Can someone point me in the direction of some epidemiological evidence that this is a healthy practice? I am seeing this being recommended so often and I just don't see any data that support it, other than some favorable micronutrient ratios. I have to say I am with ray peat n this one and I think that potatoes need to get a lot more attention in l ight of some of the newer findings
I would also like to add that I believe there are some paleo website owners like mark sisson who are not practicing good science and changing recommendations according to the data.
asked byGreensun (476)
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on May 26, 2012
at 04:14 AM
I consume large amounts of vegetables. I really do not care much for research. (even though I love science). Although this statement is inaccurate. I do care for research when it is done by people I trust, when it is thorough and when it makes sense (at least some). I do believe in logic and reason.
In the article you have provided I was very surprised to discover that some idiots (I am sorry cannot find a better description) suggested that "Neandertals' disappearance was caused in part by a deficient diet" - this is like saying that "tigers died out because they were only eating meat". Ridiculous.
Another reason I am having a hard time with research is that most of research that I have seen is done half-a$$. I hope this word is allowed to use, if not, let me know and I will re-word it. What do I mean by that? The research isolates a narrowed-down issue and never actually goes to the root of it. To me, if you are doing a research, get to the very bottom of it, don't report partial findings to the public.
So, here are my reasons for consuming a large amount of vegetables:
Most Hunter-Gatherers that I know of consume a large amount of plant matter, especially tubers, roots, shoots, some leaves (usually with meat), seasonal fruit (low in sugar), berries, etc. In fact, when the hunt was unsuccessful (and it is not true that there was a huge abundance of pray - some years - yes, and some years - no, it usually fluctuates), on some days they had no meat. But tubers and roots were always there.
I also know what early farmers were eating. In my culture farming goes hand-in-hand with hunting/gathering. In fact, even now, when there is abundance of produce in every supermarket, people supplement by farming and gathering wild fruit and nuts (mostly wild strawberry, huckleberry, wild raspberry, wild cloudberry, mushrooms). I am also very familiar with wild roots and leaves that people used to eat before farming and continue to eat when there is famine.
Eating a lot of vegetables makes evolutionary sense.
I turned to Paleo when I became very very sick and could not eat much. Guess what - eating vegetables was the ONLY THING that my stomach could handle at that time. I do not care for research because my stomach proved to me that it was the right thing to do.
All the research that I know of - government-approved USDA pyramid/plate, any well-researched diet - Mediterranean, Okinawa, French, Italian, Korean - all the traditional cuisines (except for SAD) have a huge variety of vegetables that always go with meat. Basically, it is ALWAYS a combination of protein-starch-non-starchy vegetables-fat. Fruit is either served as a dessert or small amounts incorporated into meals.
Now for my reasons against potatoes.
I have NOTHING against potatoes except:
They are a form of starch that is relatively low in nutrition, especially if eaten skinless. Most people always discard the skins of the old potatoes and only eat the skins of the young potatoes. I do not know any people who would have a stable source of young potatoes, except for those people who farm them (my family) and even then people prefer ripe potatoes.
In Europe potatoes have replaced the more nutrient-dense rutabaga because potatoes yield better harvest and are easier to store.
The green spots in potatoes are poisonous (solanine is a naturally occurring toxin). I have actually heard stories about people who became very sick during WWII from eating potatoes with green spots.
I have nothing against Ray Peat except:
I have listened to his podcasts and read many articles about him. Even though I have heard of success stories following his diet (Korion here in Paleohacks and Danny Roddy's blog), I do not know any other people. Perhaps, if I knew at least 100 people who were cured following his diet, I would see it in a more favorable view.
Supplementing your diet with vegetables and especially starchy plants makes evolutionary sense. Supplementing your diet with strained orange juice and sugar makes no sense whatsoever to me.
Sugar was widely available after its commercial production began in late 17 century/18th for some countries. Are 300 years enough for our genes to evolve to accommodate that? Honey is different - it has been known since the first humans discovered the bees.
Sugar canes were also available to local South American tribes, but the process of sugar extraction was not developed till the advent of agriculture. And even then the extracted sugar was in a very different chemical form that we have now.
Oranges were not grown in many countries. The commercial use of oranges did not start till much later in our nutritional history. So how all those people survived and lived healthy (not necessarily happy) lives without strained orange juice and sugar?
- Where does he get his facts from? When I listened to his podcasts (Ray Peat that is) and read his articles, it seems like a half-a$$ed science. He names substances in foods but he does not go any further than that. http://raypeat.com/articles/
By the way, about Inuits and Eskimo - this is such a misconception that all they eat is meat. Yes, it is a significant part of their diet - but they eat plenty of vegetables. Arctic tundra provides more plants and better selection than some tropical regions. They always have berries, fresh or frozen, mushrooms (tundra is mushroom heaven), bulbs, roots, etc.
I actually knew indigenous hunters from the Arctic region and we talked about their diet and traditions extensively.
So, to answer your question and to sum up my long post - do you have any data that would be against eating vegetables? Do you know any nation, culture, indigenous tribe who does not consume any vegetables? Is there an alternative? If not vegetables, then what?
on May 26, 2012
at 06:34 PM
I find it odd that you are specifically asking for epidemiological evidence. This is a very weak kind of evidence, and it cannot establish causality. It is kind of ironic, because it may be the only type of evidence you could find in favour of high vegetable consumption.
on May 25, 2012
at 08:40 PM
I, as champion of all things spuds, agree with you wholeheartedly with respect to the notion that potatoes need to "get a lot more attention."
The only epidemiological research that I'll think you'll find regarding increased vegetable consumption will be faulty in one way or another--i.e. they'll be filled with confounding variables. Example: People who consume more vegetables are also more likely to practice other "healthy" eating/life habits, and as such these people will see greater overall health. As far as the small-scale science goes, I happen to agree with Kurt Harris: vegetables have some benefits (read: polyphenols & micronutrients) but they can largely be taken or left as part of one's diet. When I say vegetables I am of course being excessively exclusive as you previously stated; that is, I'm not including the denser carbohydrate source vegetables such as squashes.