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.
..and also this book I read by Daniel Lieberman (harvard evolutionary biologist) called "story of the human body"
asked byAnyonesGhost (45)
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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.
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.