I really really dislike seafood, dabble in it anyway, and want to learn more about its history. Here is my unresearched hypothesis:
Maybe all paleo people didn't live by the sea, but everyone, including inland dwellers, had to drink water. Fish live in rivers and ponds. People clustered around water. Yadda yadda yadda.
Google won't give me a good answer, so I'm looking to the Borg collective here for some input. Here is what is hinging on the answer. I still get the lion's share of my omega 3 from fish oil. It's the only "supplement" I really need except vitamin D in the winter. If all of humanity was brought up on seafood, I would definitely consider eating it more than once a week. I recall that someone, maybe Melissa, posted a link somewhere about ancient water-dwelling and seafood eating, perhaps. Cough up the links again please, and any other relevant info.
asked byKamal (24543)
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on September 13, 2010
at 01:01 AM
Freshwater fish have a much less robust ratio of omega 3 to 6. Inland peoples probably ate as much freshwater fish as they could catch, but they would not have gotten nearly the same omega 3/6 ratio from it as those who ate certain saltwater fish. So no, I don't think inland peoples relied on fish for their omega profiles.
Also, I think that research still needs to prove that intake of omega 3 can cancel out intake of omega 6. I have yet to see research that differentiates the benefits of just eating less 6s to that of eating more 3s and less 6s. My point is, most benefits may be due to simply decreasing levels of 6s overall. Also, people taking fish pills and eating SAD may benefit simply becuase they don't have enough fat in their diets in the first place. Jury is still out, IMO, over how beneficial it is to eat lots of fish oil if you are already eating a healthy diet otherwise. Certainly, I have heard of some people feeling really sick after eating lots of fish oil pills. And most people not noticing any obvious changes at all.
Also, could be simply that omega 6 containing foods might be unhealthy for other reasons besides their 6 content. The amount of 6 may not be the main point. Those who eat very little 6 also happen to be those who eat whole natural foods, limit grains, etc. The prob with epidemiological studies is that they can't show causation. We only know that omega 6 intake seems to be CORRELATED with various problems. We don't yet know how much the 6 is directly responsible vs other crappy parts of those same foods that contain the 6s.
Sooo, I think the jury is still out on the benefits of sea fish oil intake. Certainly, many populatoins have been very healthy without any seafood at all, just freshwater fish, so sea fish are not a requirement of healthy living. How much sea fish might contribute is, IMO, still up for debate and I will keep a skeptical and observant eye as research continues..
Also, my advice for learning to like fish, get yourself a fresh caught fish like righ toff the dock and still flipping, no more than a day old. Those kind taste WAY WAY WAY better and are not stinky. Then have someone else prep it for you so your brain does not scream FISH when you look at it. Fresh fish is at least twice as good and way less fishy than the kinda old fish from the average grocery store. I am a bit lackluster on fish myself, but when I ate a fresh caught bass cooked in nothing but butter, I found myself guzzling it down with incredible gusto. It was a very different experience when it was fresh.
on September 12, 2010
at 12:10 PM
Those who could eat seafood usually did. There are shell middens meters deep, built up over millenia, that are evidence of multigenerational use of seafood resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midden#Shell_middens
I really wouldn't worry too hard about the omega ratio thing. That way lies orthorexia. Nutritionists haven't got it right yet, and IMHO, just following evolutionary logic and sticking to quality food is going to be safer than messing around with whatever the theory du jour dictates...
on September 12, 2010
at 04:33 PM
Inland peoples obtain iodine from eating thyroids and omega 3s from eating brains. The omega 3s in brain are probably a better source than seafood because they have more DHA and less EPA. Living off seafood can be problematic because of the high protein to fat ratio. Most seafood is above the protein ceiling which means that seafood had to be supplemented with carbs or fat. Cordain wrote a paper on this issue.
on September 12, 2010
at 02:23 PM
the people were always getting whatever was the easiest to obtain, cost the least of energy and time, and was least risky/dangerous. gathering shells, fishing for small fish in shallow bays, rivers or lakes was simply easy way to get the food. Similarly to finding insects, eggs, worms and whatever isn't too fast or dangerous...
But, we are modern people and our way is "modern" paleo... Which means we don't have to force ourselves to eat a particular thing or otherwise we would starve or be simply stupid survival-wise... We can pick and choose, use our knowledge and all the available resources.
If you don't like sea food - don't eat it. You have enough knowledge about what you eat, what you need, what are the required ratios etc, so I would supplement. Grab good quality fish oil or similar and pretend that's the water-food our ancestors used to eat.
on September 12, 2010
at 09:39 AM
I'll have to go link-hunting when my computer isn't throwing a hissy back-up fit, but I know that in Australia the original humans (Indigenous Australians/Aborigines) lived primarily in coastal regions. It wasn't until the British colonists arrived that the native people were forced inland en-masse. This isn't to say that they ate mainly seafood, it just indicates that most life needs water to thrive, so the land animals as well as sea animals would have been best sourced near open water. Australia does have lakes and rivers, but much of the mainland is seemingly-barren desert (despite it being anything but when you look at the ecosystem).
I've caught fish in the sea and in rivers with my bare hands. It's harder to find and catch most native land animals here, especially if you're operating on your own and without sophisticated weapons.
As for omega-3, it tends to be the consensus that supplementation is not needed if you're eating paleo and avoiding conventionally farmed meat. The supplements themselves are suspect and could easily be tainted or fake. I eat grass-fed meats, limit my intake of pork and chicken, eat salmon whenever I can, and only pop a few of Mark Sisson's Vital Omegas capsules if I'm feeling like I haven't had enough fat or had too much plant food that day.
I don't force myself to eat anything I don't like, no matter how 'healthy' it's supposed to be. I tried to get into offal, but I can't. Oh well. My body will let me know if I need more of something (like how moody I get if I don't consume enough fat). I am primal inasmuch as it makes me 'less unhealthy', but I'm not working hard to make myself 'healthier' than I naturally would be on a standard paleo diet. I'll leave that to the wheatgrass-guzzling vegans...