Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Early Humans Ate Raw and Low-Fat
"More Evidence for the Optimal Raw Food Diet"
This article is based on research from the book "Natural Eating," by Geoff Bond who is a Nutritional Anthropologist. This is a fantastic book. I've quoted some pieces directly from his book. I simply leave the page number next to the quote if you want to look it up.
He has done research using Anthropology, Forensic Archeology and Comparative Anatomy to determine what the ideal diet for humans is. Though I don't completely agree with all of his conclusions about diet, I do think his findings are fascinating and can dispel many nutritional myths about what our Pleistocene ancestors actually ate.
All throughout the book you'll find evidence that our ideal diet is low in fat, high in micronutrients, high in fiber, low glycemic, low caloric density, high in volume or weight and low salt.
Pleistocene Man Facts: These are humans in the period before agriculture came to be on the planet. Approximately 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago. Agriculture started about 10,000 years ago. Before that man was mostly a gatherer and sometime hunter.
Humans lived in small groups of 35 to 50 people and needed a range of land of 200 to 300 miles to sustain themselves. With those kinds of space requirements a maximum of 600,000 people could live in the continental United States. Compare that number with the current estimate as of July 05 in the US of 295,734,134 people.
When the Aborigines (gatherer/hunter type, pre-agriculture) were the only ones living in Australia they had a filled the continent up and there was a maximum of 800,000 Aborigines there. You simply can't have 6 billion people living on the planet without the advent of agriculture and modern technology.
"Our Pleistocene ancestors had an average height some 6 inches greater than their descendants who took up farming. Today, in the opulent but still malnourished West, we have recovered only about 4 inches of the deficit." pg 45
Osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, arthritis and cavities were virtually unknown to early humans. I don't know how they figure this out, but anthropologists and archeologist can tell this through the study of fossilized remains, DNA testing, etc.
Early humans weren't great hunters. At that time they had very primitive tools like a sharpened stick as a spear. They didn't even have bows and arrows. From the determinations, it appears that humans didn't make many big kills, but instead let other predators do their hunting for them and then they scavenged the remains.
In short, early humans did eat animal matter but they were by no means great hunters. And just because they could eat some animal foods does not mean that eating animal foods are the best choice, health wise for humans.
There are several things missing in humans that all carnivores and omnivores have. They have a stomach acid 10 times stronger than humans. They have a much shorter and differently shaped intestine. This means that animal foods will take much longer to get through our system and they end up rotting in there. Carnivores have the enzyme uricase to help break down the uric acid (urine) from animal's body.
The animal matter that early humans ate included, insects, shellfish, eggs, lizards, snakes, bugs, caterpillars, frogs, small game and carrion.
There are three important factors about the nutritional nature of this animal matter. Pg 34-35 Natural Eating.
1. It was very low fat no more than 3% (as against 25% fat in modern beef.)
2. The fat was very low in saturated fat and high in 'essential fatty acids' (exactly the opposite of modern supermarket meats).
3. The essential fatty acids were present in a well-defined ratio of linoleic acid to alpha linolenic acid. The range of this ratio varied within close limits of 4:1 to 1:1. It transpires that this fatty acid profile is exactly what we modern humans need too. In the average western diet this ratio is totally distorted at 32:1, and we know that this has harmful health effects. (My comments: namely heart disease.)
I'm not trying to make an argument that we need wild animal foods to get the ideal omega 3 to omega 6 ratios. This fatty acid ratio was not just in the animal foods but in the plant based foods, located in their natural environment. How do you think the herbivorous animals had this correct ratio of essential oils? It's because the plants they were eating had them in the right ratios as well.
The EFA's are naturally there in the proper ratios from wild plant foods. But we should consider if there is an adequate ratio of these fatty acids in raw vegan foods produced by modern farming techniques? There is certainly a big difference in the nutritional profile between wild foods and cultivated foods.
This is why we have to eat a raw food diet but adapted to our modern living conditions. We have to do the best we can to meet our nutrient needs with the cultivated foods we have access to. It's good to try and get as much wild food into your diet as you can.
These essential fatty acids are so important they used to be called vitamin F1 and F2. "All other fatty acids that human biochemistry needs can be made by the body from these two." pg 35
"It is thought that much of the time, our early hominid ancestors fulfilled their basic protein needs just by consuming plant foods." pg 35
"These people had a choice of hundreds of edible plants, a rich variety compared to the 30 or so found in today's supermarkets." pg 35
Geoff Bond took a sample of 50 wild vegetable foods consumed by foragers and totaled up the nutrient content for 2,600 calories worth (a day's supply).
There was a more than adequate 82 grams of protein or more accurately amino acids.
Potassium was very high and sodium was very low. The potassium to sodium ratio was 40:1. This should help alleviate your fears of getting too much potassium and not enough sodium on a raw diet.
This is about the same ratio I get when I analyze my food consumption at www.fitday.com. They had no added salt in their diets. All the sodium they ingested came from plant foods. This is sodium in its organic form made useable to us by the action of plants.
Any sodium not coming from plants is toxic to the body, this includes sea salt, real salt, and even Himalayan sea salt. If you drank a glass of sea salt you would become very dehydrated. It's not the water in sea water that would make you dehydrated, but the salt.
Another interesting point Geoff brought up in his book is that the advent of extensive cooking also did not happen until agriculture came into being. Pleistocene humans did have fire but they didn't cook very much as they didn't have the tools or possessions to make extensive cooking possible.
Vitamin C was at 540 mg. That is five times higher than what the average American consumes.
The fiber content was 62 g and five times higher than the norm for Americans. Not only that, but the fiber in these foods was soluble fiber. This is the ideal fiber for humans not insoluble fiber you find in grains and Metamucil or other fiber supplements.
Those 2,600 calories weighed 4.5 pounds. This is a much higher volume than a person on the average western diet consumes. The high fiber, nutrient and water content would naturally control your appetite. You can eat much more food like this volume wise and yet be consuming much less calories then you would from the SAD diet.
"Our prehistoric ancestors did not eat:
* Milk, cream, butter, cheese * Bread, breakfast cereals, popcorn, spaghetti, pizza, rice… * Vegetable Oils * Farmed Meat (saturated fat) * Sugars (sugar, honey, maple syrup, malt, corn syrup…)" pg 37
"The Pleistocene diet was:
* high in volume * low calorie density * high in micronutrients * high in fiber * very low fat * low glycemic * low salt" pg 37
"Evolutionary History tells us that our pre-historic diet contained soft vegetation, fruit, nuts, insects, flowers, gums, some egg and some small game.
It did not contain seeds, grains, or cereals, dairy products, farm meat, saturated fat or vegetable oils." pg 39
Our bodies have not evolved in the last 10,000 years. We still operate the best on this pre-historic diet. I'm supplying you this information to give you more evidence that a low-fat, raw food diet, high in fruits and vegetables is the optimal diet for our modern world living conditions.
Don't let anyone fool you into believing that you'll attain your best health on a high protein or high fat diet. It simply cannot happen. You might lose weight, but you can lose weight by taking diet pills, drinking coffee, smoking, taking drugs and doing chemotherapy.
I think we all can agree these are not safe ways of losing weight. Neither is a high protein all animal food diet.
To Your Radiant Health, Happiness and Fitness, Roger Haeske
P.S. Are you having trouble staying 100% raw? Do you want to do it with less struggle and make sure that you are getting all the nutrients you need? www.HowToGoRaw.com will help you succeed at achieving radiant health, happiness and fitness via the Optimal Raw Food Diet.
Links to this post:
I love your information on dna testing! I bookmarked your blog and will be back soon. If you want, check out my blog on dna testing secrets, please come by!
I enjoyed your information on dna testing. I have a dna testing blog if you want to check it out.Post a Comment
Links to this post: