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Why lo-carb has to be hi-fat

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by Patch, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The thing is that whatever they ate was always eaten in its purest form. Bleaching rice, and wheat flour is a modern concept.

    As someone who is very gluten-intolerant and who may or may not be Coeliac, I have done a lot of research on wheat and grains.

    It was about 300 years ago when a monk, Gregor Mendel first hybridised wheat. since then it has been hybridised many times - each time increasing the amount of gluten in it - for various reasons. It is estimated that the gluten protein content has increased from around 2% to at least 13%. Some are now wondering whether perhaps it has been hybridised into a form that is exceedingly indigestible for humans and perhaps that is why there is such a huge and rapid growth in gluten-intolerance and other 'auto-immune' diseases, diseases that are unheard of among populations not exposed to it.

    On top of that, the processing procedure then removes all the goodness and discards it as pig-feed, it has 'improvers' added to it to make it rise quicker and to create more air, which can contain things like data esters which are derived from petrochemicals.

    The flour also has twice as much yeast added to it and the whole process, instead of taking around 24 hours to prove and bake can be completed within 45 minutes.

    Is it any wonder that people are being damaged by this stuff?

    Add into that all the chemicals that the food is sprayed with, that animals are injected with, that are put in their feed. Animals we eat that have never seen a blade of grass or absorbed any vitamin D from the sunlight. Milk the ancients drank was often from sheep and goats as well as cows, but never would it have been pasteurised and had half its nutrients and all its vital enzymes destroyed in the process. They didn't need 'starters' to make yogurt, the milk naturally contained the lactic bacteria. Don't you think that E.Coli gets into raw milk around the World? Of course it does, but good healthy guts get rid of it without any damage. Damaged guts let it in.

    Over the centuries, our ancestors developed the best ways of 'processing' their food. Soya beans were always turned into fermented products - the fermentation broke down certain phytochemicals within them rendering them good to eat. Now they are just ground into a variety of flours and proper processing has gone out of the window.

    Different cultures eat totally different diets - the Inuit eat mainly fish, meat and a lot of fat, South Americans tend to eat diets high in beans and pulses, but whatever the diet it was continued down through the generations. The parents - the Mother would have certain types of gut flora inherent within that culture and that flora would be passed on to her children, so they would be used to eating that diet. If you swapped the diets over, they would all get sick because their bodies would not be able to cope with the extreme variance.

    We live in a very cosmopolitan World and eat very differently to how our ancestors would have eaten. Our gut flora is undoubtedly very confused. On top of that many of us have been exposed to anti-biotics and other drugs which further decimate and compromise the flora. Weak flora, weak gut, weak body. As Hippocrates said 'all disease begins in the gut'.

    There were tribes that could process poisonous plants and make them edible and wholesome. We have lost these skills. If the World collapsed tomorrow, the 'Third World' would be far better off than we are. Many of them are used to foraging for their food, but where would we be without Tesco?

    I think you will find that the diet our forefathers ate (and some still do here and there) bears very little resemblance to what we eat today.
     
  2. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Excellent stuff and I agree with you AliB.
    There is a lot of ducumented evidence from colonial times in Africa particularly where the incidence of 'western diseases' obesity, hypertension, diabetes and many cancers were extremely rare when first studied. Within 20 years of the introduction of refined sugars and starches however, these disease rates appeared to rise exponentially.
    I agree that the diet we seem best adapted to in general terms is probably based around meat, fish and supplemented by seasonal vegetables and very occasional fruit. Again, in people suffering from these western diseases, many people seem to report that they go into remission when their diets revert to this type.
    What I don't see any evidence for is the idea that our ancestors ate a diet low in fat. I think this is an adaption of the ancestral diet idea to sit more comfortably with the very recent low-fat-is-healthy idea.
    Archaelogical evidence seems to suggest that where animals were eaten, all of the carcass was eaten. No 'trimming the fat'. Brains were probably commonly eaten, the fattiest part of the animal, and it seems to me laughable that hunter gatherers would have avoided the most calorifically dense part of their kill.
    The counter argument is that wild animals were themselves less fatty. Again, however, human expansion around the world occurred as the ice ages retreated and we might assume that the animals at that time were most likely fairly well insulated themselves!
    What is beyond dispute is that the 2 greatest upheavals in our diet came 8-10,000 years ago when agriculture began and ~250 years ago during the industrial revolution.

    All the best,

    fergus
     
  3. inwales

    inwales · Well-Known Member

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    It is so true that convenience is killing us.

    It's amazing when you look back at pictures of people in the 50's 60's 70's, you rarely see overweight folk.
     
  4. Osidge

    Osidge Type 2 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi Fergus

    Just picking up on your contention that there is no evidence to show that our hunter/gatherers ate low fat (or fat most unlike that being espoused currently). Here is the extract from Ken's link on the stoneage diet:

    Is there evidence to show that our ancestors ate a high fat diet as followed by many? It might be difficult to find as not only was their meet less fat but they did not have domesticated animals to get the double cream from!

    Regards

    Doug
     
  5. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'll throw my oar in here again.

    I think that kind of blanket assumption has to be taken with a pinch of salt. At the end of the day 'stone age' or otherwise, it depended where you were as to what kind of food you ate.

    People in Northern climes would predominantly eat a diet based around meat, fat and fish with a little seasonal veg and fruit thrown in - we know that because a)there isn't anything else to eat and b)they are still eating it! Those in hotter climes would likely eat a more grain or pulse-based diet and those who were nomadic had to be eating a predominantly animal-based diet with whatever plant material they could find on their travels.

    Animals these days are bred and fed to be bigger overall - hence the compulsion to give them growth hormones. Not much point making them fatter as the fat is not commercially viable and is removed so the emphasis is on the protein content. The truth is, of course that none of us were alive back then so any assumptions we make are pure conjecture with a little bit of truth thrown in.

    So the real truth is that some would eat a diet higher in fat than others. The important thing on any of the diets is that their culture would be used to eating THAT diet. Their gut flora would be attuned to THAT diet and they would be healthy on THAT diet.

    Those who still eat the way their ancestors ate are relatively healthy in comparison with us. We are sick not only because of the extremely poor and damaging 'food' that we have the cheek to be charged for, and the fact that we are getting more and more imperfect through each successive generation but also because our bodies no longer know what diet is right for US.
     
  6. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure we could endlessly debate the fat content of meat through years gone by but it wouldn't really get us very far.

    Those sorts of comparisons are a bit like comparing apples and pears. We're meant to conclude that modern meat (hamburger) is far fattier than more natural game (venison). But beef is a much fattier meat than venison anyway, so it doesn't really prove anything.

    From wikipedia admittedly, but hey ho.

    AliB, I think there may well be something in the idea that population groups are attuned to diets available in their particular part of the world. The time necessary for humans to adapt to available foods is hard to guess. It makes me wonder about whether a 'Mediterranean diet', the supposed gold standard of healthy diets, would be a good idea for the Laplanders for example? Would they be better or worse off swapping olive oil and tomatoes for reindeer meat? Who can say.
    Is it also worth wondering about the type of diet we are all best pre-adapted to? I'm thinking about the example of people such as Vilhamjur Stefansson and his colleagues who seemed to flourish on a diet completely devoid of carbohydrates which had previously been a staple.

    All the best,

    fergus
     
  7. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    True, but then wasn't Stefansson Swedish? To a certain extent he would already have been eating a not dissimilar diet - the Scandinavian diet is very fish and meat-oriented. Perhaps if someone carried out the same experiment who had come from South America he would have come up with a totally different understanding (and may well have become very sick).

    Here in the UK, although we are much more cosmopolitan now, it is likely that the indigenous British are mainly of Anglo-Saxon extraction. Originating from Scandinavia they too would have had a much more meat, fish and fat-based diet. Perhaps that is why I seem to fare better on those foods than on the grains and starches.

    Just maybe there is more to Metabolic Typing than meets the eye...........
     
  8. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi AliB,

    Stefansson was Canadian, but his parents were Icelandic, so your point may be valid.
    Mind you, this is an extract from an article he wrote for an American magazine in 1935 which suggests that the benefits of that type of diet were shared by people from many different ethnic groups. Karsten Anderson was Stephansson's companion during the Bellevue Hospital experiment.

    All the best,

    fergus
     
  9. dipsticky

    dipsticky · Well-Known Member

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    Gee Fergie. You are sure the man. What you don't know 'aint worth a light. Go man.

    D.
     
  10. cueball0791

    cueball0791 · Member

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    Great discussion!

    Does anybody have any information with emphasis on the Chinese staple diet of rice? I wonder if this trend follows the modern western concept of bleaching etc. They can retain a slender figure generally.

    Thanks,
    Cueball
     
  11. inwales

    inwales · Well-Known Member

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    I just realised the sensation of fat on my lips as I eat is very satisfying.

    Seems to make me eat slower too.

    I was reading that the better off Chinese are starting to have weight troubles.
     
  12. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think it comes back to different cultures being adapted to eat their own traditional diet - gut flora differs in different cultures - those that consume a lot of yogurt and fermented foods appear to have a different balance of bacteria in the gut to those who eat mainly fish, meat and fat, or beans, corn and chilli.

    Those though are all natural foods - and whole pure natural foods do not, in general, affect the BS like processed foods do. The Western Diet is made up of a vast array of, as Michael Pollan succinctly puts it - 'food-like substances'. We just are not adapted, suited or indeed, designed, to eat very high-carb, high-sugar plastic - whatever our ancestral diet may have once been.

    The chinese may be able to cope with a certain amount of polished and/or bleached rice in their diet, but not even they can resist the negative effects of the creeping onslaught of Western 'civilisation' and the junk that comes with it.
     
  13. fergus

    fergus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It's an interesting subject for sure.
    I guess the one consistent feature across all population groups is that, once we intoduce sugars and refined starches, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cancers won't be far behind.
    The Japanese are an interesting case too. Their traditional diet was low in saturated fat until sometime after WW11, while the number of stroke fatalities was much higher than it is in the West. Now it is significantly higher in saturated fat and protein and one consequence is that the prevalence of strokes has fallen through the floor!

    fergus
     
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