancy for the septuagenarian cohort (life expectancy at age 65) is the highest in Japan, and possibly the world, at 24.1 years for females and 18.5 years for males, respectively.40 This compares to 22.5 years and 17.6 years for the same birth cohort in mainland Japan and 19.3 years and 16.2 years for the corresponding U.S. birth cohort of females and males, respectively.41

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 13, 2012
at 04:18 PM

Thanks. The carb to fiber ratio is not what I expected. When 60% of my calories come from carbohydrate I am eating upwards of 50 grams of fiber a day.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 14, 2012
at 04:28 AM

The Okinawans good fats and proteins in the mix of good health..... http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2009/08/benefits-of-high-saturated-fat-diets.html

0
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on August 14, 2012
at 01:04 PM

I saw a video online of hunter gatherer bushmen doing a persistence hunt. The hunters ate the fatty bone marrow and took the meat back for the women and children. Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest traded in a grease made from a small fish called oolichan. This grease was important to their health. Other tribes rendered the fat from mammals and traded it as pemmican. The Inuit eat whale blubber and other mammal fat. I met an Inuit man and he said it was very tasty. More recent modern cultures the world over ate all parts of the animal. It was only with the advent of industrial culture that we lost our knowledge of how to prepare and eat the brains, organs and other odd bits, but you can still find pockets in your ethnic communities where you can order brains and other fatty organs. It was only around the 60s-80s that our own modern culture turned away from fat. And look where it has gotten us.

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