Superfoods or Super Diets?

I was just listening to Professor John Potter, talking to Wallace Chapman in an interview from last May. His book is called Thought for Food.

He was basically speaking about evolution and diet and how our metabolisms haven't had a chance to catch up with the changes in what we are eating.

As I have said before we are living in the 21 century with the changes that our large brains have made possible but still in cave woman bodies.

Of course our bodies are still geared to rapidly store fat, and of course we are still inately hard wired to crave and salt, fat and sugar.

In previous times salt, fat and sugar were rare and when we found them we feasted, and that feast had to last us a long time, until we had the opportunity to do it again.

And we probably walked many, many miles before that opportunity came around. 

Now we get in the car to go to the supermarket.

John Potter said that we used to average 5-8kg of meat per head per annum. Mainly scavenged or hunted down if we got lucky. We were not eating meat every day, or even every month. In New Zealand we now eat more than 100kg of meat per head per annum. This is not normal for humans, it is 20 times more than our metabolisms can cope with.

We used to average 2kg of sugar per year we now average 40-50kg. This is not normal either, we cannot effectively cope with this much animal fat and sugar.

Sugar contributes to bowel cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

We have made foods that are high in sugar, salt and animal fat cheap. These industrialised foods are high in calories and low in nutrients. When they were rare they were not detrimental now that they are everyday foods they are killing us.

We cannot cope with an abundance of these foods and no exercise. We are made to move. We need to walk and run - we are the running primate - that is why we have glutes! Does my bum look big in this? Big bum muscles are for walking long distance and running, not sitting on! We know that exercise is protetive against, breast and bowel cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But you can't out run a bad diet, we have to move and eat mindfully.

Paleo, Atkins and keto are poorly referenced, yes they remove refined carbohydrates from the diet which is great but all evidence suggests that we ate a diverse plant based diet with occasional animal foods when we struck it lucky. It was a hard life we walked miles to gather foods, we scavenged meat, we fished a little, probably stole eggs a little, we certainly couldn't get close enough to anything to milk it!

So for our cave woman metabolisms there are no super foods, just a super diet. A diet that is low in animal fat and sugar. A diet that has lots of variety with small amounts of many things. A diet that is eaten slowly and mindfully and preferably with friends.

The opinions above are a mixture taken fron the Prof John Potter interview and my own.


Posted in: Ginny's blog
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