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Thread: New Article by Don at Primal Wisdom page

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    Anand Srivastava's Avatar
    Anand Srivastava is offline Senior Member
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    Primal Fuel


    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.


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    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.


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    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...


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    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.


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    Anand Srivastava's Avatar
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    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.


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    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

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    maba's Avatar
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    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.


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    [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.


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    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

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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    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.


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