Skip to comments.Caveman Diet to Stay Healthy
Posted on 03/02/2005 9:44:56 PM PST by Coleus
Diet-related chronic diseases represent the single largest cause of death and sickness in the United States and most Western countries. Yet while these diseases are epidemic in contemporary Westernized populations and typically afflict two-thirds of the adult population, they are rare or nonexistent in hunter-gatherers and other less Westernized cultures.
Why? There is an increasing awareness that the profound environmental changes, such as diet and other lifestyle conditions that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry (the care and breeding of domestic animals), occurred too recently for the human genome to adapt to.
Thus, universal characteristics of preagricultural human diets are helpful in understanding how the recent Western diet may subject modern populations to chronic disease: Before the development of farming and the domestication of livestock practices, dietary choices would have been necessarily limited to minimally processed wild plant and animal foods.
It is important to understand that over 70 percent of the American diet now consists of foods that were unavailable to preagricultrual humans, such as:
Although these foods dominate the typical American diet, they would have contributed little or none of the energy in the typical preagricultural human diet. And while scientists and lay people alike typically target a single dietary element as the cause of chronic disease, evidence has indicated that virtually all so-called diseases of civilization have many contributing dietary elements, as well as other environmental agents and genetic susceptibility that underlie the cause of the disease.
Consequently, these foods negatively affect proximate nutritional factors, which collectively underlie or worsen virtually all chronic diseases of civilization, including: glycemic load, fatty acid consumption, macronutrient composition, micronutrient density, acid-base balance and sodium-potassium ratio. Yet the ultimate factor underlying diseases of civilization is the collision of our ancient genome with new conditions of life in prosperous nations.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition February 2005;81(2): 341-354
Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century1,2
1 From the Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins (LC); the Departments of Radiology and Anthropology, Emory University, Atlanta (SBE); the Department of Medicine and UCSF/Moffitt General Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco (AS); the Department of Food Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia (NM); the Department of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden (SL); the Department of Food Science, Lipid Chemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (BAW); the Mid America Heart Institute, Cardiovascular Consultants, Kansas City, MO (JHO); and the Human Nutrition Unit, Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Australia (JB-M)
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There is growing awareness that the profound changes in the environment (eg, in diet and other lifestyle conditions) that began with the introduction of agriculture and animal husbandry 10000 y ago occurred too recently on an evolutionary time scale for the human genome to adjust. In conjunction with this discordance between our ancient, genetically determined biology and the nutritional, cultural, and activity patterns of contemporary Western populations, many of the so-called diseases of civilization have emerged. In particular, food staples and food-processing procedures introduced during the Neolithic and Industrial Periods have fundamentally altered 7 crucial nutritional characteristics of ancestral hominin diets: 1) glycemic load, 2) fatty acid composition, 3) macronutrient composition, 4) micronutrient density, 5) acid-base balance, 6) sodium-potassium ratio, and 7) fiber content. The evolutionary collision of our ancient genome with the nutritional qualities of recently introduced foods may underlie many of the chronic diseases of Western civilization.
Eat more possum-- the 'Other White Meat'
Cavemen also were scared of their own shadow and had an average life span of 25. Go figure.
Looks like if I eat nothing but deer meat and wild asparagus, I'll be healthy.
Ping for what are those who don't believe in evolution supposed to eat.
But the mammoths are all gone! So are the aurochs!
As others noted, they lived to the ripe old age of 25-40. What a great diet.
[Yes I know: they didn't necessarily die from diet: it just helped]
It is not concidetal that Alchol has been around as long as civilzation.
Good, keep on eating carbs.
Didn't say that but eating sticks, twigs and raw meat ain't the answer either. From some of the skeletal remains, they weren't all that healthy.
If you are going to sing the praises of this diet you might want to consider how it might actually be consumed, why longevity is going up instead of down, and why the "carb" laden foods of the last 5.000 years haven't been a problem until now.
I can and do buy the refined sugars and over refined grains argument.
But the rest seems to be a stretch.
Still, whatever works.
but eating sticks, twigs and raw meat>>> ?
Now who said that?
It's all the fault of those vegetable eating hippies!!!
It's all the fault of those vegetable eating hippies!!! >>
It's certainly is. They love all animals including bears, owls and turtle eggs and yet slaughter God's image, the unborn, in the womb. Go Figure.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
"I'm just a caveman! I fell on some ice, and later got thawed out by scientists. But there is one thing I do know is that milk will kill you."
Now this columns says the diet of our hominid ancestors was PRE-agriculture and PRE-hunting.
After looking at the 'good' diet, I've decided to die early because I can't (and won't) spend the time to find enough ants, roaches, etc. to eat. What about you?
Back then they didn't spend their spare time online. :'D They basically ate all the time, were opportunistic feeders, and were on the move a lot. Some claim that the division of labor between the genders started because of the need for someone to be awake all the time -- men nocturnal, women diurnal. Wives prefer sex at bedtime, men prefer it upon waking -- another artifact of that time? ;')
Could it be that one of the primary staples of the caveman diet was..............caveman?
I read an interesting book once whose thesis was that the reason for our evolution into Sapiens was cannibalism--specifically that we ate brains of our fellows and this somehow gave the survivors more intellect.
I've met some people who I thought were short a large spoonful or two.
I had trouble finding "the good diet" in all that mishmash. Where did you find it? Was there a list of healthy caveman foods in there?
A Rumination on the Invention of Soup
(e-SoupSong 23: March 1, 2002)
"Soup! It's an unbelievable achievement--a matter of thought overreaching what was technologically possible at the time. I think of anthropologist Sally McBrearty's recent remark: 'The earliest Homo sapiens probably had the cognitive capability to invent Sputnik...but didn't yet have the history of invention or a need for those things.' But soup? Yes, he needed soup. He needed soup, so he imagined soup. He imagined soup, so he brought it into being, despite his lack of pots to cook it in. Soup is surely the ENIAC of early man--a transforming concept that changed his relationship to nature, increased his life choices, and created completely new needs and desires. One aeon he's a frugivore in the garden of eden...the next he's scavenging or hunting raw flesh and sucking bone marrow...then, almost suddenly, he's figured out an unbelievably complex process with tools to produce a hot meal. It's a gastronomic miracle, and it's art: multiple colors, multiple textures, multiple flavors--something created by man that had never existed before in the history of the world."