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  1. #1
    hannah's Avatar
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    I was just wondering why starchy vegetables like roots and tubers are not allowed on paleo diets. As far as I can tell (from reading other sites) is because they can't be eaten raw. But isn't it only potatoes that can't be eaten raw? I knew a girl who ate raw sweet potatoes all the time. Also, homo erectus was the first hominid to use fire and they existed 1.8 - 1.3 mya. We are the not the same genetically or biologically as erectus and we have adapted slightly to the use of fire - our digestive systems have become slightly shorter etc.


    Or are they not recommended because it is of the high carbohydrate content of those foods?


    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Hannah


  2. #2
    Timothy's Avatar
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    Yams are pretty primal, in my opinion. They grow wild in the environments in which humans evolved, and many indigenous tribes still use them extensively. Still, they do have to be cooked so they aren't nearly as ancient in our diet as good old meat and dark green veg.


    I think the only complaint about yams is that they are quite heavy in carbs, albeit with a lower glycemic index than potatoes. Both yams and potatoes have plenty of vitamins, but nothing you can't get from carb-free sources.


    Sweet potato fries are admittedly awesome, but I expect you'll feel better if you use the tubers as an occasional treat rather than a significant calorie source.


  3. #3
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    You may find some of these posts by Don at Primal Wisdom interesting! (Scroll down and start at the bottom to read them in chronological order.)

    http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/search/label/Primal%20Potatoes


    Some snippets:
    [quote]

    Although in overall form the human gut appears distinctly carnivorous, humans have one unusual feature for a carnivore: we have salivary glands that produce amylase, which has the the sole function of digesting starch. Since meat contains essentially no starch, this feature could not have arisen as an adaptation to an exclusive meat diet. It clearly represents an adaptation to starch consumption.</blockquote>
    [quote]

    Thus, we know that humans had access to tubers—I’ll call them primal potatoes—even during the Ice Ages. It seems fairly certain that we have descended from a long line of tuber-eaters extending back at least a quarter of a million years.
    </blockquote>


    (From Lauren, who *does* include tubers in my primal/paleo-*esque* diet!


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    Starch is produced by all green plants as an energy store. Amylase production is also a result of fruit and veg consumption.


    It doesn&#39;t actually prove we ate tubers.
    [quote]

    Yams of African species must be cooked to be safely eaten, because various natural substances in raw yams can cause illness if consumed. (Excessive skin contact with uncooked yam fluids can cause the skin to itch. If this occurs, a quick cold bath will stop the itching.) Preparing these species is a time-consuming process, involving several minutes of pounding, leaching, and boiling to remove the toxins.
    </blockquote>


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_%28vegetable%29


    There isn&#39;t any evidence that Grok was boiling water (or leeching pulped foods), so safely consuming yam may not have been possible.


    Tubers may have only been a &#39;last resort&#39; food source

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

  5. #5
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    My husband used to eat raw potatoes all the time when he was a kid, and never got sick. It&#39;s my understanding that it&#39;s only the green spots that will make you sick.


  6. #6
    Diana Renata's Avatar
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    I eat sweet potatoes from time to time. They&#39;re a nice sweet treat. I don&#39;t generally eat white potatoes if I have a choice about it. Still trying to lose fat, so I&#39;m keeping my carbs fairly low.


  7. #7
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    Potato, cassava and sweet potato are new world foods and Grok didn&#39;t have access to any of them.
    [quote]

    Potatoes contain toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Solanine is also found in other plants in the family solanaceae, which includes such plants as the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and tobacco (Nicotiana) as well as the potato, eggplant and tomato. This poison affects the nervous system causing weakness and confusion.


    The concentration of glycoalkaloid in wild potatoes suffices to produce toxic effects in humans.
    </blockquote>


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

  8. #8
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    Tarlach and I agree on something! Yeah, salivary amylase isn&#39;t evidence that we ate tubers. It just means that we were eating some kind of plant material.


    However, Don&#39;s references demonstrate that we have more copies of amylase genes than other primates. Duplicated genes usually don&#39;t persist in the genome unless the duplication confers an advantage. In this case, the most logical advantage would be enhanced ability to digest starch. That suggests that early humans may have been ingesting significant amounts of starch. Interesting! (On the other hand, genes can do wacky things, and the amylase gene duplication could also confer less obvious benefits....)


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    Tarlach's Avatar
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    I thought you might just argue with me out of principle


    Quite possibly man could only get access to ripening fruit with a higher starch content due to competition with other species (ie. chimps or birds). This could have been very early in our development.

    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    • Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . • Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . .• Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    • Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . • Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . • Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    • Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

  10. #10
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    I probably shouldn&#39;t have posted those 2 quotes side by side--I don&#39;t think that the amylase was the evidence he was referring to irt humans having access to tubers. I haven&#39;t personally researched it enough either way, just thought the links were relevant to this. (If you want to know what Don&#39;s argument actually is, please check the links and don&#39;t rely on the snippets I posted.


    Of course I&#39;m finding this link totally interesting (as a wavering tuber eater--I totally go back and forth on them...)


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