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Meat consumption and obesity/health. Whole foods approach not enough?

Answered on September 06, 2016
Created August 14, 2016 at 8:50 PM

Hi all

Just wanted to share this video with you as i thought it was quite hilarious. Here's the media and this western trained doctor saying meat is bad etc, yet all the people ating the meat are thin and the doctor is fat! Isn't that just laughable? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIRzG06hU6Q

Of course, this could be an issue of wealth perhaps, because the doctor probably earns more money therefore more food, but they seem to be getting down large portions of that meat and some of the side dishes are also fairly starchy and theyre lean and thin while this doctor following western diet dogma is bloated and sick looking.

My questions are this

What do you think this video suggests about meat consumption and weight gain? Do you believe this is economic or a whole foods issue? (i.e. locals eating whole plants + meats, while doctor likely eating whole grain breads and seed oils) Thoughts on saturated fats and consumption of raw vs cooked, benefits and negatives of both??

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11 Answers

1
D3dafb602c2ef9c6c7a8733696326482

(110)

on September 05, 2016
at 07:45 AM

Yes, oyster doesn´t seem such a great idea after all. The problem with low meat diets is also a lack of (bioavailable) iron. Males need more zinc. Females need more iron. Growing children would need a lot of both. Red meat is an ideal source of both zinc and iron.

 

meat-consumption-and-obesity/health.-whole-foods-approach-not-enough?

 

Here are some pictures of the Kitavans - who eat a 10E% protein diet - found on Lindeberg´s website. As is seen, the adult males are very muscular, and also have more muscle mass and vastly less body fat at older age than westerners. I think this could be related to the high potassium content of the tubers they eat. If a diet is too acidic, the body will waste protein (dietary or from muscles) to turn it into the needed alkaline compounds (ammonia). This can be seen in some middle aged men living on high protein junk food diets rich in meat and cheese, losing muscle mass and gaining much fat instead.

 

The children on the picture look happy, but perhaps not optimally healthy. Not sure why. Are they not getting enough protein, or animal foods? Is the diet simply too nutrient dense for them so they end up eating too little calories? I think a reason why children dislike potatoes and vegetables is really the high nutrient density, too much potassium etc. They usually like them very well if olive oil, butter, and some salt is added. Human milk is just 6% protein, so it´s hard to belive the children are protein malnourished given the excellent amino acid profile of fish.

 

I also «feel good» when I eat a lot of meat, just as when I drink a lot of coffee or add a lot of salt to the diet. However, the next day I then usually feel less good. Similarly I feel bad if I eat too much vegetables. However, if I do it every day over longer periods of time, my health gets better, not worse. So what works in the short term may not work in the long term. Same for those that believe they suffer from «hypothyroidism» when the problem is simply a lack of calories, and so they try and cure this by taking large quantities of iodine or eating a higher protein:carb ratio. This works at first, but then over time it won´t work anymore and if they stop taking the iodine they feel even worse then they did in the first place.

 

Grains and sucrose have a lot of issues which could cause digestive problems by feeding undesirable microbes. When I eat a diet free of grains, but instead a good amount of honey and potatoes, I have no digestive problems. In an experiment from the 1920´s, two persons ate only butter/lard and potatoes for 5-6 months and felt very good, despite obtaining no animal protein at all.

 

I agree that animal fats can have different effect on libido than plant fats - especially those rich in polyunsaturated fats. I think it has been shown in studies that saturated and monounsaturated fats has this effect of boosting testosterone. Coconut fat is mostly another type of saturated fat than what is found in animal fats, while palm oil is very similar.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 06, 2016
at 04:17 PM

Thanks for the reply. My diet is similar, and I do think I am getting enough K. In the last two days (this is skewed by having an orchard and a garden) I ate about one lb turnips, one lb beets, more than one lb chicory greens, about 20 peaches, one lb of potatoes, some natto, some lamb liver, about 3 oz beef, and two quarts of bone broth. But this discussion reawakened an old interest of mine, entomophagy. and sure enough I can see that our primordial meat is far richer in Fe and Zn than beef. See table 2 in the website below, where for sirloin we would have 220/38 for Fe/Zn. And fly larvae and earthworms are easy to farm. The problem is that they absorb so many minerals from their substrate (typically manure) that they also pick up marginally dangerous amounts of cadmium. http://nagonline.net/801/feeding-captive-insectivorous-animals-nutritional-aspects-insects-food/

0
D3dafb602c2ef9c6c7a8733696326482

(110)

on September 06, 2016
at 08:42 AM

@glib, You need to take into account the bioavailability of nutrients and also the presence of anti-nutrients like phytic acid. The bioavailabilty of zinc and iron is much higher in meat than in grains (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/zinc). This makes the RDA a bit meaningless, it is based on a grain type diet, not a paleo type diet. Additionally, the amount of most vitamins and minerals in human milk is just 30-50% of the RDA, indicating we don´t need all that much if they are present in a bioavailable form and in a good balance with each other (and the diet is free of anti-nutrients). The exceptions would be vitamin A and C which is about 2x the RDA in human milk. It is also high in choline.

 

Almonds are a good source of magnesium (I consume them mainly in the form of blanched almond butter, often on slices of apple, and then some green tea with plenty of honey along with it). Spinach too. 


The RDA for potassium was increased to 4700 mg more recently, so I don´t think the things you list can provide anywhere near this amount.


Below is an example of a menu, a 7 day average of some of the items I´ve been eating recently (it´s not completely accurate and lack some items). Basically it´s around 1 pound potatoes without skin, 1 pound fruits, 1 pound vegetables and 1 pound protein foods (meat, eggs and very small amounts of lentils and dairy). There´s also around 600 empty calories in the form of olive oil, butter/cream, and honey.

 

As is seen, magnesium is well above the RDA. Vitamin D should in reality be higher (closer to 600 iU), as nutritiondata don´t list it for salmon. Pastured eggs can be quite high in vitamin D, perhaps as much as 75-150 IU per yolk. Recently I have reduced my intake of dairy to avoid an excess of phosphorus. I take 300 mg calcium carbonate supplement.

 

I would suppose it is quite similar to Jaminet´s "Perfect health diet" recommendations, just higher in calories (which I believe is needed to treat infections, hypothyroidism and other things) and a bit lower in fat. It´s really just an average of the composition of human milk, the paleo diet, and traditional/gorumet type of Italian/French diet. The latter reflecting more the type of diet I grew up with and possible genetical changes since paleo times, so I may be more adapted to that. I´ll try eating like this for some time and see how it goes.

 

meat-consumption-and-obesity/health.-whole-foods-approach-not-enough?

 

 

 

 

meat-consumption-and-obesity/health.-whole-foods-approach-not-enough?meat-consumption-and-obesity/health.-whole-foods-approach-not-enough?

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 05, 2016
at 03:45 PM

I too feel better when I make it a point of preferring vegetables to fruit and rice for substantial periods of time. In regard to zinc, in a sense it takes precedence over iron, if you get enough zinc, you are almost automatically getting enough iron. I am mentioning all this because I think ultimately one is forced to supplement (title of the tread: whole foods not enough). Assuming that the RDA numbers correctly represent human needs, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc are those that are tough to get. I need to eat a pound of beef to get that zinc, and 3 lbs of greens to get the Mg. But the K is just one potato, 100 grams of beans, 300 grams of greens, and a couple of peaches, which I get without effort (in fact I get more). Vitamin D, of course, is nearly impossible to get through foods.

0
66a8fba2b36ea3a6862dc8bcbba92ff2

on September 05, 2016
at 12:33 PM

Thanks Giu, i'll bare that in mind

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on September 04, 2016
at 09:38 PM

Giu, the oyster suggestion is good but the nutritional analysis is all over the place, giving zinc contents and most important Zn/Cu ratios which are all over the map. Whether the oyster is Atlantic or Pacific, canned or fresh, the zinc content changes by one order of magnitude. The ramifications are that there is no obvious alternative to eating meat, and red meat in particular. I am eating a lamb liver, ounce by ounce, for breakfast, which is very Cu-rich, and to balance that I am taking Zn pills. Animals are essentially balanced, if you eat a lamb liver you have to balance it with a whole lamb.

0
66a8fba2b36ea3a6862dc8bcbba92ff2

on September 04, 2016
at 11:20 AM

@Gracie888 @Giu Although i find such a diet intreaging, i've found that low animal protein doesn't really work for me. I don't support an exceptionally high protein diet, but i think there's genetic differences in populations. Added 1-3 servings of meat to my daily routine greatly improved my hypoglycemia symptoms and indigestion which i suffered with for years on a mostly grain based western diet. Also noticed that if i replace animal fats with plant fats (even coconut, which is saturated) my sex drive drops drastically and my energy is general low without some form of meat in the diet. Maybe its just a personal anomaly, but this is just the experience I've had. The only problems i have with moderate intake of meat is if i consume processed meats, which i think comes from preservatives and salt in my case. Thoughts?

0
D3dafb602c2ef9c6c7a8733696326482

(110)

on September 04, 2016
at 10:20 AM

@Gracie888,

 

A problem with fish is that it is very low in zinc, just 0.4-0.5 mg/100 gram in cod or salmon (the RDA is 10-15 mg/day). Additionally phytic acid rich foods such as seeds and whole grains tend to bind to zinc and make the deficiency worse. The bioavailability of zinc from these foods is also very low. There are many anti-nutrients in seeds and grains, and to a somewhat lesser extent in legumes and even less in nuts, that can cause problems. They are «designed» not to be eaten, and have evolved defense mechanisms over time, resulting in hormonal issues, digestive problems for those that eat them etc. They are also high in phosphorus which is linked to increased mortality.

 

Fruits on the other hand, is designed to be eaten by the plant. Olive (oil) and avocados are «fruits» and ideal paleo foods.

 

It should be possible to obtain good health on a diet with relatively low intake of animal foods, maybe as little as 200 gram combined meat/fish/shellfish/eggs per day. If meat is not eaten, a weekly serving of oyster should be consumed for the zinc. Seafoods are generally better sources of b12, however. Much of the rest of the calories could then come from fruits, tubers/skinless potatoes, olive oil, and some dairy (fat) and nuts, including coconut (milk). Potatoes are quite unique in that the amino acid profile is better than meat and just about any other root/tuber.

 

There are some populations groups that have excellent health on a diet with mainly tubers and small amounts of fish and coconut, such as the Kitavans studied by Staffan Lindeberg (http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html). However, they are short statured, 5´4 for males and 4´11 for females, indicating perhaps a suboptimal intake of high quality protein, zinc and a too nutrient dense diet. Caloric intake was around 2200 per day.

0
6d72b07a7b7d80b2879e86d109c4a40a

on September 01, 2016
at 05:30 AM

Polyunsaturated oils, omega 3 and 6 in balance, are the healthiest fats. Salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds. Saturated fat from vegetable sources is ok but I think you all are kidding yourselves if you really think eating meat and getting all that animal fat, is healthy! It is dangerous. If you're going to do it at least be sure you're eating animals that are raised humanely otherwise you're ingesting stress hormones in addition to growth hormones, pesticidesfrom their feed, and antibiotics- yum! Sorry but you should rethink your plan. All you need is lots of vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, and some fish, some grains.

0
D3dafb602c2ef9c6c7a8733696326482

(110)

on August 16, 2016
at 11:09 AM

Sadly there is so little research on health benefits of diets where "paleo type" plant foods like roots comprise most of the calories. But preliminary research suggest they offer tremendous health benefits when substituted for grains, as was seen when hawaiians adopted such a diet for three weeks and saw massive improvements in just about any health indicator, far better than other diets like the whole grain «mediterranean» types.

meat-consumption-and-obesity/health.-whole-foods-approach-not-enough?

 

Ironically the roots typically provide more calories per acre of land, so they are not expensive to produce, although more difficult perhaps to produce with machines.

 

In the world as a whole about 50% of calories comes from grains, much produced by big corporations.

 

In the developed countries it´s more like 20-40% of calories coming from grains, while in poorer countries often 60%.

 

The poorer countries now suffer much more from diabetes, even in India the prevalence of diabetes is now as high as in the US, despite higher activity level, lower BMI (22 vs 29) and lower caloric intake. This may well be related to an excess of grains (sugar and vegetable oil intake is still usually lower than in the developed countries).

 

If I calculated correctly, using just 1% of India´s arable land for growing potatoes (1/3 of the time) would supply the whole nation with 2000 kcal per day. Potatoes also require only half as much water per calorie to be produced, as wheat.

 

Roots - like potatoes - offer high quality protein, so less meat is needed as well for good health. Also high potassium intake appears to defend against the loss of muscle mass associated with aging. Findings from a study show participants who had a potassium intake of 5,266 mg/day from fruits and vegetables averaged 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than those with one-half that potassium intake. (3 pounds of cooked skinless potatoes would provide this much potassium)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21747015

 

And the root/potatoes have nutrients found in vegetables (such as vitamin C and potassium), so there´s no need to add much extra vegetables on top, as would be required on grain based diets for decent health. This will also save a lot of money.

 

Even Adam Smith made favorable observations about potatoes in the book «on the wealth of nations» from 1776:

 

«In some parts of Lancashire, it is pretended, I have been told, that bread of oatmeal is a heartier food for labouring people than wheaten bread, and I have frequently heard the same doctrine held in Scotland. I am, however, somewhat doubtful of the truth of it. The common people in Scotland, who are fed with oatmeal, are in general neither so strong nor so handsome as the same rank of people in England, who are fed with wheaten bread. They neither work so well, nor look so well; and as there is not the same difference between the people of fashion in the two countries, experience would seem to shew, that the food of the common people in Scotland is not so suitable to the human constitution as that of their neighbours of the same rank in England. But it seems to be otherwise with potatoes. The chairmen, porters, and coal-heavers in London, and those unfortunate women who live by prostitution, the strongest men and the most beautiful women perhaps in the British dominions, are said to be, the greater part of them, from the lowest rank of people in Ireland, who are generally fed with this root. No food can afford a more decisive proof of its nourishing quality, or of its being peculiarly suitable to the health of the human constitution.»

0
Medium avatar

(10591)

on August 15, 2016
at 04:02 PM

Sadly I think it is economic. Grains are cheap, and because of that food production skews more and more to being grain-based. 

Around here seafood used to be ridiculously cheap. But unlike grain there's only a limited amount and it takes a great deal of effort to get it to market fresh. An oyster farm is much less productive than a corn or soybean farm.

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