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  • Long living cultures



    I am wondering if someone can explain why there are quite a few cultures(Japanese, places in Costa Rica, Sardinia etc..) that eat different kinds of grains(corn, rice, bread) and have some of the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world, all the while eating low amounts of animal protein, and in some cases high amounts of grain of one form or another. Thanks, not trying to start a fight, just educating myself.


  • #2
    1



    Over many generations by natural selection, populations adapt to their food sources. Those living in a culture that eats its traditional diet will be eating the correct food for their metabolic type and individual physiology due to their genes being adapted to that food source. So you have Japanese being quite all right with rice while many Caucasians, while most likely having more "tolerance" to grains than Grok would have, still do not do extremely well on a high-carb diet. Conversely, many hunter-gatherer tribes live very long and healthy lives eating large amounts of meat and vegetables without agriculture and neolithic foods, but start feeding them a Japanese diet and they do terribly.


    Nobody is saying that some people can't be very healthy on a non-primal diet. What we are saying is that for a good many of us whose genes do not have such great adaptations to neolithic food, the paleolithic diet and PB work extremely well. Look around this forum and see people thriving and generally stoked about their health and quality of life.


    Hrm. Do we have any Chinese or Japanese around here? I would like to know how successful they are on the PB as opposed to those from Europe.

    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    • #3
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      Yeah I also wonder how chinese/japanese are (for the most part) so lean, or at least so not fat even though they eat their weight in rice. I've worked with Chinese people before and a lot of the meals I saw them have had either white rice or noodles in it.

      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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      • #4
        1



        Metabolic typing and adapation. They are slow burners of glycogen and have more resilient insulin receptors, etc etc. There is a book called The Metabolic Typing Diet that goes into more depth. I need that book damnit.

        Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

        Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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        • #5
          1



          I can eat tons of grains and not gain weight and I'm white (part Welsh/part Sicilian). I've actually been struggling with PB because low-carb and I aren't getting along. Every time I lower my carbs (to around 100) and up my fat to make up the calories I get massive nausea and my digestion seems to just, um, stop. So, Stabby, what's with all this metabolic typing? Am I secretly Asian?


          I've been thinking lately that the low-carb thing might be so useful for many people because of the generational epigenetic effects of eating crap. That is, your parents were raised on crap so your body can't handle the carbs anymore. If your parents are raised on real food (not wonderbread and lucky charms), then are you more able to handle carbs and not have "metabolic syndrome"? Or am I just some weirdo that can eat anything for no apparent reason? :-/

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          • #6
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            I've also wondered about this too. I think another important factor to take into consideration is that health is about so much more than just nutrition. Things like social support, spirituality, stress levels, etc., can all have an effect on a person's overall well-being. I would bet that having a positive outlook and enjoying life can have just as much of a protective effect as having a healthy diet.

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            • #7
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              Stabby hit it right on the head. That's why I tend to advocate a balance between primal/metabolic typing.


              After the break-in period on the primal diet, which is about 2-3 weeks, you can begin to tell based on how you feel whether this is working and you are fueling your body right. Some people do MUCH better on higher carbs (wholesome organic sources), and some people do better on higher fat, like the people who are attached to the carnivore variation. And some people are balanced between the two.


              Regardless of the route, the advise is still the same:

              -go organic when possible

              -avoid processed refined garbage and dead foods

              -avoid gluten/lectins/phytates

              -soak your grains and nuts

              -get healthy amounts of protein, don't skimp on fat


              And so on and on...


              For slow oxidizers (carbo types) I usually tell them to stick to carb sources like fruit, veggies, ancient grains, sprouted grains, and dairy if they can tolerate it.


              Fast oxidizers would be exactly the same as most people eat here. Plenty of fat and protein.


              Mixed oxidizers would be somewhere in Mark's "maintenance" level.


              Im not really sure why people argue paleo/primal versus metabolic typing because they are inherently very similar. People just want to say what they are doing is best, when the reality is that there is rarely ONE thing that is right for EVERYONE. The diet along with other issues should be individualized.

              sigpic
              In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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              • #8
                1



                Those countries who can handle plenty of rice or other grains (although, their servings are usually pretty small) in their diet are also those countries that eat the least amount of refined sugar per capita. IOW, they still have relatively normal metabolisms, because the sugar attack to their body didn't start from birth (heck, for many, it starts in utero, even!), like it typically does in the U.S. Because of our excessive sugar consumption, we screw up our metabolisms at a much younger age, and to the point of insulin resistance. Once we are insulin resistant, then all carbs, no matter what kind, have to be controlled.


                You can find diabetics in those countries, but it much less common, and they are usually older. They may be just as genetically prone to insulin resistance, but since their lifetime sugar consumption is so much lower, it takes most of their life to get to the point of diabetes. That used to be true in the U.S., too. Not anymore. Diabetes is more and more common, and showing up at much younger ages.


                Everyone benefits from controlling the amount of refined sugar in their diet, (as I'm sure everyone here will agree, lol!). After that, your need for carb control becomes relative to just how insulin resistant you are, which is a result of genetics + damage from sugar consumption.


                Those who have good insulin sensitivity can handle high starch foods better than those with insulin resistance. This is where fine tuning your diet comes into play. If eating a few daily helpings of starchy foods, like potatoes or beans (or even grains, though wheat is the most problematic) works for you, then I figure it is alright. Some people not only *don't* gain weight eating a few servings per day of these foods, they feel better! I'm not going to tell them they are lying, lol.


                Anyway, that is my opinion, lol.

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                • #9
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                  So most of the responses have been aimed at Asian people. What about the cultures who eat the almighty evil corn as a mainstay of their diet? Thanks again for the responses.

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                  • #10
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                    I just use Asians because of the extreme adaptation found there. A society that has been eating corn or tubers or whatnot will also have such an adaptation. Then we can break it down to an individual level too. There will be variation within a population and there will be outliers despite a general societal trend.


                    We all have some level of adaptation to neolithic foods. But from my experience (damn you cup of chickpeas last night!) purely paleo works best for me. A can is not necessarily a should.

                    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                    • #11
                      1



                      The reason I bring up the semi-specific cultures that I did, is because they live so long. Isn't that the point, overall wellness equals longevity? It's just frustrating that there are sooo many opinions out there on food. I have been looking for cultures that are meat centric that live a long time, and none stand out. Does Mark ever answer questions on here, or is this just the members space?

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                      • #12
                        1



                        I have no sources to cite (but none have been in this thread), but seem to have read (Eades, Stephan, Peter ? other Paleo blogs) that corn, rice, soy, grains in general are a very minor part of long lived cultures. Much like the fantasy Mediterranean Diet, there is some debate as to what quantities and what foods certain long lived cultures consume.


                        For instance, as I understand it (again, no particular source) long lived Okinawan's diet is very much pork based. Also, historic Japanese consumption of Soy is under 2 tblspoons a day and only in fermented form, and always eaten with fatty fish broth.


                        Do we even know that there are high grain eating long lived cultures?

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                        • #13
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                          Very easy to research Acmebike, just do a Google search for longest living cultures. You will come up with quite a bit of info on cultures that eat very little red meat, and a lot of whole unprocessed grain and in some cases unpasteurized dairy. Obviously Asian cultures eat huge amounts of rice.

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                          • #14
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                            I think its largley individual as well. Im italian/irish/native american. Apparently even though half my ancestery ate loads of pasta, i cant take it. Whenever I eat large amounts of carbs I start burping like crazy and my stomach hurts for the entire day. So I guess I take after my native american side (which they were mainly hunter/gatherers). But I suppose Asians are better adapted to eat rice than other cultures. Same with Latin cultures and corn, etc.

                            Natural Selection: http://ichoosenaturalselection.wordpress.com

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                            • #15
                              1



                              Longevity and health appear far more related to what one avoids than what one consumes. Modern industrial poisons (vegetable oils) are demonstrably more harmful than even the neolithic agents of disease (grains).

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