CJ: VERY COOL STUFF. I WANT TO GET BACK TO THE ???PALEO??? THING FOR A MINUTE. I READ ONE TIME THAT YOU DIDN???T LIKE THAT IT WAS CALLED ???PALEO??? EATING. WHY NOT?
JB: While I like the style of eating, the name does bother me a little. Because it implies that we actually know how our Paleolithic ancestors ate. And it implies that they all ate one way.
Neither is true.
As new research comes to light, we???re realizing that the reason we used to think our Paleolithic ancestors only ate meats, fats, and fruits/nuts/seeds they could forage is because that???s all we could find in the fossil records.
However, I have a few good friends who are field archaeologists. Meaning it???s their job to actually go out and collect fossil records in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
Interestingly, new digs ??? and new scientific techniques ??? are finding that in some ancient cultures, unrefined, wild grains were actually part of their diet. As are a host of tubers and wild potatoes.
With this new research, some of the basic ???Paleo??? assumptions are falling into question. And this is just the beginning. As we develop new techniques, and find new civilizations, no one knows what we???ll discover about the way our ancestors ate.
Of course, none of this invalidates the style of eating. Indeed, it???s one that I generally embrace. Again, eating less processed food is very smart. As is eating more lean meat, veggies, and nuts/seeds.
With that said, I don???t want to tie my eating style to a moving target. And I don???t want to try to eat like a ???Paleo??? man. I want to eat like a modern man that???s interested in health, body composition and performance.
CJ: I???D ALSO IMAGINE YOU TAKE ISSUE WITH PALEO PURISTS AND THE ANTI-GRAIN, ANTI-LEGUME, AND ANTI-DAIRY CAMPAIGN. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?
JB: To some extent, I do take issue with it. Because, for certain individuals with specific goals, unprocessed grains and legumes are a huge help. You just have to keep the amount in check and consider timing.
And it all depends on your genes.
Indeed, new research is showing that while Paleo-type recommendations are a great baseline, further adjustments would need to be made based on someone???s genetic heritage.
For example, in the last 10 years we???ve learned so much about nutrigenomics. This area of science studies our genetic make-up and how our genes impact our experience in the world.
Obviously, our genes are linked to where our ancestors are from. And that???s where it gets interesting. There???s some fascinating new research showing that depending on where our family lineage is from, our nutritional tolerances could be completely different.
For example, there???s something called lactase persistence. It???s whether or not our genetic line has preserved the ability to make lactase, the enzyme that helps us digest milk.
In the UK, for example, almost 100% of the population has lactase persistence. This means that dairy is well-tolerated in nearly 100% of the UK. The same is true in Scandinavian countries and Northwestern Africa. However, in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Southern Africa, lactase persistence is less than 10%. Meaning, that in these areas, almost no one can handle dairy.
Knowing this, your thoughts on dairy consumption might need to change based on where your family comes from. But that???s another discussion for another day. With dairy, we also need to consider a host of other things, from hormones and antibiotics to homogenization and pasteurization.
There???s a similar relationship between our genetic heritage and our ability to digest and process carbohydrates.
People from Northern Europe, the UK, and Southern Asia make more salivary amylase and other carbohydrate-digesting enzymes because they???ve traditionally eaten a more carbohydrate-rich diet. While people from Africa and Northern Asia make fewer carbohydrate-digesting enzymes because of their traditional diet that???s lower in carbohydrates.
So it???s the same thing with as with milk. Your thoughts on grains would have to change based on where in the world your ancestors come from.
In the end, I???m not sharing any of this to confuse people. Rather, it???s to point out that nutrition plans should always be a starting point for further experimentation. Not rigid, immutable guidelines.
Of course, if you???re new to all this, you need some guidelines to work from. To put you on the right track. But after that, your best bet is to adopt the adventurous attitude of a physiological pioneer. To boldly experiment and tweak until you find what works for you.
That???s what my whole nutrition philosophy is about. And sometimes, a few unprocessed grains and chickpeas make for a great experiment.
In fact, if you believe that Ben-Dor et al have shown that a fat-based carnivorous diet is the best to support human health, I suggest you first subject them to the five tests to see if they are qualified authorities. I submit that anyone who asserts that a fat-based carnivorous diet is the best to support human health fails the last test, at least, and that anthropologists and archaeologists are not appropriately qualified authorities on diet, nutrition, or health care (test 3).
A strong theory of evolution of human diet would be able to explain why vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk of heart disease than omnivorous diets (as another of many possible examples see this), why vegetarians have a lower body mass index than omnivores, why an essentially vegan soy- and gluten-rich diet reduces cholesterol as effectively as a statin drug, and why eating red meat increases the risk of all cause mortality. Instead of providing an explanation for these painstakingly established scientific findings, some supporters of the hypothesis that humans evolved as carnivores spend their time trying to explain them away because they don't fit their hypothesis. This is not science, it is anti-science. A scientist molds his hypotheses to accommodate the facts, not the other way around.
asked byAgingHippie (614)
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