Liberated from religious indoctrination (largely), in my youth, I am a 'theological blank slate' in a perfect position for a god or gods to communicate with me and recruit me accordingly. I am still waiting.
My diet is derived from a similar standpoint. What did our ancestors eat? We don't really know what our ancestors ate but we do have some clues (which I've posted before on Paleohacks):
- we have pollen records telling us what was around in the paleolithic,
- we have cave paintings of what was hunted,
- we have animal bones and tools from butchering sites,
- we have studies of teeth to show the range of HG foods ('Our human ancestors did not eat much fruit, but instead consumed a lot of root vegetables, nuts, insects and some meat')
- tooth shape also indicates the properties of foods eaten.
- isotope analysis of bones and teeth also point to diet.
- amylase content in human saliva is 6-8 times higher than that of chimps. Amylase is used to break down starch in to sugars.
- Human and lion tape worms share a common ancestor, strongly suggesting we had a similar diet. Geneticists date this common tape worm ancestor at 800k-1.3mya. What do lions eat? Big game.
And even better, we can be sure of what our ancestors cannot have eaten. Walk around your supermarket and any unseasonal plant based food along with just about everything in a coloured packet will qualify.
Liberated from dietary dogma I now make it the case for producers and manfacturers of food to make the case for the their goods to be included in my diet. You see my default position is one of strength; unlike most diets, I don't have to defend what I have chosen to eliminate. It is incumbent upon others to make the case of why I should add it in.
It is refreshing to see this kind of thinking creeping in to research. Below is one fantastic abstract:
- " An organism best fits the environment described by its genes, an environment that prevailed during the time period (millions of years) when evolution naturally selected the genes of its ancestors-those who survived to pass on their genes. When an organism's current environment differs from its ancestral one, the environment's mismatch with the organism's genome may result in functional disadvantages for the organism. The genetically conditioned nutritional requirements of human beings established themselves over millions of years in which ancestral hominins, living as hunter-gatherers, ate a diet markedly different from that of agriculturally dependent contemporary human beings. In that context, we sought to quantify the ancestral-contemporary dietary difference with respect to the supply of one of the body's major mineral nutrients: potassium. In 159 retrojected Stone Age diets, human potassium intake averaged 400 +/- 125 mEq/d, which exceeds current and recommended intakes by more than a factor of 4. We accounted for the transition to the relatively potassium-poor modern diet by the fact that the modern diet has substantially replaced Stone Age amounts of potassium-rich plant foods (especially fruits, leafy greens, vegetable fruits, roots, and tubers), with energy-dense nutrient-poor foods (separated fats, oils, refined sugars, and refined grains), and with potassium-poor energy-rich plant foods (especially cereal grains) introduced by agriculture (circa 10,000 years ago). Given the fundamental physiologic importance of potassium, such a large magnitude of change in potassium intake invites the consideration in human beings of whether the quantitative values of potassium-influenced physiologic phenomena (eg, blood pressure, insulin and aldosterone secretion rates, and intracellular pH) currently viewed as normal, in fact disaccord with genetically conditioned norms. We discuss the potential implications of our findings in respect to human health and disease. "