Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
9 Apr

One True Paleo Diet Doesn’t Exist, but So What?

kalahariAs a rule, people tend to eat whatever food they can physically access. Transcontinental shipping now allows us to access all sorts of foods – we can eat durian in California, jasmine rice in Alaska, Spam in Hawaii, and Russian caviar in Cape Town – but for most of (pre)history, humans ate only locally available foods. So it’s no surprise to hear that hunter-gatherers, past and present, ate and eat wildly varied diets depending on their environment. The East African Hadza diet is different from the Arctic Inuit diet is different from the Paraguayan Ache diet.

This is usually highlighted by critics as a counterpoint to the tenets of ancestral health. Because apparently we’re all convinced that a single, rigid dietary prescription is the One True Diet. That’s silly, of course.

Today, I’m going to explore the hunter-gatherer diets about which we do have data, including environment, available/utilized plant/animal species, amount of food derived from the various categories (meat, fish, plants, seeds, tubers, etc), and macronutrient ratios whenever possible. Let’s see what we can glean from this data. Are there commonalities? Common differences? What trends do we observe?

I’ve excluded pastoralists like the Masai, agrarians like the Kitavans, and any other groups eating otherwise traditional diets that are not strictly hunter-gatherers. Those are certainly healthy groups, and we can learn a lot from their diets, but they aren’t hunter-gatherers.

Due to the nature of the subject, much of the data is incomplete. Much is qualitative rather than quantitative, but I’ll provide hard numbers whenever possible, usually drawing on this PDF as a source. I’ll speak in both generalities and specifics whenever possible as I try to give an overarching impression of what actual hunter-gatherers were and are eating.

Hiwi

Environment: The neotropical savannahs of western Venezuela and eastern Colombia, which are characterized by extreme seasonal shifts that rendered the area unsuitable for most agriculture (before industrial agriculture reared its head). During the rainy season, it floods up to a meter high, turning the plains into a kind of wetland. The result is a diverse ecosystem rich in edible wildlife, including waterbirds, capybara (massive, delicious rodents that I swore as a kid would make the perfect pet), deer, armadillo, caiman, and turtles.

What they ate: The Hiwi depended primarily on hunted game, fish, and gathered roots. Deer, capybara, armadillo, anteater, peccary, various fish, lizards, and turtles were the main sources of game meat. Some honey was eaten, while fruit played a minor role.

Numbers: 75% of their intake came from animals and 25% came from plants.

Ache

Environment: The tropical forests of eastern Paraguay.

What they ate: The Ache relied primarily on hunted game, honey, palm starch, and insect larvae.

Numbers: Game meat accounted for 78% of their traditional diet, honey 8%, and palm starch, insects, palm hearts, and fruit the remaining 14%. The species which comprised 90% of their hunted food were armadillo, capuchin monkey, peccary, paca, coati, and deer.

Sami

Environment: The Sami’s ancestral lands were called the Sapmi, covering northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia’s Kola peninsula. They were both sub-arctic and arctic, with treeless tundra and coniferous forests alike. By the 17th century, they’d taken up reindeer herding to keep up with the Scandinavian governments’ demands for pelts, but prior to that they were exclusively hunter-gatherers.

What they ate: The Sami were primarily hunters and fishers, with some plant utilization. Animals included reindeer (the most important one), moose, bear, seals, walrus, salmon, and rabbits. Plants included all manner of berry: blueberry, cloudberry, lingonberry, buckthorn.

Numbers: None available.

Inuit

Environment: The Arctic, including Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. Their lands were very inhospitable to most forms of agriculture and populated by large, fatty mammals, both marine and terrestrial.

What they ate: Seals, walrus, caribou, fish, shellfish, and other marine fare made up the animal food. Plant foods included seaweed, berries, roots, and partially digested plant matter (lichens, assorted grasses) found in hunted caribou stomachs.

Numbers: By most accounts, animals (both marine and land) accounted for 96%+ of their food, with plants bringing up the rear.

!Kung

Environment: Kalahari Desert of Botswana, Namibia, and Angola, a “semi-desert” with plentiful grazing after rains. Being just semi-arid, it supports more plants and wildlife than a “true” desert (like the Sahara).

What they ate: Animal foods included antelope, giraffe, rabbit, and guinea fowl. Plant foods included mongongo nuts, baobob pods, berries, citron melons (a wild melon similar to the watermelon, but far less sweet and more fibrous), wild mangos, various roots and tubers, bitter melon (a plant with anti-diabetic properties). PDF here.

Numbers: By weight (not calories, necessarily), 31% animals, 28% mongongo nuts, 41% other plants.

Hadza

Environment: North-central Tanzania, in a section of the very same Rift Valley that hosted the earliest modern humans.

What they ate: According to an anthropologist who lived with them, a “wide variety of birds and mammals” and a “variety of berries,” plus tubers, honey, and baobob. The tubers are so high in fiber that they’re “nothing like the food we eat, even the food highest in fiber.” The meat is lean by our standards, and the Hadza extract every last available bit from the animals.

Numbers: 48% animal food, 52% plant food.

Anbarra

Environment: Tropical Arnhem Land in Northern Australia, on the coast.

What they ate: Primarily shellfish and other marine animals, with some birds and lizards. Roots, fruits, and seeds (PDF) with some honey on the side.

Numbers: 75% animal food (mostly shellfish and fish) and 25% plant food.

Onge

Environment: Located south of India, the Andaman Islands hosted (and continue to host) some of the most isolated, untouched populations of hunter gatherers in the world. Even today, the Sentinelese (one of the tribes) remain essentially disconnected from the rest of the world; all attempts to make contact have ended in bloodshed, or nearly so. The best records exist for one tribe in particular, the Onge.

What they ate: Wild boar, dugongs (relatives of the manatee, a massive marine mammal with hundreds of pounds of mostly saturated and monounsaturated body fat), turtles, fish, crabs, tubers, fruit, and honey.

Numbers: 79% animal food, 21% plant food.

Those are just the groups whose diets have been quantitatively studied. There are also hundreds of qualitative, more anecdotal reports from ethnographers who studied other hunter-gatherer groups’ dietary habits without measuring energy and micronutrients, and the general impression is consistent with the more detailed: a preference for animal foods, with the majority of groups getting more than 50% of calories from animals, fish, insects, and eggs.

What do you notice? Any trends?

Reliance on hunted animal foods is consistent and universal regardless of climate: As Cordain notes, hunted terrestrial animal food – big game, small game, medium game, birds, any land animal – is a consistent feature of hunter-gatherer subsistence. The closer you are to the equator, the more plant food you see utilized. The further you get from the equator, the less plant food and the more seafood you see. But regardless of latitude, between 25-36% of hunter-gatherer subsistence comes from hunted animal food. That appears to be the baseline, with the remainder coming from plants (if closer to the equator) or marine animals (if farther from the equator).

Plant food utilization is universal but dependent on climate: While even the arctic groups consumed plant foods, plant availability – and thus consumption – skyrocketed the closer a group lived to the equator.

No vegetarians (and certainly no vegans): Vegetarianism is a luxury of industrialization. Except for honey, animals are the most energy (and often nutrient) dense foods available. Plants alone simply didn’t cut it, and that was the reality for several million years of hominid evolution. Hunter-gatherer groups help confirm our collective omnivory. And there were certainly no vegans. Does this mean vegetarianism and veganism are unhealthy? No, that can’t be proven with historical records. It does probably suggest that vegetarianism and veganism are less than optimal.

No refined vegetable fats. The !Kung’s high consumption of nutrient-dense mongongo nuts rich in linoleic acid doesn’t resemble the Arizonan’s consumption of french fries cooked in soybean oil rich in linoleic acid. Mongongo nuts are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E (to protect the linoleic acid from oxidation), calcium, protein, copper, and even zinc; soybean oil is just refined fat without nutrients. No offense to Arizona. I just picked a random state’s name out of the hat.

No refined sugar: Honey is not a refined sweetener. It’s a dense source of sugar, yes, but honey contains phytochemicals and prebiotics that alter the metabolic ramifications of consuming it. Same goes for fruit, which also comes with fiber. And truly wild honey, the kind hunter-gatherers utilize, is unfiltered. It’s full of larvae, pollen, wings, stingers, severed bee legs, unlucky drones, and other nutritious bits that distinguish it from most store-bought honey, let alone white sugar. The Ache’s 8% honey (and larvae) diet doesn’t resemble a 2-coke-a-day habit by any stretch of the imagination.

No refined grains: This is an obvious one. Grains are rarely if ever mentioned in the literature.

Lots of whole animals: Lean muscle meat isn’t the only thing they eat off the game they kill.

Insects: Many anthropologists gloss over the importance of insect consumption among modern hunter-gatherers, and some of the dietary ratios ignore their contribution entirely, but hunter-gatherer groups definitely consumed bugs (PDF).

So, are hunter-gatherer diets so different from each other as to be useless for us, as critics claim? Is, say, a !Kung diet closer to the Standard American Diet than it is to other traditional hunter-gatherer diets just because the macronutrient ratios are somewhat similar and both have a lot of linoleic acid? Is “Hadza ate different from Inuit, therefore eat grains” a valid criticism of Primal eating?

No. The trends are obvious and, while they indicate a relatively broad range of potential macronutrient ratios, they support and inform – without proving the validity of – the central themes and strategies of a Primal Blueprint way of eating.

What do you think, folks? Does the fact that different hunter gatherer groups ate/eat different foods imply that we should therefore stop eating the way that makes us feel, look, and perform better than we ever have?

Thanks for reading.

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Random thoughts….

    Hunting is fun. I am quite certain that we have a genetic predisposition to enjoy hunting ( more commonly in the males) so fit that into your evolutionary context if you like.

    There is some evidence that HGs utilised grains when said grains were freely available, and maybe when others weren’t. We have records of Australian Aboriginals using grass seeds and grinding stones are common, although there are also tree seeds (Kurrajong) and spore cases (Nardoo) in the diet thT require some level of processing.

    Consider seasonal variation. Seeds are only available at certain times of year, as are many fruits, vegetables, wildfowl eggs and young, many insect species and migratory game.

    Consider the cost/benefit principle in relation to obtaining food. Or if you like, call it the “least discomfort” principle. There is a limit to which people will put effort into obtaining one kind of food if another is more easily available, even if the latter is of lesser quality.
    Perhaps this is so etching that the hunting gene overcomes, that the instinctive liking for hunting drives HGs to eat more meat than is strictly necessary in some areas.

    Oh, and beware disaster theories about modern agriculture. If there was any great validity to them, we would have run out of food 50 years ago, instead of producing more food than ever before. I’d also ask that we resist the temptation to stereotype agriculture. 93% of Australian cattle and sheep eat grass and I don’t know of any livestock producers in my locality who routinely use hormones or antibiotics. We aren’t “organic”, but we aren’t “factory”, either.

    Regards all….. Peter.

    PeterW wrote on April 9th, 2014
  2. Rather off-topic, but having discussed primal eating, primal exercise and primal sleeping, what is the general thinking on primal clothing?

    What would qualify and are there any quantifiable benefits to the wearing of leather, wool and plant fibres rather than synthetics?

    PeterW wrote on April 9th, 2014
    • um you’ll be arrested for indecent exposure where I live. Unless you dress like an Inuit and then you will die of heatstroke.

      Batteries wrote on April 12th, 2014
  3. Excellent stuff thanks Mark, presented beautifully…

    Just for the sake of completeness would it be possible to summarize/contrast the numbers of “true HG” societies that ate (1) predominantly meat based foods vs. (2) those that ate mostly plant based foods? ie. no doubt detractors will say that you didn’t include many societies that did eat a lot of plants, of which I believe there are some, but presumably in the minority?

    +

    Have you seen this article? More and more solid science research is indicating that the Carbs in the “Western diet” are major contributors to the high incidence of Cancer in the modern world… This is just one reference that I have come across recently but it is written in very clear and easily understandable language….

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/8/1/75

    Lewis L wrote on April 9th, 2014
  4. The “so what?” in the title is what resonated most for me in this article.

    Seriously. So what?

    So what if paleolithic diets varied in innumerable ways?

    So what if some became pastoralists early on and were healthy?

    So what if some became agrarian early on and were healthy?

    Primal and paleo are dietary templates, for heaven’s sake. We can all make it ours. Whatever makes you happy and healthy. If it makes you feel good, eat this way. If it makes you feel bad, find something else. If you like cheese, eat cheese. If you want corn, eat corn. If you want to live in the woods and eat only what you can kill with your bare hands, do so. I personally prefer to hunt and gather at Publix, avoid corn like its an awkward family photo, and enjoy a big bowl of lentil soup with a big hunk of fresh buttered white bread every few months. Life is too short to argue on the internet whether or not we’re eating like paleolithic humans 24/365 when we could be playing barefoot outside or improvising standing workstations out of stacks of college textbooks. Can we please just relax and go back to mincing garlic instead of mincing the issue of whether or not actual cavepeople had consistent macro splits?!

    Kristina wrote on April 9th, 2014
    • I just read an article about the pattern of eating styles, between different hunter-gatherer cultures. Not sure where you’re getting the “arguing on the internet” from?

      Chris wrote on April 9th, 2014
      • Oh. I wasn’t talking about the article being an argument. It’s not. I was talking about how, if you peruse enough forums or discussion boards about Paleo, many times the conversation devolves into the keyboard warriors criticizing and belittling any dietary choice that is not their own, whether its one paleo approach versus another, all organic and wild-caught versus conventional, traditional diets versus every current paleo approach we have now, high carbs versus low carbs, or “some grains” or “no grains” versus “paleo is bunk and you’ll die of constipation without grains because these people eat them and happen to be thin.” Those are the online arguments that waste everyone’s time because they aren’t really discussing health or individual optimization of anything; they’re just an “I’m right, you’re wrong” attention-seeking fest masquerading as constructive dialogue. It happens on pretty much any online forum about any topic you can imagine, from how to breast-feed or give birth to how to play World of Warcraft.

        I’d also extend my description to the articles published in various news outlets that range from “Paleo is good!” or “Paleo is a fad!” to “all the vegetables on paleo could be good, but all that fat is going to kill you” or “paleo is completely unfounded because of these examples of healthy people who eat dairy/legumes/rice/white potatoes.” Really, the only answer to any of these minutiae is, “so what?” We’re all going to eat what we’ve decided is best for us based on how nutritious WE think it is, how WE can afford it, and so on, so really, the outcome of the battle on the internet of what the perfect, 100% ideal paleo diet doesn’t really matter.

        Kristina wrote on April 10th, 2014
    • Well put.

      Also I think we often lose sight of the fact that one of the wonderful things about the human “beast” is that we are Omnivores… Basically we can eat just about anything! How liberating should that be??

      As you say the specific mix is not so critical, more the philosophy of eating whole foods that agree with the individual’s palate, and avoid refined/processed food wherever possible…

      Lewis L wrote on April 10th, 2014
      • Precisely. I also don’t understand why people who read about approaches different from their own become so upset and feel compelled to correct–again, via the internet–anyone who isn’t doing as they do. (I don’t have any friends who do paleo, but I assume this probably happens in real-life interactions as well). I can understand that if you’re on the forums for any kind of strict protocols, like AIP or GAPS or on the Whole30 forums, for example, and someone posted a recipe that has unapproved ingredients in it. You’d want to talk about why it’s not approved, why it’s a problem, and how to avoid it. That’s constructive. But to jump on someone for eating dairy or rice because “that’s not paleo” is an irrelevant exercise in labeling.

        Kristina wrote on April 10th, 2014
  5. At one time in my checkered past I was the largest producer of round section comb honey in the US. Kinda like saying you were the mayor of some small town in Idaho. Bee parts indeed. With even minimal care and knowledge you could rob hives of honey (in the wild) and have a pretty clean product. If you haven’t tried comb honey, I urge you to do so. Way different than the processed liquid, not that that’s bad either.

    kent wrote on April 9th, 2014
  6. This article is really very nice, I appreciate it.

    Jasu wrote on April 10th, 2014
  7. This is a really useful post. As a pescetarian trying to follow Primal, it’s nice to see that at least one hunter-gatherer group have found a large part of their diet in fish and shellfish. If I pretend to be a Grokette-by-the-Sea, then my Primal eating becomes a little bit easier/more manageable.

    Ally wrote on April 10th, 2014
  8. This is a great survey, but I feel incomplete. Yes, you proved people can live on various diets, but what do they die of? How long do they live? Is their life worthy to emulate? etc This part is missing.

    I’m not criticising your info, this is very useful – just I feel incomplete.

    me wrote on April 10th, 2014
  9. Great post Mark. It’s laughable how many “experts” are summarily dismissing the entire evolutionary/ancestral approach with this ridiculous comment that the diet is “speculative”.

    Doug wrote on April 10th, 2014
  10. I had to chuckle at Mark’s capybara comment… when I was a kid I read a library book about a family that had a capybara as a pet… “Capyboppy” was his name… for years I wanted one. I’ll never forget that book… :)

    Lora wrote on April 10th, 2014
  11. The critics have come full circle . ” Ok they ate animals and plants but were they healthy?”
    Yes! thats why we’re looking at what they ate.

    Ok they were healthy and strong but did they live forever?
    No! Mammals die.

    Zenmooncow wrote on April 10th, 2014
  12. I forgot who mentioned it here, but I concur that what I find very important is what our Primal ancestors DIDN’T eat and what they DIDN’T do. I truly believe that is what triumphs everything else. Details are just that, details.
    We know they didn’t:

    Eat processed foods at all

    Drink soda

    Smoke

    Take prescription drugs

    Go on “diets”

    Run on a treadmill for 30 minutes

    Perform isolated biceps curls and lat pulldowns

    Go to sleep 1 o’clock in the morning

    Wake up 10 o’clock in the morning

    …you get the idea. I think that sums it all up.

    Take all the above away, and I don’t think we have such an unhealthy society.

    BodyweightFan wrote on April 10th, 2014
    • We know they didn’t eat artificially plumped up pigs, cows, and chickens that are higher in saturated fat than pretty much any animal you find in nature. We know they ate lots of seafood, nuts, and berries. I’m still amazed that anyone is recommending that we go out of our way to eat high saturated fat diets, as that is NOT what hunter-gatherer groups tended to eat.

      Dan wrote on April 20th, 2014
  13. Love this post! Thankyou. I have bookmarked it so that I can refer back to it when someone tells me that there is no one true paleo/hunter-gather diet…

    salixisme wrote on April 10th, 2014
  14. Great post Mark. Your research is fantastic. This is exactly what I’ve been explaining to people. We’ll never know exactly what people were eating during the evolution of our species, but there is a framework of what was available. Looking at the modern hunter-gatherers furthers this evidence. Props!

    Graham Ballachey wrote on April 10th, 2014
  15. i try to stick to a diet that would have been consistent with what my ancestors ate. it is surprisingly easy because they are the same foods i liked as a small child. i am unlearning to like things i actually avoided as a small child. my gluten intolerance helps with this part a lot. i am of irish decent and as a small child i loved rare red meat, shellfish, cheese, butter, cream (the irish were a cattle culture), spinach, onions, mushrooms, tubers (potatoes, of course) and berries. i had little to no interest in wheat based products. i took the meat out of my sandwiches and left the bread, ate the meatballs and left the pasta, ate the frosting and left the cake. i hated most fruits and veggies. my instincts were dead on.

    allison wrote on April 11th, 2014
  16. Most of the arguments (such as the one discussed in this post) against Primal/paleo eating rely on straw men. Let’s face it; there’s always going to be those who will latch on to any opportunity to dispel the validity of any popular trend. Many of those arguments are spurious but successful in their primary attempt to gather readers. That’s all that really appears to be important in this day and age of internet hits.

    Fritzy wrote on April 11th, 2014
  17. Breaking down the differences in the types of paleo diets eaten by different groups is very valuable. People get stuck into a singular idea of what eating paleo means, and forget that there are many different variations of what early humans ate! It makes sense that availability of food varied based on location, and thus humans adapted and ate what was available.

    Joseph DelGrosso wrote on April 11th, 2014
  18. Living in Northern Sweden, Sami country in other words and indeed lots of meat, fish and berries around here! Moose and salmon are most def. my favorite. I was wondering tho, didn’t they eat roots?

    Wilhelmina wrote on April 12th, 2014
    • Interesting point. The fact that certain foods are our “favourites” surely points to what we have adapted to preferring as a food source. Millions of years of evolution is not going to program us to think that toxic or poorly nutritious foods are “yummy”.

      I don’t know to many people who don’t regard a good “slap up” feed of Roast meat (yes, + Roasted veggies…) amongst their favourite….

      Also as a Hunter Gatherer I reckon that I’d much rather go hunting all day and (hopefully) bring back a nice, highly nutrient dense kill of Reindeer, Antelope, Kangaroo or Capybara than spend the same amount of time (if in season…) trying to gather enough veggies (especially seeds/grains) to fill the family’s stomach…. Especially without a bag or bucket to put whatever they gather in…would be pretty hard going… Especially in winter in a harsh cold Northern climate where all the plants were buried under mountains of snow/ice, or equally during a drought in Africa or Australia where there really wouldn’t be anything to “gather” anyway, as all the plants would be eaten by the herbivore population! I reckon there is a good reason why the H (Hunter) comes before the G (Gatherer) in HG! Obviously if the hunt didn’t go so well, whatever was “gathered” during the day would also be pretty well appreciated (which is why it is so great that we are Omnivores!), but I’d much rather the hunted prey (ala herbivore) was the one “collecting” the majority of grains/plant calories on our behalf…. (:-)

      Lewis L wrote on April 12th, 2014
      • Raises a good point re’ why it is such a good thing that we like to eat meat actually…. Anyone been in the middle of a drought? One thing about it is that the “last man standing” or “last thing standing” is not the verdant flora (apart from the longest lived/deepest rooted trees of course…). Basically all the plants go first (eaten by herbivores &/or dry up and blow away), followed by the herbivores (when the plants have dried up and blown away or been eaten), and last to go will be the Carnivores/Omnivores & Scavengers, who can hopefully pick up enough nutrition from the dead/dying remnants of the Faunal population to keep them going until the next rain relieves the pressure…. Quite some selection pressure there for a meat eating diet I reckon…

        Lewis L wrote on April 12th, 2014
  19. I think I can translate this post.”Cripes, the people who actually went to university and spent years studying this stuff actually made a valid point, let’s backpedal and post up some info about 1% of the thousands of hunter-gatherer bands of people that existed thousands of years ago with a list from a high school text book that you can’t even access

    Now tomorrow back to our highly prescriptive posts about what you can and can’t eat.”

    Ask a duck wrote on April 12th, 2014
  20. The Sami people also used milk from reindeer in their traditional diet. It is a very rich type of milk, ca 22% fat and 10% protein.

    May wrote on April 13th, 2014
  21. Finally.
    About time for a post like this one, I’ve been waiting.

    My mother was a Sami and every time I mentioned this or asked questions about the diet I got nothin’.

    Thanks for including and covering the Sami which most people have never heard of outside middle and northern Europe.

    Al wrote on April 14th, 2014
  22. While I truly enjoy reading (to a point..) all the comments I ask myself: “is this topic going to matter to me in a 100 years?” Nope! I look at it this way.. you don’t have to know all about the ocean to swim in it, certainly pay attention to the dangers of rocks, currents, etc.. I value and trust exceptional people such as Mark Sisson and so many others that share their knowledge and have made possible such a positive difference in my life.

    Rob wrote on April 16th, 2014
  23. Great article. I have read much material on the subject, as well as Weston Price and as a result, went paleo about a year and a half ago. My health was terrible, horrid immune system, couldn’t walk to the mailbox without puffing and panting, had every illness that came by, seasonal allergies, IBS, digestive issues, pancreas problems, high cholesterol and was diabetic…the list goes on. Now, eliminating a modern diet, fast food, packaged foods and sugars, I am 52 pounds lighter, but moreover, have no illness, healthier skin, teeth, nails, hair, no allergy symptoms, etc. Anyone I have put onto this way of eating is having similar results. My thinking is clear headed, my hormones are balanced. All I can say, is that we have so many food choices nowadays, but the proof is in the pudding…literally. Makes good sense to eat real food. I used to take many supplements too, but all I take now is some calcium, and most importantly, cod liver and K2 rich pasture butter. If anyone is still struggling, look into what Weston Price wrote about fermented cod liver oil. Most of the cultures written in the article above include organ meats, and the nutrients that we can now get by eating organ meats, and also taking a fermented cod liver oil capsule. I personally cannot find a way to eat organ meats daily. Thanks for posting a great article.

    kirsten wrote on April 30th, 2014
  24. This is exactly the message I’m trying to get through to people too!

    Especially for the critics – it should be pointed out that the conceptual eating paradigm is what is important and not mimicking the food our ancestors ate to the gram/lbs/etc.

    Just through the removal of most industrially processed foods and emulating the eating style they had, we can improve our health a lot.

    With adding sources that are as industrially minimized as possible, organic grass-fed, free-range etc. we increase the nutritional value of particular food items themselves.

    What is also worth noting, however, is that those particular cultures and tribes had become accustomed to eating patterns that were especially high in meat and low in other food sources, so epigenetics had a role in their adaptation to those particular eating patterns as well.

    As it has been continously shown that a mostly plant-based eating pattern has been most associated with longevity and health – this does not mean we all should become vegetarians and vegans in any case though, just that we should take the eating patterns of these specific tribes and cultures with a little reserve.

    Sebastijan Veselic wrote on April 13th, 2014

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