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Availability of animal protein in "paleo" days

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I was just wondering...is it right to suppose that eating animal protein at every meal may not technically be "paleo", historically/anthropologically speaking, because animal protein was likely not readily available to our ancestors at every meal?

I like the idea of crossfit because it avoids routines in exercise and therefore challenges the body in new ways all of the time. I try to think of eating in that way by varying meal sizes, times, ratios of certain food groups (more or less animal protein, for example). That's when I got to wondering about what is a "paleo" way to eat.

Would appreciate others' thoughts on this...

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on August 16, 2012
at 03:14 PM

While the availability of large game might be questioned, don't forget that insects and small game count and would be pretty widely available.

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Fair enough, maybe works for some people. Based on my own biofeedback I do much better with a steady supply of nutritious food when it comes to energy/athletic performance.. mood etc.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:53 AM

(This rant brought to by damn is nutritional science in its infancy and doesn't know shit.....)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:52 AM

".....because we have the science to tell us which nutrients are vital; the optimal sources and amounts of each will vary by the individual." No we don't. We have assumptions made on limited data. Most of which are incorrect (necessary amounts of many nutritional component RDA's are often way of). Traditional societies have the proven methods.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:41 AM

Not sure I follow.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Tell that to the guys at LeanGains.

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Yes but frequent fasting become can become problematic and wreck your metabolism.

2c7026111493687e2d619c9e20e47915

(693)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:05 PM

+1 b/c in my early days of Paleo I felt like Fred Flintstone w/ all the meat!

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on August 15, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Animal foods. Like honey, eggs, cheese, green jello?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Raney, what it means is that "anthropologically speaking" humans are adaptable and have thrived in all types of conditions with all types of available macronutrients.

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:51 PM

Hmmm except fasting is a proven remedy for many diseases, giving your organs a much needed rest from digesting food for nearly 20+ hours of the day...every day.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:35 PM

(This rant brought to you by "damn it I'm tired of hearing about the Inuit", a limited liability corporation.)

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:32 PM

One example of cultural survival and adaptation due to necessity does not make it the human diet par excellence by definition. With the modern availability of food from all climate zones, we have many many many more sources of nutrients (animal fat included) than any isolated culture of the past. We *can* get by on a vegetarian diet, a ketogenic high-fat diet, a carnivorous diet, or any omnivorous combination of the above, because we have the science to tell us which nutrients are vital; the optimal sources and amounts of each will vary by the individual. Experiment; don't mimic.

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8 Answers

6
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Availability of animal protein in paleo days*:

availability-of-animal-protein-in-

( * May differ from reality. )

2c7026111493687e2d619c9e20e47915

(693)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:05 PM

+1 b/c in my early days of Paleo I felt like Fred Flintstone w/ all the meat!

5
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 15, 2012
at 07:23 PM

I just posted this on another thread. There are various questions you can ask about their conclusions (this is a very question to investigate and all we can get are broad ranges), but I've not seen any grounds to think that the conclusions are wildly inaccurate.

whenever and wherever it was ecologically possible, hunter-gatherers consumed high amounts (45-65% of energy) of animal food. Most (73%) of the worldwide hunter-gatherer societies derived >50% (> or =56-65% of energy) of their subsistence from animal foods

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 16, 2012
at 07:41 AM

Not sure I follow.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on August 15, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Animal foods. Like honey, eggs, cheese, green jello?

2
193f00d53ebcb13940c7a55afc78ad17

on August 15, 2012
at 08:39 PM

I think you are making the mistake of assuming Paleo (the diet) attempts to recreate Paleo (the era). The paleo diet takes what humans, theoretically, had available during our evolutionary process (pre agrarian) and couples that with modern nutritional science in an attempt to develop something approaching an 'optimal' diet.

Paleolithic man very likely experienced periods of extreme feast and famine, depending on location/season/illness/the moon/etc, but had he had the selection and availability that modern man had, I guarantee that he'd have eaten lots of meat and he'd have done so as often as he felt hungry. There are several studies that have shown meat consumption increases with economic affluence, suggesting that we eat as much as is possible (because Meat ROCKS).

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:02 PM

I dunno about the paleolithic era, but I picture buffalo and such as fairly easy to come by prior to the white man showing up.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:09 PM

The Inuit consume 75% of their diet from animal fat. And even in ridiculously harsh conditions (that do not allow for growing a cultivating fruits and vegetables, ignoring infant mortality, many live past 60.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:35 PM

(This rant brought to you by "damn it I'm tired of hearing about the Inuit", a limited liability corporation.)

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:52 AM

".....because we have the science to tell us which nutrients are vital; the optimal sources and amounts of each will vary by the individual." No we don't. We have assumptions made on limited data. Most of which are incorrect (necessary amounts of many nutritional component RDA's are often way of). Traditional societies have the proven methods.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 15, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Raney, what it means is that "anthropologically speaking" humans are adaptable and have thrived in all types of conditions with all types of available macronutrients.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:32 PM

One example of cultural survival and adaptation due to necessity does not make it the human diet par excellence by definition. With the modern availability of food from all climate zones, we have many many many more sources of nutrients (animal fat included) than any isolated culture of the past. We *can* get by on a vegetarian diet, a ketogenic high-fat diet, a carnivorous diet, or any omnivorous combination of the above, because we have the science to tell us which nutrients are vital; the optimal sources and amounts of each will vary by the individual. Experiment; don't mimic.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 16, 2012
at 11:53 AM

(This rant brought to by damn is nutritional science in its infancy and doesn't know shit.....)

0
F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:30 PM

Paleolithic people had to endure a lot of stuff that modern society has removed from our daily lives. Our bodies are built to survive periods of days with out food. This does not mean its ideal for our health though!

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 15, 2012
at 11:23 PM

Yes but frequent fasting become can become problematic and wreck your metabolism.

77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:51 PM

Hmmm except fasting is a proven remedy for many diseases, giving your organs a much needed rest from digesting food for nearly 20+ hours of the day...every day.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 16, 2012
at 12:31 AM

Tell that to the guys at LeanGains.

F6b28b8f67467af0337a0381a6857f4f

(203)

on August 16, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Fair enough, maybe works for some people. Based on my own biofeedback I do much better with a steady supply of nutritious food when it comes to energy/athletic performance.. mood etc.

0
77188106a9c27a22ad47d0ef7318de7a

(922)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:15 PM

No and serving sizes would have been much smaller as an ENTIRE animal was shared across an ENTIRE tribe. Not to mention how much lower in BF a wild animal would have been 100,000+ years ago compared to the obese animals we create today.

0
Medium avatar

(10601)

on August 15, 2012
at 08:11 PM

The Neolithic domestication of animals was the source of today's steady meat supply. I doubt that we are any more evolved for that than for eating grains, which were domesticated at about the same time. Paleos could have made a steady meat diet on the water, but inland would have been, as they say, catch-as-catch-can.

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