Wednesday, March 31, 2010

21st Century Lacto-Paleo

There has been a bit of discussion on the web lately about paleolithic diet purism and such. I subscribe to the school of thought that says its is best to to pick the best features from the Paleolithic and Neolithic worlds to create an optimal diet and exercise regime. This means that certain Neolithic foods can be consumed like the fats extracted from milk products such as butter and cream. These represent cheap sources of fat that can be used to make other foods more palatable and of course are excellent foods in their own right.

I consider myself to be thoroughly modern even though my body is mostly an old design. Optimal fuel and training are obviously desirable but it doesn't necessarily follow that only paleolithic agents should be used. I believe there has been considerable evolutionary development in humans over the last 40,000 years. We have seen it in insects and rodents over the last 100 years. Rats have become resistant to warfarin for example. The human body has changed over this time producing the distinct racial differences we see today.

You can't go too far wrong if you follow all the principles found at the following blog:

Reading through the latest comments there I realized something about vegetables a s a food source that is quite interesting. No vegetable is a pure food like butter or eggs or meat for that matter in that all vegetables have a degree of secondary compounds that the plant uses as a defense mechanism. Some are so high in these compounds that they are totally inedible - indeed most plants are totally inedible yet we have become resistant to some of the poisonous plant compounds, much like those warfarin resistant rats, and can eat a variety of plants. They give us some sustenance but it is of a poor quality compared to the 'pure' foods. What distinguishes an edible plant from a poisonous one is the level of these secondary compounds. No studies and experiments have been done that prove that eating vegetables is good for you - it's just assumed for some reason. Possibly because of sailors experience with scurvy or the poor health of people who have lived on limited diets in the past. Yet those people tended to live on high starch diets such as corn or potatoes or ships biscuits. No one has suffered greatly living on a fresh high fat/protein diet.

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