So I really like this idea of Primal eating, but I feel a lot of stuff in this community is misinterpreted primal.
First, cooking is not primal and should be minimized.
Second, large amounts of animal is not primal. Our ancestors ate leaner wild animals and not in huge quantity.
If you apply these 2 additional principals, the primal diet is correct.
The fossil evidence points to fires being a recent invention. Cooking creates all sorts of harmful chemicals.
A good Primal diet should include fruits, vegetables,nuts, and animal.
Most of it should be raw, but boiling is good for some foods. Since most of us don't have access to freshly killed meat for eating raw, boiling it and making stews is a good substitute.
The first clear evidence for hearths isn't until about 250,000 years ago. "The application of heat for food was a late thing," says C. Loring Brace, an anthropologist (see article 1)
Cooking meat at high temperature creates heterocyclic amines which are carcinogens.
While eating meat raw may be the only way to avoid HCAs fully, the National Cancer Institute states that cooking meat below 212 °F (100 °C) creates "negligible amounts" of HCAs. (ie boiling is safe) (see article 2)
True Role of Meats/Fat
Don't go for the fatty cut of beef..just get the regular piece..even then, its probably still fattier than the WILD animals our ancestors ate.
Think of wild pheasant, wild duck, alligator, deer, wild quail, snake, squirrel, wild bison, and any other wild animal you've eaten.
They are often considerably leaner than domestic animals.
While meat is important, we need to focus more on veggies/fruits/nuts. Hunting is time intensive, difficult, and at times dangerous. Picking fruits, nuts and tubers is easier, safer, faster. Gathered foods are the mainstay of a good diet and meat is an important supplement.
Bottom line: eat meat but don't gorge on fat(ex no bacon or lard). Eat more salads, fruits, nuts, and tubers.
Most African hunter-gatherers relied primarily on gathered food, not hunted food. These may be most similar to what we evolved from.
!Kung people: Animal foods contribute 33% and plant foods 67% of their daily energy intakes. Fifty percent (by wt) of their plant-based diet comes from the mongongo nut, which is available throughout the year in massive quantities.
Hunter-gatherer Hazda of Tanzania: “the bulk of their diet” is wild plants, although they live in an area with an exceptional abundance of game animals and refer to themselves as hunters
Aka Pygmies: their avg. collecting area in the African rain forest has a wild tuber biomass of >5 tons.
(see article 3)
In summary, a greater focus on less cooking, more fruits/vegetables, and leaner meats.
processed fats: tallow, lard, olive oil, coconut milk
grilled and fried foods (many carcinogens)
grains, legumes, dairy
Meat/Eggs in Excess--- These are supplemental, not mainstays. Our ancestors had *limited* access to these foods, not kilogram upon kilo of it.
Starchy veggies(carrots, potatoes)
sashimi and carpaccio
stews* with meat, fish and veggies
(all types of meat, organs, and pieces of whole animal fat)
*Cook enough to avoid food borne illness and to soften some veggies(more palatable and easier to digest), but most food should be raw. Use as low a temperature as possible- boiling is one of the best choices, and it adds water to your diet which is also healthy.(ie soups and stews)
1. Pennisi: Did Cooked Tubers Spur the Evolution of Big Brains?
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