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Primality: Meat vs. Veggies - What's the Ratio?

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  • Primality: Meat vs. Veggies - What's the Ratio?

    We humans are currently omnivores. Primal living, as I understand it, is about living according to the needs our evolutionary history has hard-wired in us. Is it fair to say being omnivores is a recent step in our collective history? Depending on how far back you go, our ancestors, like all animal life forms, probably began as vegans. Consuming meat would come later. So what should we eat and in what ratios?

    I'd say dairy is definitely out, even if it's whole milk, unpasteurized, fermented or whatever. Dairy products from any animal, other than our mother's milk, was never part of our diets until animals were domesticated, maybe 10,000 years ago, which is just a tick on our evolutionary clock.

    Meat consumption likely goes back much, much further. Still, it's unlikely meat formed more than a minor part of our pre-agricultural diets (except in some populations living on the periphery, such as the far North). Hunting for food is just too unreliable and difficult a food source to rely heavily on.

    The dietary establishment has it that we should eat a serving of meat each day that's about the size of a deck of cards. I agree, and think that the rest of our diet should be fruits and vegetables, with vegetables forming about 80% of our diet.

    I notice when I eat lots of vegetables for a few weeks, my fingernail growth rate doubles or triples, I mean it's a very noticeable, dramatic difference. I expect if those positive effects are evident on the outside, the inside must also be thriving.

  • #2
    Rapid and thick nail growth is also a sign of illness, so it's hard to be sure! People here have chosen to eat every ratio imaginable of animal-to-plant, and all of them are doing better than they were on pizza and soda! So whatever gets your labs looking good, keeps you satisfied belly-wise and nutritionally, and fits your budget is great. That can be done on almost purely animal and almost purely plant, so there is no one right answer.
    Crohn's, doing SCD

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JenniferCampbell View Post
      The dietary establishment has it that we should eat a serving of meat each day that's about the size of a deck of cards. I agree, and think that the rest of our diet should be fruits and vegetables, with vegetables forming about 80% of our diet.
      Do you actually eat any animal products or are you a strict vegan?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JenniferCampbell View Post
        Depending on how far back you go, our ancestors, like all animal life forms, probably began as vegans. Consuming meat would come later. So what should we eat and in what ratios?
        Possibly just a bad choice of language, but does to some degree indicate where you are coming from, there is no creature on earth that has a Vegan ancestry, this philosophy is a modern human construct and has no relevance in a nutritional dietary discussion.
        Nature has Herbivores, Omniovores, Carnivores and a few subgroupings, but no Vegans.

        Humans seem to have evolved to do well on eating somewhere between low meat/high veg to high meat/low veg, makes sense as food supplies were constantly variable, you need to find what suits you best.

        If you are making food choices based on animal welfare philosophies, that's fine, but be aware that you are doing this which means you are choosing to limit your health options because of beliefs, don't fall in the trap of trying to justify your choices through convoluted nutritional science.

        Personally I try to choose health as much as possible with diet and lifestyle, and probably sit in the 60-80% Fruit & Veg range, though I have also been known to eat an entire roast chicken + all the trimmings in a single sitting, I generally go with the flow of what my body calls for, but there is rarely enough fruit & Veg on offer when I go out.
        "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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        • #5
          Meat consumption likely goes back much, much further. Still, it's unlikely meat formed more than a minor part of our pre-agricultural diets (except in some populations living on the periphery, such as the far North). Hunting for food is just too unreliable and difficult a food source to rely heavily on.
          I dont know how you come to this point of view. However there is a lot of evidence that our ancestors did rely a lot of animal source food. You can examine bones of old skeletons to determine how big the part of animal food was that they did eat. Results show that there havent been any (!) societys who were vegetarians or even close. The average is something like 60% animal resources, 40% plant resources.

          The dietary establishment has it that we should eat a serving of meat each day that's about the size of a deck of cards. I agree, and think that the rest of our diet should be fruits and vegetables, with vegetables forming about 80% of our diet.
          Since your assumption is flawed your conclusion is probably flawed also. There is just no reason to think vegetables should be that high in our nutrition.

          Like somebody already said if you have a vegetarin background do yourself a favour and dont mix up ethical reasons to avoid animal food with health reasons.

          If you are further interested on how a good diet should look like and what is optimal nutrition for humans I highly recommend reading 'The Perfect Health diet'.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Martini View Post
            The average is something like 60% animal resources, 40% plant resources.
            I cannot find the presentation I watched on youtube a couple months back, but this is what it showed from fossil record. In that 60%, 30% was fished (mollusks more than anything, I LOVE OYSTERS!) and 30% rumniant animals. Sounds good to me.
            Last edited by WeldingHank; 11-23-2013, 06:21 AM.

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            • #7
              We just determine our protein needs in grams, which then determines the calories from protein. Then we calculate the total calories, and then how much will be fat and carbs, and then that determines how much meat and veggies.

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              • #8
                Whatever feels good on a given day and doesn't render one sick, including dairy. Very human.
                My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                • #9
                  I eat a lot of animal products, although I try to limit dairy. I still do eat some grains, but when I up my veggies, I find my my finger nails start growing like mad, which I would interpret a fairly good indication of improved health.

                  I don't know that I'd consider a vegan diet to be all that natural. Although in our way distant pasts, we may have been vegans, but likely we also weren't what would be considered human like (probably not even bipedal).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Omni View Post
                    Nature has Herbivores, Omniovores, Carnivores and a few subgroupings, but no Vegans.
                    You're right, I should have used the term herbivores as of course vegans is something else. Do you eat any grains or dairy?

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                    • #11
                      I eat a lot of animal products, although I try to limit dairy. I still do eat some grains, but when I up my veggies, I find my my finger nails start growing like mad, which I would interpret a fairly good indication of improved health.
                      Sounds like you are doing great. Try not to overthink it and let some artificial pseudo-scientific construct divert you from eating with joy.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        If you go back far enough, yes, we might have been vegan... but that's when we weren't human at all and had a fermenting gut. We do NOT have the adaption to that kind of diet any longer. Also, our brains would have been tiny compared to what we have now. There's no point in going back that far.

                        As for dairy, I dunno. Dairy at least hasn't changed significantly in the last 50 years, unlike wheat. Genetic tests have shown adaption to dairy, and actual adaption the other way... cows adapting to produce milk better suited to us! I personally come from lineage that would support drinking milk. Unfortunately, raw milk is impossible to obtain here so I mostly stick to cheese.

                        I disagree with your third point. I think that our gut adaptions and large brains indicate a meat heavy diet. And the far north covers a lot of space. I currently live in Alberta, Canada, and there are no vegetables available for a very large part of the year. I'm pretty sure the traditional diet up here was heavy on bison.

                        I hate that deck of cards thing. Who decided that? If you want to do it and it works for you, go for it, but I know I'd be ravenous on that. I don't have much to say about the nail thing except that it sounds like a nuisance.
                        Out of context quote for the day:

                        Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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                        • #13
                          Deck of cards idea is just to get the vegans to understand they NEED some meat in their diet. It's not really relevant to those of us trying to eat for optimal health....just keep the vegans from dropping dead in mass

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JenniferCampbell View Post
                            You're right, I should have used the term herbivores as of course vegans is something else. Do you eat any grains or dairy?
                            No grains and minimal dairy, just a bit of yoghurt.

                            Relating to another comment on dairy not having changed,
                            There have been significant changes there as well,
                            - Pasteurisation
                            - Homogenisation
                            - Refrigeration
                            All these had differing impacts on the quality and form of dairy consumption.
                            "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Omni View Post
                              No grains and minimal dairy, just a bit of yoghurt.

                              Relating to another comment on dairy not having changed,
                              There have been significant changes there as well,
                              - Pasteurisation
                              - Homogenisation
                              - Refrigeration
                              All these had differing impacts on the quality and form of dairy consumption.
                              True, I was referring to raw milk, which I can't get. Although I'm not sure refrigeration is really a change. Raw dairy was mostly a northern thing for a reason. Warmer places tended to use fermented products.
                              Out of context quote for the day:

                              Clearly Gorbag is so awesome he should be cloned, reproducing in the normal manner would only dilute his awesomeness. - Urban Forager

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