Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 18 of 18

Thread: Studies that support the Primal Diet? page 2

  1. #11
    captaineight's Avatar
    captaineight is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    371
    Primal Fuel
    Here is a review of several scientific papers on the subject, with good references. From what I can gather, it appears that prehistoric human diets were extremely diverse and included a lot of animal proteins as well as plant material. It may be impossible to ever know the exact ratio.

    It also appears that Neanderthals ate a larger proportion of red meat than early humans, sourced from the mega-fauna that typically co-inhabited the areas in which they lived.

    Here is an extract:

    Bocherens (Chapter 19) and Richards (Chapter 20)
    present back-to-back chapters on the isotopic evidence for
    the dietary habits of Neanderthals vs. those of Upper Paleolithic humans. Both employ carbon and nitrogen isotope
    values; of the two, Bocherens’ comes off as stronger because
    he provides more background detail on methodology and
    potential caveats, making the paper more accessible to nonspecialists. Consistent with previously published results,
    Bocherens concludes that Neanderthals obtained much of
    their dietary protein from large, open-dwelling herbivores;
    Richards found that while animal protein remained an
    important component of Upper Paleolithic diets, aquatic
    foods were more commonly consumed.
    http://www.paleoanthro.org/journal/c...PA20090276.pdf

  2. #12
    captaineight's Avatar
    captaineight is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    371
    Here is another interesting paper.

    This is only a University graduate thesis, but the author does provide source material.

    Here is a quote:

    Paleolithic humans are thought to have
    consumed mostly fat, protein, fiber and water with minimal or only seasonal contribution
    from carbohydrates to daily calories (Brand-Miller and Colagiuri 1994). Many groups of
    modern hunter-gatherers still retain this dietary pattern (Eaton and Konner 1985, Cordain
    et al. 2000). Although it is likely that plant food contributed to a large proportion of daily
    calories, especially for inland human groups, wild plants contain more protein and less 63
    starch than domesticated crops (Brand-Miller and Holt 1998, Eaton et al. 1988, Milton
    1993, Milton 2002).
    http://ecommons.txstate.edu/cgi/view...ext=anthroptad

    Look from about page 55 onwards...

  3. #13
    Stabby's Avatar
    Stabby is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Stabsville
    Posts
    2,462
    That's some good digging. Indeed, if we are going to go the paleo purist route the logical consequence is fat as a main macronutrient. Fiber=fat, fat=fat. They did eat more protein than I'm eating but the one thing we can surmise is that starch and modern fruit (and especially not white sugar) aren't to be the main macronutrient.

    I also think that the empirical evidence backs this. Our mitochondria are not adapted to burn carbs for optimal health. Check the awesome Emily Deans' guest post on the main site today and her references. Running the whole brain on carbs definitely ages it prematurely. So does too much protein to the best of my knowledge.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

  4. #14
    captaineight's Avatar
    captaineight is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    371
    Here is an extract from Wikipedia (from "Paleolithic"):

    Paleolithic hunting and gathering peoples ate primarily meat, fish, shellfish, leafy vegetables, fruit, nuts and insects in varying proportions.[91][92] However, there is little direct evidence of the relative proportions of plant and animal foods.[93] According to some anthropologists and advocates of the modern Paleolithic diet, Paleolithic hunter-gatherers consumed a significant amount of meat and possibly obtained most of their food from hunting.[94] Competing hypotheses suggest that Paleolithic humans may have consumed a plant-based diet in general,[55] or that hunting and gathering possibly contributed equally to their diet.[95] One hypothesis is that carbohydrate tubers (plant underground storage organs) may have been eaten in high amounts by pre-agricultural humans.[96][97][98][99] The relative proportions of plant and animal foods in the diets of Paleolithic peoples probably varied between regions, with more meat being necessary in colder regions (which weren't populated by anatomically modern humans till 30,000-50,000 BP).[100]

  5. #15
    captaineight's Avatar
    captaineight is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    371
    This bit from wikipedia under "Paleolithic Diet" gives a somewhat opposing view (opposing the consensus of the "primal diet" advocates):

    Plant to animal ratio

    The specific plant to animal food ratio in the Paleolithic diet is also a matter of some dispute. The mean diet among modern hunter-gatherer societies is estimated to consist of 64-68% of animal calories and 32-36% of plant calories,[65][86] with animal calories further divided between fished and hunted animals in varying proportions (most typically, with hunted animal food comprising 26-35% of the overall diet). As part of the so-called Man the Hunter paradigm, this ratio was used as the basis of the earliest forms of the Paleolithic diet by Voegtlin, Eaton and others. To this day, many advocates of the Paleolithic diet consider high percentage of animal flesh to be one of the key features of the diet.

    However, great disparities do exist, even between different modern hunter-gatherer societies. The animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% in the Gwi people of southern Africa, to 99% in Alaskan Nunamiut.[87] The animal-derived percentage value is skewed upwards by polar hunter-gatherer societies, who have no choice but to eat animal food because of the inaccessibility of plant foods. Since those environments were only populated relatively recently (for example, paleo-Indian ancestors of Nunamiut are thought to have arrived to Alaska no earlier than 30,000 years ago), such diets represent recent adaptations rather than conditions that shaped human evolution during much of the Paleolithic. More generally, hunting and fishing tend to provide a higher percentage of energy in forager societies living at higher latitudes. Excluding cold-climate and equestrian foragers results in a diet structure of 52% plant calories, 26% hunting calories, and 22% fishing calories.[86] Furthermore, those numbers may still not be representative of a typical Stone Age diet, since fishing did not become common in many parts of the world until the Upper Paleolithic period 35-40 thousand years ago,[88] and early humans' hunting abilities were relatively limited[dubious – discuss], compared to modern hunter-gatherers, as well (the oldest incontrovertible evidence for the existence of bows only dates to about 8000 BCE,[89] and nets and traps were invented 22,000 to 29,000 years ago.)

    An extreme version of this line of thought posits that, up until the Upper Paleolithic, humans were frugivores (fruit eaters), who supplemented their meals with carrion, eggs, and small prey such as baby birds and mussels, and, only on rare occasions, managed to kill and consume big game such as antelopes.[90] In his book The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond describes how he was invited on a hunt by a tribe in New Guinea who had retained Stone Age technology and habits of thought in the 20th century. The day's total bag was two baby birds ("weighing about one-third of an ounce each"), a few frogs, and a lot of mushrooms. Although the men of the tribe frequently boasted of the large animals they had killed, when pressed for details, they admitted that large animals were killed only a few times in a hunter's career. Unlike the Stone Age humans, these people did have bows and arrows, and their stone tools were far more advanced than the stone tools found on prehistoric sites, so Professor Diamond thinks it unlikely that prehistoric hunters could have enjoyed a much higher success rate than present day hunter-gatherer tribes.[91][92]
    This view is supported by the studies of higher apes, particularly chimpanzees. Chimpanzees are closest to humans genetically, sharing more than 98% of their DNA code with humans, and their digestive tract is functionally very similar to that of humans. Chimpanzees are primarily frugivores, but they are sometimes described as opportunistic carnivores, which means that they could and would consume and digest animal flesh, given the opportunity. However, their actual diet in the wild is about 95% plant-based, with the remaining 5% filled with insects, eggs, and baby animals.[93] Some comparative studies of human and higher primate digestive tracts do suggest that humans have evolved to obtain greater amounts of calories from animal foods, allowing them to shrink the size of the gastrointestinal tract, relative to body mass, and to increase the brain mass instead.[83][94] Nevertheless, modern humans' digestive organs and mechanisms, such as dentition, stomach pH, and gut size, remain much closer to chimpanzees than to obligate carnivores or true omnivores such as bears and raccoons.[90][95]
    In the end, I think it's very difficult to know for sure, although the last line (above) seems to suggest strong evidence that we have evolved on a high plant-diet.

    Personally, I suspect a diet that was high in high-fiber, low-carbohydrate plant material as well as high in animal proteins. However, I suspect a significant portion of that protein came from insects, grubs, worms and other unpalatable type things. I'm skeptical about the stereotype of the caveman roasting a mammoth for dinner every night (although I'm sure that did occur to some extent).
    Last edited by captaineight; 04-12-2011 at 07:20 PM.

  6. #16
    AndreaReina's Avatar
    AndreaReina is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    851
    Why on earth would someone waste time foraging for high-fiber, low-carbohydrate vegetation? To a hunter-gatherer, food is fuel, and a potato is much better fuel than broccoli. We are only able to eat them in significant quantity because agriculture makes it easy for us. Then there's the fact that vegetation carries a higher toxin load than starchy tubers and roots (it's why grazing animals in the wild take a little bit of this plant, a little bit of that: it spreads the load among different toxins).

    I'm sure they ate grubs and small game, but big game would have been prized for providing much more sustenance for a modest increase in effort. Some American Indian tribes would deliberately stampede buffalo into a ravine; I'm sure others had equally efficient ways to get lots of animal product. This would then be preserved by salting, dehydrating, and/or surrounding it in fat (I'm sure there are other methods too).

  7. #17
    captaineight's Avatar
    captaineight is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    NSW, Australia
    Posts
    371
    The short answer to your question is : availability.

    Expanding on that, modern fruit and vegetables have been selectively bred for human consumption. Wild plant food is a lot rougher, higher in protein, higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrate.

    They wouldn't have eaten potatoes anyway, which are poisonous raw. Other, naturally occurring root vegetables are nowhere near as calorie dense.

    As far as the ratio of meat : plants, that is obviously a highly contentious question, and nobody really seems to know the answer. Some anatomical evidence seems to suggest we actually are evolved to eat more plants than meats. Other evidence seems to suggest the opposite. Who knows?

    I'm also don't doubt that large game kills were certainly highly prized and often consumed.
    Last edited by captaineight; 04-12-2011 at 07:50 PM.

  8. #18
    DFH's Avatar
    DFH
    DFH is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    1,778
    I may be in the minority, but I claim both ignorance and apathy... I don't know, and I don't care. What I do care about is what makes the most sense right now, and what to avoid, based on what we can know about recent history.

    Besides, if we really could go back 10,000 years, or even 50-100K, would we really want to? I suspect most of us would find dinner a bit gross.

    The Paleo/Primal view gives us a logical frame of reference. There are different ways to look at it, and I'm fine with that. Modern examples of primitive living show variances in animals/plants as food, and there is no reason to believe other wise for Grok and his cousins.

    Just as important, knowledge of how diet has changed since agriculture gives us clues to seek out what may have gone wrong...like adding too many grains and bread, and more recently, higher sugar content in fruit and refined sugar in nearly everything.

    Add it altogether and make your best choice. That's what matters more than copying something in the past exactly as is was, and we don't really know anyway.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •