Skip to comments.The Paleolithic Diet and Its Modern Implications
Posted on 03/07/2002 6:16:05 PM PST by Pharmboy
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You don't need to be an evo-loser to comprehend that Elaine Morgan is almost certainly correct in thinking that modern humans originally lived in water.
The original human diet was some combination of fish, shellfish, and fruit which they went up on shore for.
Got this book yesterday. About this very subject, by Johns Hopkins dept. head. Speaks of neolithic hunter-gatherer diet, "AA Pathway," etc. I will post excerpts tomorrow...quite amazing research and conclusions.
He recommends EPA Omega 3 WITH GLA from Borage Oil, says it short-circuits inflammation key in diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, even obesity.....says modern recommended diet is 100% WRONG. Advises to avoid refined carbs, eat lean meat, green vegs....promises noticeable relief from such conditions within 10 days or so.
Quite amazing, sound research...rather compelling...at least to Dr. Muttly (played one on stage in 5th. grade, to rave reviews!)
To quote a radio program statement by the late Carleton Fredericks, Chief of Nutrition at Cornell University:
"If you want to be really healthy, eat the entire animal, nose to tail."
Have many, many Rodale published books. Might buy this one.
Have taken Borage Oil for years. What does the book say it helps?
tx for wake-up call on this article and site from which it comes
Anecdotal evidence--I think there really is value to increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. After seeing a dermatologist on Maryland Public TV explaining the importance of Omega-3, I started taking lots of fish-oil capsules (4-6 capsules/day), and my allergy problems (something I have struggled with all my life) have pretty much gone away!
I'm trying to work myself into a caveman diet. I already eat venison about 3 times a week, and lots of fish too.
"I agree with your way of thinking. The life expectancy of humans has increased enormously since switching to a carbohydrate-based diet. Granted, some of that increase can be attributed to better medical care and hygiene. But as you point out, the Asians, who eat mostly rice have very long lifespans. As do Italians who eat lots of breads, wines and pastas."
I would tend to disagree that carbohydrates - or the carbs that our country consumes - are the key to long life.
Asians eat a wholly dissimilar diet than we do, while it's based on rice, it also lacked the sugar and white, bleached wheat of ours. They eat more vegetables, eat more protein, especially from shellfish and fish, and most westerners find the diet very bland or too spicy for their palate.
Italians are the same - lots of good fats, like olive oil, lots of vegetables, meats, fish, and wine. Their diet is not pasta based, that's an American idea.
The American diet is loaded up with cane sugar, fructose syrup, white bleached flour (essentially nutrient-free - they have to advertise on white bread that they ADD nutrients) and bad trans-fats. We DO NOT eat the same carbs as the Asians or Italians, and to compare us to them is hilarious. Our palate in the US is so overloaded by carbs and sugars it's scary.
I tend to think the longer life expectancy is due more to better healthcare, medicine, easier lifestyles, more access to minerals and vitamins and nutrients (which we now avoid as a culture and favor manufactured foods), and our sedentary lifestyles (as compared to the always active hunter/gatherer). We also don't fight wild animals with sticks, and if we break a bone, get an infection, or develop pnuemonia, we just go see the doctor. We can cure some forms of cancer, and operate to repair or fix our problems. The cavemen had none of this.
They also had no pollution, toxic waste or any of the other nasties we do, yet they lived shorter lives - one could also use your logic and say pollution makes us live longer.
To say carbs make us live longer is quite amusing, and I'd love to see the science to back that up - especially since our carb and sugar based diet is causing diabetes and obesity and the diseases that it causes to skyrocket into staggering numbers.
It also depends on what you define as a carb, and what carbs we're talking about - not all carbs are bad. You also need to put the diet you're talking about into a context, in other words lifestyle and culture, and genetic background. Asians I know who tried Atkins did horribly, and it made them ill to consume the large amounts of protein in that diet, but everyone I know who's of Western European stock does remarkably well. '
Anyway, before I stray too far from the point, I think saying carbs are the answer to long life is entirely too simplistic and wildly naive in the face of the data we have. It strikes me as a rationalization to consume carbs - hey, if you want them, eat them, but don't try to sell them like the snake oil salesmen of old.
My ancestors were Inuit. I HATE whale blubber! :(
First...BE CAREFUL !!!!!!
"GLA (....as found in Borage oil) is transformed into DGLA, but, as I just noted, that's not the only fatty acid it can form. In fact, GLA is actually delivering two separate streams into two different buckets. One...GLA delivered to your inflammatory cells; ...the other to your liver. The GLA delivered to inflammatory cells is converted to friendly DGLA. The GLA to your liver is converted to AA -- the exact thing we're trying to avoid!
...So taking too much GLA can actually put you at risk for a cardiac event. They don't tell you that at the health-food store!"
He says that GLA should be taken with OMEGA-3 EPA.
"this also makes a lot of sense in terms of the hunter-gatherer diet. In addition to fruits, nuts, legumes, roots, and other non-cereals, early man ate a great deal of shellfish, which contains high levels of EPA. That's why the hunter-gatherer diet is estimated to have had an Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty-acid ratio of 1:1, as opposed to the ratio of 20:1 found in most American diets today. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes perfect sense that we'd need to have a combination of GLA and EPA for our immune system to work properly.
Let me spell this out. Hunter-gatherers would have gotten the LA they needed from the animals they hunted for food: the GLA..from the nuts, legumes, and roots they gathered: the EPA from the shellfish they ate. Because the animals they ate were much lower in fat, as venison and other game meats are today, they would have gotten very little AA from their diets. In other words, hunter-gatherers were getting a near-perfect balance of polyunsaturated fatty acids for the optimal operation of their immune systems, by simply eating what was available to them. By contrast, the meat and fish we eat today are loaded with AA and LA, and we get very little GLA and EPA from our diets."
The AA is the stuff which causes inflammation. He has a list of foods to avoid, like farm-raised fish, such as salmon, and to also avoid egg yolks. He favors LEAN beef and lamb, and recommends supplimentation with Omega-3 fish oil and GLA-containing Borage Oil, and to NEVER take GLA without Omega-3.
These folks sent me the offer for this book:
Don't you find it at least interesting that as humans gave up their paleolithic diet, their civilization became much more complex? First agriculture, then architecture, the making of clay pots (which were used for, not only cooking and storing food, but chamber pots), writing, mathematics, and indoor plumbing?
In contrast, hunters and gatherers lived in huts, where the chief occupation of the males was killing each other and stealing each other's women, and the chief occupation of women, when they weren't busy being stolen, was frantically attempting to gather as many roots and berries and insects and baby birds as they could so everybody wouldn't starve to death?
The image of "man the mighty hunter" is belied by dietary studies of hunter-gatherer cultures throughout the world. Men brought home the wild meat from time to time but women brought home the calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat, every day.
If we all tried to survive on wild meat, after we killed off all the game, we'd all die. Well, most of us.
Which is one of the main reasons that purely hunter-gatherer cultures tend(ed) to live in small, isolated tribes.
And, people could only build civilizations once they stayed in one spot--agriculture allowed them just that.
Ping to check out at home!
I take the Borage Oil because it is higher in GLA than Evening Primrose Oil but I also take CLA (tonalin) which people used to get more of when their milk was whole and the cows, goats etc. were on pasture more than they are today.
I just had a thick baloney sandwich and some green beans with fat back. Is that cave woman enough? Oh, and a couple of Reisen's candies for dessert.
You savage, you.