The idea of eating as my genetic ancestors naturally ate somewhat resonates with me, but how do I find out what they would've really eaten?
Also, given the vast array of healthful foods across the globe, would eating strictly ancestral for my genetics (rather than ancestral in the context of humanity as a whole) even be optimal given it would've been so limited and seasonal?
I've put what I know of my family history & current diet in the comments below to avoid the dreaded 'wall of text' questions ;)
asked byPaleoRob (128)
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on June 12, 2014
at 04:01 PM
Doesn't matter, just be healthy!
on June 12, 2014
at 12:58 AM
I think we don't necessarily have to think way back to our caveman ancestors. My philosophy of ancestral diet is not to eat anything my grandma wouldn't have recognized, but then again, I'm not necessarily eating everything she did, either ( e.g. no Oreos, which were her favorites, no noodles, or bread).
on June 11, 2014
at 02:58 AM
23andme and similar genetic testing companies will help you find your genetic ancestors. They sometimes give you a "raw output" also for use with other websites that help you try and evaluate health conditions based on genetic markers. One popular health concern is "methylation" genetics interpretation. One could go fairly deep into that rabbit hole if one wanted.
Once you know your genetic ancestry you can then hit the library to find anthropological or archaeological materials related to the groups in question. Technically Paleo is anything older than 10,000 years ago, and certainly not any group that was using agriculture to any great extent. The jury is out on whether animal husbandry is disallowed also since nomadic herders might have been around longer than agriculture in some places, and except for dairy, the diet doesn't seem to change much.
Of course if you have a strong tendency toward a certain group of people, especially a hunter-gatherer tribe that you know about, there' no harm in modeling your diet on them while you do personal research also. There's no need to get that technical though unless you find it interesting.
on June 09, 2014
at 05:36 PM
I don't buy into the concept of ancestral eating as a function of what foods we should consume. I definitely DO believe we should look into ancestral patterns for what we should avoid.
- Seventy-five percent of all African-American, Jewish, Mexican-American, and Native American adults are lactose intolerant.
- Ninety percent of Asian-American adults are lactose intolerant.
- Lactose intolerance is least common among people with a northern European heritage.
Obviously there is a link there, and if I were Asian, African, Jewish, etc -- I would probably avoid milk or at least be restrictive in the beginning.
What we should consume should be primarily based upon our lifestyle and physical health.
Paleo, at it's most basic form, is one of two things:
- An elimination diet that helps people understand what foods they tolerate
- A philosophy of looking at diet through an evolutionary lens to help guide modern humans in determining what to eat.
I think sometimes people get too caught up in the romance of the "Grok" ideal and forget that we are not cavemen, we are not our ancestors, we are modern humans and need to focus on what works for us now -- not some isotope analysis of dental remains of a long-distance ancestor.