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Foreign Cultures and Diet

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  • Foreign Cultures and Diet

    Most European cultures consume large quantities of breads, pastries, pasta, and the like. Asian cultures eat tons of rice. Are they any more tolerant to these grains than we would be?

  • #2
    Mark does a good writeup about "The Asian Paradox" here....How Do Asians Eat So Much Rice and Not Gain Weight? | Mark's Daily Apple
    Starting Weight - 280lbs
    Current - 280bs
    Goal - Around 200lbs(will be focusing on the mirror and not the scale then)
    Working hard to make a healthier and more active me.


    • #3
      Whos we? If you mean a mostly mixed European descent then no, we are just as tolerant to grains as other grain eating culture. Any culture who has not been exposed to grains until recently would be more intolerant then societies who have cultivated grain for 10,000 years or more.

      This is one of those paleo fallacies that makes no sense. Sure some grains are worse then others but to lump them all in the same boat and avoid them is just plain stupid. Most of the longest lived cultures eat some sort of grain as a staple in their diet and billions eat grains daily with no ill effects.


      • #4
        When it comes to Mediterranian cultures and bread: they never used to eat that much and now they're starting to suffer.

        Spanish, Italian, French...etc dishes used to be almost entirely meat and veg based. Lots of healthy, whole foods. Bread was an addition on the side. Their meals would be high-fat, lots of cheese, lots of meat, TONS of vegetables. In stew-form, usually.

        The Spaniards, French and Italians I know who eat the modern interpretation of the "Mediterranean" diet (40% of your plate as grain) are skinny until they hit their mid-20s, but then start filling out and having problems. The people I know in rural Spain ate very little bread, a lot of veg and a lot of fatty meat and were still out working the farms in their 80s.

        As for rice, Mark has addressed it quite well. But, for a final thought: lactose-tolerance. White Europeans and Easten Asian Arabs are the only two ethnic groups where lactose-tolerance is the norm. On a global scale, that means that lactose-intolerance after your toddler years is normal and that lactose-tolerance is an adaptation. Why did these groups adapt, whilst others didn't? Necessity. It was a way of obtaining kcals that guaranteed you food until the calf was fat enough for slaughter, or strong enough that you could slaughter the mother. Other areas where animal proteins were more available or where fats (animal or vegetable) were more available had no need to become lactose-tolerant by culling out the intolerant members. "Can't drink milk? Eat fat instead." In Europe and Eastern Asia it was more: "Can't drink milk? There's not much other fat around."
        East Asians may have gone through a similar process, their need to eat rice for kcals being greater than their need to protect those who couldn't eat it. Gradually, only the individuals who can eat rice would remain.

        Therefore: if you're East Asian, you're probably adapted to rice. If you feel you need the kcals, then eat it. If you're not adapted, unsure or you don't need the kcals, scrap it.
        Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

        I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
        I'd apologize, but...


        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr.C View Post
          Most European cultures consume large quantities of breads, pastries, pasta, and the like. Asian cultures eat tons of rice. Are they any more tolerant to these grains than we would be?
          I found a review article on PubMed which would suggest that the answer is no. Here's a link to the abstract.

          I also (hopefully-this is my first time) attached one figure from that paper. It is a map showing the prevalence of Celiac disease worldwide.

          According to the paper, celiac disease is estimated to range from about 0.5-1% worldwide, with a "higher risk in the population with diabetes, autoimmune disorder or relatives of CD individuals".

          The authors also propose that clinical presentation only occurs where there is a combination of genetic predisposition (HL-DQ2 and HL-DQ8) and sufficient exposure. The paper doesn't really discuss non-celiac gluten intolerance, so no idea how those numbers fit in.
          Last edited by Dulcimina; 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM. Reason: fix link