Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: On Human Teeth and Diet. page

  1. #1
    Kochin's Avatar
    Kochin is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Horsham
    Posts
    918

    On Human Teeth and Diet.

    Primal Fuel
    People seem to like saying that human teeth are close to a herbivore's, meaning we were made to eat plants. I agree there, we WERE made to eat plants. They also like saying that our teeth are nothing like a carnivore's, so we weren't made to eat meat. Ahem...

    Well, let's look at the evidence.
    Looking at only the incisors and canines, it's easy to see how a dog and a human's teeth differ. It is obvious that a dog has sharper incisors and larger canines than a human. But these teeth are only used for dragging food INTO the mouth, not processing it. Pre-molars and molars process it. So let's compare four images of pre-molars and molars, more or less side on:
    The standard image of human teeth:
    teeth.jpg
    My teeth (which, based on observation, are not an uncommon shape at all):
    IMG0548A.jpg
    A giraffe's teeth (true herbivore):
    5831942344_32027832da.jpg
    And a dog's teeth (mostly carnivorous):
    223dogTeethClean.jpg

    Looking at the incisors and canines, no human teeth aren't ANYTHING like a dog's front teeth. But, let's look at the chewing teeth, the molars.
    The standard image of human teeth seems to match nicely with the giraffe's: rounded, a bit untidy, but mostly flat and not hugely sharp.
    teeth.jpg5831942344_32027832da.jpg
    Yet, when comparing a REAL human's teeth, the dog's molars are more similar:
    5831942344_32027832da.jpgIMG0548A.jpg223dogTeethClean.jpg

    My teeth aren't abnormal. They aren't unhealthy. They're clean, strong, they've never had a problem. They seem to run in the family. It isn't age either, I'm 19, the model is for 21-25 year olds. Yet my teeth are VERY different to what is presented as "normal". Go to a mirror, pull the corner of your mouth back. Chances are you'll see something more like my teeth than like that image of a "standard human"'s teeth.

    Of course, our teeth are closer to chimpanzees',
    Corbis-YA005448.jpg
    pigs' and other omnivores than they are to dogs'. I wasn't saying we are carnivores. I was just making a point about how ridiculously we view our own teeth, to a point where a vegetarian arguing against meat-eating will say "humans have flat molars" (based on graphs, drawings, but NOT real teeth) yet nobody will bat an eyelid.

    And, as a side-note, why do we not have huge canines? Well, even largely herbivorous simians have larger canines. The reason we don't isn't that we "aren't made to eat meat", or else those monkeys would have lost them too. The reason is simpler: humans have less prognathism (less of a "stickey-outey jaw") than other animals. This would make huge canines inconvenient. As they don't serve much of a purpose, they just got smaller to allow for a flatter face, which had several evolutionary benefits (it made growing larger skulls for brains easier, for example).

  2. #2
    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,178
    Maybe look at a Gorilla's teeth, who is almost exclusively a herbivore. It's pretty easy to see that big canines aren't synonymous with meat eating.

    I think that a more accurate model to look at is gut length. Herbivores require longer intestines, omnivores are somewhere in the middle, and carnivores only require a short intestinal tract (shorter is better because there's a lower energy cost).

    Eating meat is what allowed us to have a smaller gut, which meant that we could 'afford' to develop the large brains we have today.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

  3. #3
    Kochin's Avatar
    Kochin is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Horsham
    Posts
    918
    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    Maybe look at a Gorilla's teeth, who is almost exclusively a herbivore. It's pretty easy to see that big canines aren't synonymous with meat eating.

    I think that a more accurate model to look at is gut length. Herbivores require longer intestines, omnivores are somewhere in the middle, and carnivores only require a short intestinal tract (shorter is better because there's a lower energy cost).

    Eating meat is what allowed us to have a smaller gut, which meant that we could 'afford' to develop the large brains we have today.
    Ah, and eating meat also provided us with a primary fuel source of huge lumps of fat. Provided you have enough water, hunting once feeds you for several days and only burns a lot of kcals when you're chasing something (which usually leads to a successful hunt), not when you're stalking. This is far more efficient than grazing or gathering, which can provided very few kcals, especially in seasons when most veg is leafy. Hunting both encouraged us to get smarter (the smarter individuals developed better hunting tactics, which got them more meat and made them more desirable AND more likely to survive) and also gave us the leisure of free time in which to toy with our increasing intelligence.

  4. #4
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
    paleo-bunny is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SW England, UK
    Posts
    2,667
    Yes, a reduced gut length is a more reliable indicator than our teeth of rapid evolutionary adapation to eating more animal protein.

    However, there is plenty of evidence that the rapid increase in human brain size is associated with increased consumption of fish and seafood, not of land flesh. Hey - guess what - this came with no pressure for evolution of sharper, more carnivorous teeth, because seafood is not sinuous and is very soft when eaten either cooked or raw.
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  5. #5
    Tribal Rob's Avatar
    Tribal Rob is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Wakefield, in the Englandshire
    Posts
    1,023
    Also;
    Tigers - Pointy teethy pegs and scratchy claws nom nom raw meat
    Peoples - Pointy sticks and stabby rocks fire nom nom cooked meat

    Or for a more detailed version look up 'Did cooking make us human' on that youtube.
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

  6. #6
    AlanC's Avatar
    AlanC is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Tropics
    Posts
    139
    Our closest living relative is the chimpanzee, which frequently hunts and eats meat.

    We share something like 98% of our DNA with that, so it's pretty obvious we're meat-eaters.




    AC

  7. #7
    Louisa655's Avatar
    Louisa655 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    795
    Just brush and floss after every meal and you'll be fine.
    ----------------------------------------
    F, 48, 5'10"
    Start Date: 25-06-12 @ 161lbs
    Goal Reached: 30-09-12 @ 143lb. Now bouncing between 145lb - 149lb. I'd like less bounce and more consistency :-)

    Started Cross Fit 20.12.12 ---- Can't wait to submit my success story on the 1st anniversary of starting primal.

  8. #8
    paleo-bunny's Avatar
    paleo-bunny is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    SW England, UK
    Posts
    2,667
    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    Our closest living relative is the chimpanzee, which frequently hunts and eats meat.

    We share something like 98% of our DNA with that, so it's pretty obvious we're meat-eaters.

    AC
    Chimps mostly eat fruit:

    Common chimpanzee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

  9. #9
    sbhikes's Avatar
    sbhikes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    9,758
    You do not need any teeth to eat meat because meat actually does not need to be chewed to be eaten. You need sharp teeth to tear flesh from a carcass. But we have hands and tools so we don't need sharp teeth for that. Dog's don't have hands or tools so they do.

    Furthermore, you don't even need a stomach to digest meat. You can surgically remove the stomach from a dog and it will live. If you surgically remove the stomach from say a sheep, it will die. If you remove the stomach from a human, the human lives just like the dog. That is why stomach bypass surgery is a possibility.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Heaviest squat: 180 x 2. Heaviest Deadlift: 230 x 2

  10. #10
    magicmerl's Avatar
    magicmerl is online now Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    3,178
    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Yeah, the chimp arguement above is false. <5% of a chimps diet is meat. The human adaption to lots of meat (relatively speaking) is since we diverged from them. Otherwise we'd be seeing chimps cooking their food over a fire
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

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