First of all, I know facts such as people becoming shorter and died younger after the agricultural revolution.
I know modern milk are bad for most of us. I know modern bread are bad for most of us.
What I don't know is if bread made of original wheat such as spelt/dinkel and sourdough is bad for most of us. I don't know if raw milk (from an original non-manipulated cow) is bad for us. Or other things that are bad in some states but becomes more nutritious in a fermented state are bad for us.
I think that avoiding milk, grains, and starchy-food (which some people refer to Paleo) is totally wrong. As a matter of fact I know that people are made for starchy food, since we create plenty of amylase in our mouth. There is also some indicators that we are made to drink milk.
What we should avoid isn't the last 10000 years of food. What we should avoid is the last few hundred years of food when people modified plants and modified how to eat plants (i e stripping wheat out of its shell and not ferment it).
I know I might be in the wrong forum ;) but there are many intelligent and well-educated people here so let me hear your thoughts on this.
asked byJohan_Lindn (115)
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on May 06, 2013
at 02:08 AM
Hello, I'm new to this site and my education is not in the sciences so... take my comments with a grain of salt.
I've read the works of the paleo pioneers and even read some write-ups of Cordain's views in 1993 or 1994, which were very mind-blowing at the time. Hell, even now, some people regard paleo or any derivative as "Out there."
Anyway my journey through diet and exercise since then has led me to believe overall, that we have become overfed, nutritionally deficient and surrounded by environmental toxins in addition to ingesting them. The situation is so nebulous that pinpointing any one cause or source is crazy unless we can all actually agree on the particular problem at hand. In general I agree with most of what Kurt Harris suggests and Jaminet, but also part of me believes that there is a threshold for a lot of things. Like total carbohydrate intake, total protein intake and especially, the over abundance of dietary iron in our diets. I just feel that the RDA's or even maybe the World Health Organizations recommendations might be overprescribing some amounts, particularly the so called macronutrients.
We would need to experiment of how much really, doe homo-sapiens need to function and grow optimally? With regards to all the nutrients, minerals etc.... I don't trust the numbers prescribed. I think even if the food was nutritious or uncontaminated, we still eat too much of it.
Lastly, I forgot which person on the panel, but she was the only woman (regarding safe starches) anyway, she said that even she's not 100% sold on the true dangers of starches and perhaps grains as long as it doesn't go north of say... 70 grams. Again, I've read the science behind anti-nutrients etc but would eating sprouted grains pose that serious a danger to those who don't show gluten sensitivity? I mean it's like prescribing no alcohol to people who can drink alcohol simply because a significant portion of Asians can't metabolize it. For some happy Irish person to knock back a few beers once in a while is perfectly fine in my book with virtually no problems, no? Maybe that was a bad analogy but my instincts tell me to just relax, eat carbs, but keep them lower, around 70-120, exercise, reasonable animal protein intake and fat. I just can't hate on certain foods if the risk is negligible. Again, assuming you're not sensitive and already suffering from metabolic issues or somethin'.
Sorry for ridiculously long post from a person with no degree in nutrition, science etc...
This thread is important to me because it's a practical question. We should not be afraid to challenge things, even within our own Paleo or whatever community.
on May 06, 2013
at 12:57 AM
We obviously have the ability to digest dairy products and grains but they are not optimal food sources especially grains. Humans have lived perfectly healthy lives without consuming either of these 'foods' for example, Japan, the traditional Japanese diet has very little to no dairy products and the main grain source is white rice, while white rice has no nutrition, it is a fairly benign grain because its anti-nutrients have been polished off - and as far as I know Japan doesn't have any major health issues and are the country with one of the longest life spans.
In my personal opinion dairy is an technically an unnatural food for humans - it is meant for baby cows after all - that's not to say it's devoid of nutrients, not at all - I'm all for some butter, but we can be healthy and get our nutrition from elsewhere. However grains are a completely different thing - contrary to popular conventional belief they have no nutrition and ultimately do a lot more harm than good to human health, grains are not suitable for humans, especially wheat. I don't buy into the spelt/sourdough thing, after all they still contain gluten and anti-nutrients, especially now. The original wheat plant is basically non-existent; the wheat crop that is grown now is a hybrid (and in some cases GMO) of the wheat crop that was grown a few hundred years ago (maybe a few thousand years ago) I just don't believe in this day and age that any form of wheat is healthy for humans, but that is just my opinion.
on May 06, 2013
at 12:17 AM
I think it is far too general just to say "original grains and raw milk" are bad or good for us. Everybody will have different reactions to all of these foods. Those original grains will still contain the problematic proteins (gluten, lectins, etc) associated with grain intolerance's. Raw milk will still contain casein, which some people don't tolerate well. I agree that ancient grains and raw milk are probably healthy options for a decent portion of the population, but I don't think we can give blanket statements that any one food is "good" or "bad." I also agree that fermenting most of these foods will be healthier, but they could still be problematic for some people. The evolution of the amylase enzyme and lactase persistence doesn't necessarily mean that starchy foods and/or dairy is optimal for everyone. Some people have a much higher degree of lactase persistence than others. And one can still get plenty of starch without resorting to bread. I like the idea that we should mostly avoid the last few hundred years of food rather than the last 10,000. However, I think that any diet geared toward optimal health will end up containing few, if any, foods introduced within the last 10,000 years. Just my random and probably incoherent thoughts on this question, make of them what you will.
on May 06, 2013
at 12:18 AM
I am very new to paleo so I can see where you are coming from. My initial reaction to paleo dieting kind of surprised me, and at first seemed like everyone just lived off bacon, eggs and avocado. I do agree we have the ability to eat grains and digest them, and dairy as well, and we have the majority of the worlds diet to prove that. On the other hand, just because we can do something, doesn't mean we should (at least very often). It also seems a lot of people go paleo due to dietary issues such as lactose intolerance or celliac disease which limit/eliminate the intake of those foods for them already.
I don't have a single health issue, I just have a major fear of diabetes, and want to lose weight and be healthier. So to do that, I know grains and starches, especially refined ones hold a lot of sugar, so I avoid them all, and get my carbs through veggies like cabbage, lettuce and kale. Additionally, I love dairy of all kinds, but I also know liquid calories tend to be a waste, so I no longer drink the skim milk I used to love, because I don't need empty calories. I will occasionally eat some cheese as part of a meal, or on like 3 occasions mixed some heavy cream and mixed berries for a dessert like meal.
I think the most important part of "Paleo" is really just the amount of concern about the food we put in us it generates. Just over a month ago I was eating pasta, ice cream, bread etc and got nothing from it but fat and lazy... Now I really focus on what my body needs, and how to best get it, and that I think is what really matters. It's not how close you are to a caveman, but how close are you to being happy with yourself and being healthy with yourself.
on May 06, 2013
at 12:17 AM
Oh they're bad for US all right, though our recent ancestors didn't have as much trouble with them as we do. They've been tricked up from bland tasteless foods into cheap binge foods. Combine our inability to restrain our eating with our increasingly sedentary work and play habits and you have a disaster.