According to a study published in the journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology in 2003, skeletal remains show that paleolithic humans developed muscularity similar to today's superior athletes. (1) That's pretty awesome on the one hand, because everyone back in the day was fucking jacked, but on the other hand, it sucks that humanity has devolved to the point where your average American looks like a shaved walrus and is weak as a newborn kitten. Unless you're me, of course, in which case it rules because I'm a god among men. Or a man amongst pussies. Whichever one you like.
What the Fuck are You Getting At?
Well, my fuckers, I'm getting at Paleolithic Nutrition. Back in the turn of the century, a rough-and-tumble professor who apparently grew bored enough with the ease of daily life decided to roll up to snowy Eskimoland with no gear and live amongst the Eskimos while studying their culture. Whilst he lived amongst those silly, snow-blasted freak, Vilhjalmar Stefansson ate nothing but meat, and found himself to be healthy as shit thereafter. He rolled back into NYC with tales of his diet, which everyone called insane, and then decided to be studied for a year to see if it would ruin his health. It didn't. In 1929, doctors concluded that his all meat, high-fat diet was the shit, and so was Stefansson. R. Buckminster Fuller picked up on this deal (he's the guy who invented the geodesic dome), and expanded it to include some fruits and veggies, but little else.(3) Later, a dentist from Ohio named Weston Price noticed that his patients' teeth were becoming an ever-worsening shitstorm of cavities and dental caries. He started traveling all over the world and studying the teeth and diets of indigenous cultures, discovering that none of the problems he was seeing in Ohio were extant in cultures that ate no refined grains or otherwise processed foods. Surprise! He wrote a book entitled "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" detailing his finds, though his ideas and the foundation that promotes them is essentially considered a pack of quacks by the ADA, as his dietary recommendations would all but put the ADA out of business. About as useful as a pack of syphilitic whores, the ADA. In any event, the diet then sat dormant for years, until mainstream medical journals picked it up in the 1980s and ran articles about "ancestral diets", which then spurred the development of "evolutionary medicine."
So, in a nutshell, proponents of evolutionary medicine contend that mankind developed primary adaptations to their meat-filled diets during the paleolithic period, as hunter-gatherers who ran around in loinskins, killing shit and eating it. Secondary adaptations occurred later, and were localized based on the available foodstuffs. Since the Neolithic Revolution, people in the Subarctic and Central Asia evolved to eat very high fat and protein diets, containing little or no vegetable matter. Others, like the Indians of Central America and various peoples in Central Asia, adapted to higher carbohydrate, lower protein and fat diets. Outside of those groups, wide variations in adaptations exist, but they even exist within ethnicities (the ancestral Russian diet versus that of the Mediterannean).(2, pg. 281) Irrespective of where they were, paleolithic people ate, on average, half the fat we currently eat, but 3x the protein. The fats they did eat were by and large polyunsaturated, but their cholesterol was much higher than ours (which lent itself to higher test levels, I'm sure). Additionally, they ate very little in the way of refined carbs, a quarter of the sodium in the modern diet (and much more potassium), two times as much calcium, tons of micronutrients, and 130-150 g of fiber a day. That's a fuckload of fiber, in case you're wondering. (4, pp. 82, 86) As a result, cases of metabolic disease amongst Paleolithic people were rare, and findings of them are often steeped in controversy. (1, p. 6)
Let's Break This Motherfucker Down!
Ten Commandments of Paleo Dieting, as described by Ray Audette:
- meats and fish
- nuts and seeds
If you can't beat em, eat em.
Now playing: Carnifex - The Diseased And The Poisoned
- Eaton, SB and Eaton SB III 2003. An Evolutionary Perspective on Human Physical Activity: Implications for Health. Comp Biochem Physiol A 136, 153-159.
- Wharton, CH. Ten Thousand Years From Eden: Metabolic Man. Orlando: Winmark Publishing, 2001.
- Audett, Ray. Neanderthin. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.
- Eaton, S. Boyd, Shostak, Marjorie, and Melvin Konner. The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet and Exercise and a Design for Living. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.
- Ungar, Peter S. Evolution of the Human Diet. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
- Cordain, Loren. Paleo Diet. Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons, 2002.