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  • New Article by Don at Primal Wisdom



    http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/01/plant-foods-in-kung-diet.html


    From the comments by Don.
    [quote]


    My point is that even under the best conditions, the caloric delivery of hunting ebbs and flows, whereas that of gathering (including collecting small game) remains fairly constant.


    Under such circumstances, an omnivorous species would naturally adopt gathered plant foods and small game as its basic diet, while also making an effort every day to obtain the prized large game, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not.
    </blockquote>


    Some words of wisdom.

    Basically we would have adapted to the diet that we had, rather than the diet we would have liked to have.


    So Tubers and Nuts would have been a major part of our diets along with meat. Berries, and vegetables would be a smaller (caloric value) but a regular part.


    I am not sure if Nuts were a regular diet. Tubers and roots would be found all year round, but I would guess Nuts have a season. I don&#39;t believe HGs could keep their excess stored for long.


    I did understand from the article that they preferred Meat > Nuts > Tubers. This would prevent Nuts from being stored for long. I don&#39;t think that preference matters as much as actual ingestion of the foods.


    I would think the best foods for humans would be Meat > tubers and nuts > leafy veg > berries > other fruits. Fibrous vegetables that can be eaten raw, would probably be better than fruits.


    I am ambivalent about fibrous vegetables, that cannot be eaten raw, as they require utensils. This would make them a neolithic food. I think they are OK when cooked but I am not sure.


    This means that Nuts should be OK in large quantities for use in meals. So almond meal would be OK, and I would guess so would be unrefined potato meal. I don&#39;t think cauliflower meal is a good option.


  • #2
    1



    I&#39;m really not sure how okay nuts really are in large quantities. They are a great source of nutrition, but show me anyone who doesn&#39;t have problems with larger quantities of (unsoaked) nuts. This is a rather good sign to me that nuts definitely play an important role in a primal diet, but still one shouldn&#39;t overdo it.

    Comment


    • #3
      1



      I agree w/ madMUHH on not eating too many nuts... And, getting nuts out of their shells is no easy task, even WITH a nutcracker.


      Did you see this part of the post?
      [quote]

      The meat of big game, large harvests of nuts, and large, delicious windfalls such as palm hearts were profoundly welcomed by all concerned, but months could pass before the people obtained these kinds of foods, foods that required sharing. Most of the time, people ate the berries, roots, and slow game obtained by ordinary, everyday gathering, usually but not necessarily done by women...
      </blockquote>


      "Large harvests of nuts", according to this, happened, but were infrequent. So perhaps the nuts were saved over a longer period of time, or eaten up quickly after harvesting, but I don&#39;t think they were a regular, everyday food like the tubers and berries and &#39;slow game&#39; etc.


      Thanks for the link--very interesting! Sounds like people throughout time, even pre-Neolithic era folks, may have eaten &#39;filler&#39; food (less nutrient dense things like tubers) in times where the optimal, super nutrient dense stuff (like meat, fat, etc.) wasn&#39;t available...


      Edited to add: I also think fibrous veggies might be more important for us NOW living w/ much more toxins than Grok did--Mark talks about how the antioxidants in veggies and fruits help to combat all the pollution/toxins...

      Comment


      • #4
        1



        Either way you put it, nuts have a large ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3. Even if palolethic people enjoyed large quantities of it every now and then, it really doesn&#39;t mean that we should to.

        We only need a very little Omega 6&#39;s from natural sources such as nuts, and a handful here and there certainly achieves it.

        Comment


        • #5
          1



          I should have kept nuts lower than tubers ;-). I thought that idea is not very popular here.


          I think that having some low nutrient stuff in the diet would be good, because meat might be too nutrient dense. After all excess of nutrients is also not good. Try eating too much liver.


          Fat is also a good low nutrient stuff ;-). Historically getting high fat animals all the time would not be possible. In these times tubers would provide a good way to get the required saturated fat.


          I think that our body would prefer some carbs, as it would have evolved on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            1



            A recurrent and typical argument for starch consumption as an important staple of our diet is that we are omnivorous and can handle it. Some contrasting arguments are:


            - We do not need any *dietary* carbs to thrive

            - Hunter gatherer pipulation tend to gravitate towards starch as a last resort due to the absence of game

            - Evolving to thrive on nutrients that we do not need, require heavy transformation to be palatable and can be harmful in excess makes little sense evolutionarily speaking.


            I see the big picture as humans being very genetically diverse and thus capable to handling carbs in different quantities while being able to thrive *despite* them. Gender and ethnicity would also play a role in this. For some it&#39;s 20g, for others it could be 300g.


            But the fact that any healthy human being can, in theory, perfectly thrive on a tuber and starch free 100% paleo, but not on a high starch diet, should ring a bell.

            “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
            "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

            Comment


            • #7
              1



              Anand, why do you say potato is desirable over cauliflower? Cauliflower can be eaten raw but not a potato. Insulin spike from a potato would be much higher right? I&#39;m only asking as I myself am still in the process of understanding what value fiber has in our diet. In light of Stephan&#39;s article, the one where he talks about fiber converting to butyric acid in the stomach, I would imagine that the fiber in cauliflower is actually beneficial.

              Comment


              • #8
                1

                [quote]


                1) We do not need any *dietary* carbs to thrive

                2)- Hunter gatherer pipulation tend to gravitate towards starch as a last resort due to the absence of game

                3)- Evolving to thrive on nutrients that we do not need, require heavy transformation to be palatable and can be harmful in excess makes little sense evolutionarily speaking.


                I see the big picture as humans being very genetically diverse and thus capable to handling carbs in different quantities while being able to thrive *despite* them. Gender and ethnicity would also play a role in this. For some it&#39;s 20g, for others it could be 300g.


                4)But the fact that any healthy human being can, in theory, perfectly thrive on a tuber and starch free 100% paleo, but not on a high starch diet, should ring a bell.
                </blockquote>


                I disagree. (I put some numbers in the quote to make clear, which ponts I&#39;m adressing)


                1) Well, if I recall one of Lyle McDonalds articles correctly, you don&#39;t need dietary fat either. And just because somebody can live without it, doesn&#39;t mean that it couldn&#39;t be beneficial. Tumeric has anti-cancer properties, but one could still thrive on a completely tumeric free diet.

                2) Now where did you get this from? At this moment I&#39;d call it complete bogus. Tubers are rather rich in calories, so I&#39;d say that paleo man did actually try to get a lot of them, just as he tried to obtain meat whenever he can, as meat was one of the most nutrien/calorie dense foods he could find.

                Also, if you read the comment&#39;s of Don&#39;s post there are quite some interesting statements that run contrary to yours.


                From Todd Hargrove
                [quote]

                A restaurant is basically a chance to eat whatever you want and people don&#39;t order a huge bowl of honey. I think its interesting that traditional restaurants all over the world offer meals that are roughly very similar in the breakdown of basic food sources: a piece of meat or fish, an almost equally sized starch, such as a potato or rice, and a slightly smaller bunch veggies. If you randomly order a meal anywhere in the world it will probably roughly conform to this pattern.
                </blockquote>


                From Don:
                [quote]

                I have noticed the same thing...meat, starch, vegetables seems a universal human dietary pattern when people have the choice. And if you look at macronutrient proportions o free living populations, whether looking at vegans or the French, people tend toward about 15-20% protein, 40-45% fat, and 40% carb. I think neolithic foods and what I call "magic" foods (high sugar + high fat, like donuts, pastries, etc.) misguide the natural guidance system.
                </blockquote>


                3) Umm, what? Also, I think I partically adressed this with number 1. Just because we don&#39;t need it, doesn&#39;t mean that we couldn&#39;t benefit from it.

                4) At this point I am not convinced that anyone can thrive on a paleo diet, or at least on a diet that most people would call paleo, I certainly didn&#39;t do well on it and there are quite some few who didn&#39;t either. And also you say you can&#39;t thrive on a high-starch diet. Perhaps you should tell that to the Kitavans. http://nutrition-and-physical-regeneration.com/blog/629/native-nutrition/slaying-the-low-carb-dragon-wisdom-from-the-pacific-islands/


                Now, don&#39;t get me wrong, I think paleo is a great thing, I just don&#39;t think the rules of it are set in stone like many people believe and I also think that carbs are being demonized for no good reason quite so often. I do&#39;t wanna say that you do that, I just wanted to show you that things just aren&#39;t that simple.


                @maba: I don&#39;t think eating potatoes raw or cauliflower raw is a good idea. Both contain harmful substances in their raw stadte, so it would not be fair to dismiss potatoes based on that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  1



                  MadMUHH, heres my take on the 4 observations:


                  1: We do need dietary fat to thrive, that&#39;s a fact: http://bit.ly/5196aS. We do not need dietary crabs to thrive, we can perfectly meet all our metabolic carb requirements through GNG: http://bit.ly/4JyGO9. I don&#39;t take anything Lyle McDonald says as truth just because he is Lyle McDonald.


                  2: I don&#39;t have the time right now to address the specific sources, but I have read a lot of articles showing that hunter-gatherers gravitate to basically nutrient-poor foods like tubers only when game is scarce. Plus starch cannot complete with fat as a source of calories.


                  3: I don&#39;t see how you addressed this with number 1. Also, benefiting from something does not imply that we need it for thriving, which is basically my initial point. The statement that we need tubers to thrive is the one bearing the burden of proof.


                  Very high starch diets do not stand even a short-term cost/benefit analysis unless the subject is engaged in chronic cardio, in which case you end up losing on the long-term anyway.


                  4.
                  [quote]

                  4) At this point I am not convinced that anyone can thrive on a paleo diet, or at least on a diet that most people would call paleo, I certainly didn&#39;t do well on it and there are quite some few who didn&#39;t either.
                  </blockquote>


                  Unless we differ on what we consider paleo, our discussion seems potentially sterile. "Doing well" is very subjective, and involves many factors that transcend diet. In any case, unless your genome has changed significantly from the one of our ancestors, and as long as you don&#39;t push your body to unnatural limits, I don&#39;t see why you would need a neolithic diet to thrive.

                  “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                  "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                  "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1



                    Raw potatoes are not toxic unless they have that green color under the skin. I don&#39;t know off the top of my head what it is, but it&#39;s toxic. How toxic? I&#39;ll bet not very.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      1



                      1) First of all, I&#39;m not a big fan of Lyle McDonald either, but by saying "I don&#39;t take anything Lyle McDonald says as truth just because he is Lyle McDonald" do you mean that you generally consider McDonald to be a bad source and thus question everything he says or do you just wanna say that just because McDonald said it, it mustn&#39;t be true. (I&#39;m not a native speaker, so this isn&#39;t exactly clear to me, sorry for that).

                      I looked it up, and I wasn&#39;t completely right:
                      [quote]

                      At the same time, outside of a small essential fatty acid requirement (a few grams per day from the fish oils, EPA/DHA), fats aren’t truly required by the body either
                      </blockquote>


                      http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/nutrition/carbohydrate-and-fat-controversies-part-1.html


                      However that was not the main point I was trying to make anyways. What I wanted to say (and what I also wanted to adress with 3) )is just because it isn&#39;t necessary does not mean that it can&#39;t be good for you. And also you lost me kinda at 3). This may also be because of my limited knowledge of the English language. You said:
                      [quote]

                      Also, benefiting from something does not imply that we need it for thriving, which is basically my initial point.
                      </blockquote>


                      It doesn&#39;t? Okay it certainly does not mean that we necessarily need it for thriving, but as long as we benefit from it, doesn&#39;t that mean that it helps us to thrive even more? I don&#39;t know what your opinion of this is, but the main reason why I joined the paleo bandwagon is not, because I wanted to find out how we can thrive by also limiting ourselves as much as possible at the same time, but rather what kind of diet is the optimal diet, or to be more specific, what kind of diet is the optimal diet for me (as there certainly are differences from person to person).


                      And to bring up a new point, I think the reason why this article from Don is so good and thought provoking is because it reminds us what paleo is all about. It&#39;s not about same human tribes that are able to thrive on a meat-only (Eskimos) or high starch (Kitavans) diet, but it rather reminds us that the idea behind paleo is that we all have the same genetics, like the hunter/gatherers that lived quite some time ago in Africa.
                      [quote]

                      I disagree with this approach because I don&#39;t think these circumpolar tribal diets represent the norm for humans in evolutionary time or among recorded hunter-gatherers. Humans originated in Africa, in an equatorial climate, where the environment provided plenty of edible plant products along with wild game.
                      </blockquote>


                      The point here is, that we simply cannot know, what the hunter/gatherers at that time ate. But looking at current African tribes probably provides us the closest approximation we can get, making it possibly the most "ideal" human diet. At least if you are believing that the "ideal" human diet is in fact the hunter gatherer diet.


                      Also, you do not seem to have looked at the link of the Kitavans, I posted, as the Kitavan studies prove quite well, that you can live on a high starch diet with pretty much perfect health.


                      And also by referring to a neolithic diet, do you refer to high starchy foods? As the article proves quite well that starchy tubers are probably anything but neolithic. And if you now wanna say that potatoes are neolithic, because they were only introduced to the human diet "recenlty" that you are missing a quite important point. Everything, and I mean everything you eat is a neolithic food? Pretty much all kinds of vegetables that you eat nowadays probably weren&#39;t accessible to paleo man, most domesticated fruits and nuts are a bastardization of the fruit and nuts paleo man ate and most of the meat we eat nowadays most likely isn&#39;t of the exact same species of the meat that paleo man ate.


                      The goal here is not to eat the exact diet that the hunter gatherer&#39;s ate, because this simply is not possible. The goal is to come as close to it as possible. And what Don&#39;s article does, it shows that starchy tubers may have played a vital role in the hunter gatherer diet. Whether he actually preferred to eat is, is secondary at that point.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1



                        @maba

                        Well Cauliflower uncooked is goitrogenic. All brassica family vegetables are. They must be cooked well. But I guess it is not that goitrogenic.


                        Potatoes must not be eaten with the peel. The toxic substances are in the peel. And avoid the green parts. They are also toxic.


                        Other than that potato is pretty safe.


                        I think the blind spot for paleo guys here is insulin. They think like it is some kind of a monster. That must be tamed and kept as low as possible all the time.


                        I understand that it must be low, but it need not be low all the time. Actually for a healthy person it must rise when food is ingested. Otherwise how will muscles get their nutrients. If insulin was a bad thing, diabetes type I would be a good thing ;-).


                        People here don&#39;t understand that leptin resistance is the main reason for obesity, not insulin resistance. Insulin resistance will make it difficult for people to lose weight, but that hardly causative.


                        Incidently both Leptin Resistance and Insulin Resistance go hand in hand. It is easier to measure blood glucose and hence its easier to focus on Insulin Resistance, but Leptin Resistance is as much important.


                        People here debate about artificial sweeteners causing insulin spikes, but don&#39;t know that the cause of insulin resistance and leptin resistance is not the insulin spike but it is glycation.


                        Glycation and glycosylation is the property of all sugar molecules (including glucose), to combine with protein or fat molecules. It is this property that makes life possible. It is the basic building process of DNA.


                        Glycosylation is the controlled process while glycation is uncontrolled. It is glycation that is harmful. Glucose is required by the body in many many more ways than people here have learnt about.


                        Glucose has a very low tendency to glycate. This is why we developed to using it as a building block. Fructose and Galactose and most other sugar molecules have ten times or more of this capacity.


                        This is why fructose and galactose and possibly most artificial sweeteners will be dangerous to the body. Till the time a sweetener is not proven safe on humans, I will not touch it.


                        Probably stevia is safe, because you need a very small amount of it, and it had been in use by a traditional society for hundreds of years, and were healthy. Other than that probably they all are poisons that we don&#39;t know about yet.


                        Glucose is mostly benign, our body knows how to handle it. It will be safer than most other things that we ingest.


                        This is why Kitavans are healthy. They do not ingest the other sugars. The insulin rises, but it goes down very fast. The Triglyceride remains higher because of that. But that is not that big a concern. Some Kitavans are known to live to 100 years. You cannot expect the average to be very high, as they do live without medicines.


                        The Inuits cannot boast of such life. They rarely live past 50. But I understand their life is very hard. I do think that the diet (and lack of sun) is also a problem. They do get heart diseases, as their autopsies have shown.


                        @MadMuhh


                        I don&#39;t think that Potatoes are not primal. I think starchy roots and tubers are very much a part of primal diet and possibly share a place equivalent to meat.


                        You cannot have a healthy strict paleo diet without tubers, because the paleo meat is very lean. You have only two options to add the starch from these foods in an paleo way or add the fat in an unpaleo way ;-).


                        I think it is more paleo (and possibly healthy??) to rely on Potatoes than to rely on artificially increasing fat, to keep the protein content low.


                        Sorry for a long winded post. I think a little bit of discussion is necessary here on Leptin Resistance and Glycation. People here are unaware of the importance of these topics.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1



                          @Anand Srivastava:

                          Great post! I totally agree with it and those are pretty much my thoughts too. You also mentioned some things that I wasn&#39;t aware of until now and defnitely are worth further consideration.


                          Just 2 things I have to point out:

                          1) Potatoe skins may have the most toxic substances in them, but they also have the most nutrients. Grok certainly didn&#39;t peel his potatoes. But then again, he never ate potatoes, which makes me wonder how primal tubers would compare to potatoes when it comes to (anti-)nutrient content.


                          2)
                          [quote]

                          You have only two options to add the starch from these foods in an paleo way or add the fat in an unpaleo way ;-).
                          </blockquote>


                          Personally, I prefer to go for both. I think saturated fat is just so incredibly beneficial that it is totally worth adding a lot of it to your diet. Well I don&#39;t really know how "primal" this is, but in my opinion, the jury is still out on how fatty the meats Grok ate actually were and how much saturated fat he got.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1



                            Great post as always Anand. I must confess that I know very little about glycation and glycosylation other than what I&#39;ve read in GCBC. Do you have links you can point me to? Would love to read more.


                            If potatoes are not as harmful as they are made out to be, then white rice, which is pure glucose w/o the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients is probably not as bad either, right?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              1



                              This is at least what I believe. Of course especially white rice is totally lacking nutrients, but I don&#39;t think it is able to do that much harm.

                              Comment

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