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Hunter Gatherer diet seems pretty balanced...also EVOLUTION CONTINUES?

Commented on January 14, 2014
Created January 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Compared to typical western diets, Hunter Gatherer's probably ate a bit less carbs, a bit more protein, and about the same quantity of fat. As a percentage, roughly 35%-40% carbs, 20-35% fats, and 15-30% protein, compared to western diets of roughly 52% carbs, 33% fats, and 10-20% proteins. Hunter Gathers also likely ate abotu 2x as many fruits and vegetables.

Also, note this:

"It is true that since modern humans left Africa between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, geneticevolution during subsequent millennia has continued??? ....new analytic methods are revealing subtler genetic adaptations to dietary and other ecological niches, including different allele frequencies associated with dependence on cereal grains as opposed to roots and tubers."

Europeans descend directly from Natafuians, who who at an ancestral diet of wild cereals and legumes, nuts seeds, fruits and vegetables, and meat (especially gazelle) and of all people we're probably especially well adapted to grains.

_______________________________

The reason I bring this up is two-fold. The first is just to provide a different perspective to those who actually think our ancestors thrived on VLC, high fat diets and never ate grains. Some did not eat grains, sure. But their diets were likely more balanced than we may have thought and I for one find that refreshing. The term "Paleo" is thrown around a lot as if it means simply not eating grains and eating grass fed/organic etc. Being paleo (to me at least) means also burning a lot of calories, sitting infrequently during the daytime, mainting a low bodyfat (men around 10%) and (women around 25%), and eating a diverse diet that is natural.

Anyways. Maybe you find that interesting maybe you don't but I thought I'd share just in case for some fresh perspective.

Source: http://www.naturaleater.com/science-articles/Paleolithic-Nutrition-Twenty-Five%20Years-Later-Eaton.pdf

..and also this book I read by Daniel Lieberman (harvard evolutionary biologist) called "story of the human body"

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 14, 2014
at 04:20 PM

Yeah, having seen many spammers and trolls, it's quite easy to trigger my troll-alarm. :) Sadly, I do get false positives sometimes.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 14, 2014
at 04:18 PM

People rarely have new ideas. There were plenty of others who came before you and said f-this, I'm gonna eat grains, perhaps you might want to visit them and compare notes:

http://huntgatherlove.com/ and http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/ for example. There were also plenty of pro-vegan spammers, and trolls. That said, the cornerstone of the paleo diet is avoiding grains and other foods that contain anti-nutrients, trying to convince us that grains are fine is about as fruitful as trying to convince a lion to eat grains.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 14, 2014
at 03:58 PM

...anyways i hope that clears up that I'm not trolling :)

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 14, 2014
at 03:55 PM

Why does this stink of veganism/fruitarianism? It really shouldn't. As a percentage of calories I probably eat more protein than the majority of people on here. I'm not in any way shape or form vegan/vegetarian/fruitarian and never have been in my life. I'm merely trying to further the idea that maybe, just maybe, certain grains can be incorporated into the paleo paradigm as indicated by at least some very credible research and researchers. I also think that recognize this may save people a lot of angst about what's "okay" to eat. I myself seldom eat grains and when I do it's small.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on January 14, 2014
at 01:39 AM

and your question is...?

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:54 PM

I for one don't believe that just because this is called a "Q&A" website, every post need be phrased as a question. This is a discussion forum and this is good material. Even so, the OP did make an attempt to phrase it more as a question even if they failed.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:41 PM

Yeah, it set of my "here come the vegan/fruitarian spammers/trolls" detector, but as I read his other activity here, I decided not to delete his post as it seems somewhat honest. I think perhaps there's a gap in knowledge between stuff a paleo person has read and understands and his question.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:39 PM

The point there isn't opiate consumption - rather it's addiction and not being able to imagine not ever eating bread again. i.e. the image of an addict threatening to kill someone who is perceived to take away his fix - in this case the addict is a nutritionist who labels anyone who willingly gives up grains as extreme and offers a nebulous excuse such as "you'll lose out on nutrients" but when faced with science, can't show which nutrients exactly are exclusive to grains.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:37 PM

Dental carries, brain case shrinkage, weaker shorter skeletons are the changes introduced to humans after farming.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:35 PM

I believe I did mention that. Otzi isn't paleo, he comes after agriculture - in fact, he's not in the stone age, but the copper age.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:34 PM

The difference between HG's and farmers is this: HGs didn't come across fields of wheat, at most they may have eaten a few teaspoons of wheat grains. Until the advent of farming, there was no chance at making bread, beer, or wheaties, so the little bits that HGs ate are insignificant - that's the point I'm making.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:32 PM

Um, "dwarf" wheat is far different than einkorn, and has only been around a few dozen years - the differences in this plant are far greater than what humans who ate grains and can tolerate it have adapted to in the last 10kya. See Wheat Belly for the discussion of what this plant is. Hint, it's very different than say wheat from before WWII.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:49 PM

Oh and about exorphin...consuming opiates in food is nothing new or unique to our species. Some species even actively seek out foods high in opiates, like deer that eat clover and they're perfectly healthy for it. I don't really understand the argument you're trying to make there.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:45 PM

Also, I have no idea what you mean by "thrive." I see paleo people throw that word out constantly by saying you can't thrive off grains. I'm not saying that and i don't think many people do. you can live a very healthy, physically fit, and long life eating whole grains. A If you don't think our bodies can be extremely happy and fit while still consuming grians you give us too little credit. Also, at least 95% of Olympians are eating grains. But, clearly, these people are just killing themselves and are unhealthy physical specimens to look at.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:40 PM

using an example of a hunter gatherer living in the frigid european climate is not the only representation of life in the ice age. There were, also, hgs living in relatively temperate climates in africa during that time. And, if we're talking about the little ice age that occured in the late paleolithic, then that is exactly why agriculture started... the ones that survived largely did because they had successful crops to rely on instead of being out in the wilderness all day gathering and freezing to death. Also, as far as I know Otzi lived during the mini age and ate wheat.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:33 PM

(3). Big pharma introducing franken wheat has nothing to do with anything. That is not the only "whole grain" available but it is the easiest to demonize because it is probably the worst. When I talk about protein I don't always talk about micellar casein, that's just one of many and it is the one with probably the most documented ill-affects. However, you can still consume dairy and be very healthy. Or "thrive" as you put it.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:31 PM

By order in which they appear: (1) Neither myself nor the authors posit that there were huge fields of monoculture eikhorn wheat, and neither does there have to be in order for one to still consume cereals and legumes, just like there doesn't have to be giant fields of broccoli for one to still consume leafy green vegetables. (2) NO one said we are fully adapted to grains. We aren't fully adapted to anything because there is ALWAYS a mismatch between the current environment you live in and the one you're most adapted to. That's because evolution isn't instantenous.

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3 Answers

0
A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on January 14, 2014
at 01:49 AM

This might have made an interesting blog post in 2010 but we've moved on since then.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 10:58 AM

Sounds like copy copied and pasted some stuff from elsewhere and tried to form a statement more than a question...

If you're actually asking something, yes, earlier humans would have eaten anything and everything they could get their hands on. That was a survival situation. As long as they didn't think it would kill them or make them sick, they'd eat it. That would include wild grasses - the prototypes for grains.

But, in the wild, you won't find big huge fields of monoculture einkorn wheat, for example. Nature doesn't work that way. They might have found a patch here and there, and may have eaten some of the seeds. Earlier grains behaved as grasses, and did not have very large seeds, nor did the seeds stick together - they'd disperse as soon as possible to propagate their species.

The only time you have large enough quantities of grains is when farming starts. At that point, you no longer have hunter gatherers, you have farmers who plant and take care of the land and are bound to that land. This includes the creation of permanent housing out of local materials - mud, grasses, wood, animal skins, whatever they could find. It also brings about the domestication of animals, and dairy, as well as fermentation of grains and fruit for alcohol... but that's another era...

Additionally, you're right about evolution - within certain parameters. But evolution's a real bitch. It works by killing (or preventing), in this case, humans from reproducing. So to say that humans are going to be fully adapted to eating grains means that you have to remove modern medicine from the equation and allow celiacs to die, or prevent them from reproducing.

In the mean time, big agra has introduced newer versions of higher gluten wheat (modern short dwarf wheat) which were genetically selected for via chemistry and harsh environments (this was before GMO capabilities). The wheat after the 1970s is far different than the wheat of 10kya. So there's an additional pressure to form new adaptations to consume such a beast.

In terms of your statement about VLC and high fat diets, take a look at a modern SAD, and consider how many of its calories are from highly available fiberless carbs. Now, go look at a hunter gatherer in the ice ages: a harsh environment where the very ground itself has frozen over. I don't know about you, but if you've ever tried to dig frozen ground in a normal winter, even with modern hand powered equipment (shovels, spades, etc.), you'd find it near impossible. Imagine how hard it would be with things like hand axes. So how would a hunter gatherer caveman in the ice age be able to dig up tubers so as to get carbs?

So, there would have been long stretches of time where early hominids have had to do with pure meat eating and nothing else, at least for the winter, and longer in the ice ages.

Certainly any human populations that have never left areas affected by ice ages would have continued to have access to carbohydrate sources nearly year round, but most did travel to places like Europe, and the cave paintings of animals, not potatoes, fruit, and grains, do speak for themselves.

The word "balanced" is commontly thrown around by those who wish to label anything they disagree with as extreme. For example, in politics, a republican might label a democrat as extreme by calling for her to adopt a more balanced stance. The same can be said about dieticians who are appalled by the idea of giving up their exorphin laced grains, because deep down they are subconsciously aware that they are addicted to them and couldn't fathom giving them up, or perhaps because the nutrition school they came from used those words, but their motives were so due to their financial obligations to the big agricultural entities that sponsored their very existance.

Imagine someone who advocated that there are plenty of nutrients left over in excrement, and that humans should adopt a more eco friendly, balanced diet that included a small portion of excrement because that would be best for the environment.

Or some insane person advocating a more balanced diet that included cyanide.

We may be able to survive by eating certain plants, such as grains, that are harmful to us - and may have enough of an adaptation to be able to breed and produce viable offspring. But we won't actually thrive by doing so.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:45 PM

Also, I have no idea what you mean by "thrive." I see paleo people throw that word out constantly by saying you can't thrive off grains. I'm not saying that and i don't think many people do. you can live a very healthy, physically fit, and long life eating whole grains. A If you don't think our bodies can be extremely happy and fit while still consuming grians you give us too little credit. Also, at least 95% of Olympians are eating grains. But, clearly, these people are just killing themselves and are unhealthy physical specimens to look at.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:40 PM

using an example of a hunter gatherer living in the frigid european climate is not the only representation of life in the ice age. There were, also, hgs living in relatively temperate climates in africa during that time. And, if we're talking about the little ice age that occured in the late paleolithic, then that is exactly why agriculture started... the ones that survived largely did because they had successful crops to rely on instead of being out in the wilderness all day gathering and freezing to death. Also, as far as I know Otzi lived during the mini age and ate wheat.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:33 PM

(3). Big pharma introducing franken wheat has nothing to do with anything. That is not the only "whole grain" available but it is the easiest to demonize because it is probably the worst. When I talk about protein I don't always talk about micellar casein, that's just one of many and it is the one with probably the most documented ill-affects. However, you can still consume dairy and be very healthy. Or "thrive" as you put it.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:31 PM

By order in which they appear: (1) Neither myself nor the authors posit that there were huge fields of monoculture eikhorn wheat, and neither does there have to be in order for one to still consume cereals and legumes, just like there doesn't have to be giant fields of broccoli for one to still consume leafy green vegetables. (2) NO one said we are fully adapted to grains. We aren't fully adapted to anything because there is ALWAYS a mismatch between the current environment you live in and the one you're most adapted to. That's because evolution isn't instantenous.

Eb87941a669017dfb288d296cc672130

on January 13, 2014
at 08:49 PM

Oh and about exorphin...consuming opiates in food is nothing new or unique to our species. Some species even actively seek out foods high in opiates, like deer that eat clover and they're perfectly healthy for it. I don't really understand the argument you're trying to make there.

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on January 13, 2014
at 07:14 AM

This is not phrased as a question. In fact its more of a statement of opinion. Doesn't appear to be appropriate to the website.

Medium avatar

(624)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:54 PM

I for one don't believe that just because this is called a "Q&A" website, every post need be phrased as a question. This is a discussion forum and this is good material. Even so, the OP did make an attempt to phrase it more as a question even if they failed.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 13, 2014
at 09:41 PM

Yeah, it set of my "here come the vegan/fruitarian spammers/trolls" detector, but as I read his other activity here, I decided not to delete his post as it seems somewhat honest. I think perhaps there's a gap in knowledge between stuff a paleo person has read and understands and his question.

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