Author Topic: Another reason why the term "Zero Carb" is an Abomination & "Carnivory" Superior  (Read 16769 times)

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Offline PaleoPhil

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There are no "zero carb" animals in the wild. Scientists don't put animals into "zero carb," "low carb," "moderate carb" and "high carb" categories. That's not how nature works. Instead they use terms like "carnivore," "frugivore," "herbivore", etc. (omnivore is not a truly scientific term and is rather controversial in scientific circles, though it probably has some practical utility for humans--though it's weaknesses caused me to adopt the term "adaptivore" for now).  Wild animals eat the foods that are available to them which they find tasty. They don't measure the carbs and say to themselves "Oh no, I can't eat that--too much carbs." Terms like facultative and obligate carnivore are far more scientific and relevant to nature.

Terms like "zero carb" and "low carb" also mislead humans, leading them to think they have to measure the carb content of foods and that processed low carb products like Atkins sports bars and Sucralose sweet syrups are "healthy." Apparently, humans couldn't be healthy until food labels came along that listed the carb content of foods. Utter nonsense.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Iguana

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Very true! I couldn't agree more. ;)

Cheers
Francois
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Projectile Vomit

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I also agree. I like the term "adaptivore". I think I'll use that too. I am now a raw adaptivore (RA), and eat a raw adaptivorous diet (RAD).

RADical!

Offline Projectile Vomit

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And no, I'm not mocking PaleoPhil. I'm being simultaneously fun and serious.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Heh, heh. Cool, thanks.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline eveheart

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...eat the foods that are available to them which they find tasty. They don't measure the carbs....

Phil, your post makes an excellent point. In the snippet I quoted above, you have offered a very concise and sane definition of the kind of raw eating that I aspire to, kinda like instinctotherapie without all the rambling on.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline Joy2012

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Language is mainly for communication. "Low/high/moderate Carb" is an excellent descriptive term that I am able to understand.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Thanks Eveheart.

Joy, what do you think is the underlying logic that informed proponents of LC would give for why LC is optimal for most or all humans, including healthy humans?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Muhammad.Sunshine

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PaleoPhil, thank you for the logical post.

Virtually all mammalian carnivores consume some carbohydrates via blood, organs, or mother’s milk. Black bears are in the order Carnivora, yet up to 85% of the black bear's diet consists of vegetation. Creatures may be classified as carnivores if meat comprises between 30-70% of their diet, the rest of the food may come from the plant kingdom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivore.

When exogenous carbohydrates are scarce the body will make its own out of protein, this indicates the importance of carbohydrates.
Always try to be positive, optimistic, kind, and fair.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Touche Muhammad. Well played to throw one of my favorite points at me, though my standard take on that (which I have expressed ad nauseam before, probably boring many) is that just because an animal eats a certain diet, doesn't mean it is 100% adapted to that diet. Diet does not equal physiology. I respond further as a good Irishman would, with a question--the same question I asked Joy--what do you think is the underlying logic that informed proponents of LC would give for why LC is optimal for most or all humans, including healthy humans?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 02:43:23 pm by TylerDurden »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Muhammad.Sunshine

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PaleoPhil, I have ancestors from Eire myself. Thus you compel my Irishness to respond to your question, with a question of my own :D.

Low-carb is optimal for humans in what way? Advocates of low-carb diets have to define which aspect of human life is enhanced by adopting a low-carb diet e.g. health, fitness, my grocery bill, etc. The specific aspect can then be investigated to evaluate the validity of low-carb optimality claims.

In response to your original question, my opinion is that LC proponents believe the following logic:

If humankind's natural diet is optimal,
and a low-carb diet is humankind's natural diet,
therefore a low-carb diet is optimal.



Always try to be positive, optimistic, kind, and fair.

Offline Joy2012

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Joy, what do you think is the underlying logic that informed proponents of LC would give for why LC is optimal for most or all humans, including healthy humans?

Is this a trick for me to find out for myself that my intuitive defense of the understandable term "low carb" is illogical? ;)

Offline PaleoPhil

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In response to your original question, my opinion is that LC proponents believe the following logic:

If humankind's natural diet is optimal,
and a low-carb diet is humankind's natural diet,
therefore a low-carb diet is optimal.
Good, I think we may be making progress at getting at the heart of "LC." By "humankind's natural diet," do you think the majority of the more informed and publicly prominent LCers base "natural diet" roughly on evolutionary biology or supernatural intervention or what? Granted, many of them may not think about it consciously very much, which may be a roadblock to clarity and which I think is a useful exercise for everyone, whether LC, HC or in-between. It's basically about stepping back from the details for a bit, thinking big picture, and asking oneself the questions that this inspires.

Is this a trick for me to find out for myself that my intuitive defense of the understandable term "low carb" is illogical? ;)
Not a trick, exactly (although maybe it might be, in the positive way, I hope, that the trickster stories of mythology inspired people to look at things from different angles--including by turning things, or oneself, upside down--and think and learn and promote community, even while entertaining them :) ), just my standard operating mode--pondering interesting phenomena, asking questions, getting interesting answers and maybe some questions too, savoring the answers until they perhaps inspire more questions or even generate hypotheses, preferably testable ones. Sharing, learning, seeking first to understand. Let me know if at any point you get your fill of questions, as I have an endless supply. ;)
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline eveheart

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My 2 cents: The way I read it, PaleoPhil's topic addresses the use of the term "Zero Carb" as a synonym for raw animal food only. Peripherally, he touches on the modern-day fallacy that if one eats carbohydrate substitutes, then one can achieve an optimal diet.

"Low/high/moderate Carb" are indeed excellent descriptive terms, but they should not be used to imply that one is eating carnivorously.

The term "zero carb" does not need a defense, but we owe it to the high art of communication to refrain from using one word when we really mean another.

Adaptivoraciously (haha, that word does not pass the spell-checker) yours,
Eve
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline Chris

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Why don't you the change the same and section to "just" Carnivore? I don't think you need to add the "zero carb approach" tag after it. I think we all know what Carnivore means and stands for! JMHO

Offline Dorothy

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Actually Chris, I'm still a little confused about it. Phil said above that the black bear that eats 85% other things besides meat (meaning 15% meat if my math brain is working today) is considered a carnivore. Sounds like carnivore can mean lots of things or at least a wide variation in the amount of meat eaten.

I saw a video of a deer eating a bird once. How do we classify that kind of thing? 

What is the minimal percentage of meat that makes a species carnivorous?

Offline PaleoPhil

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Yes, it is multi-faceted, complicated and confusing, as with so many things in nature. Anyone who isn't confused yet still has more learning to do about nature, it seems.

There are multiple aspects of carnivory. The one people tend to focus on is what they think an organism actually consumes in its wild habitat, which often depend on overly simplified and romantic notions or inadequate observational data on the species in question. There are other aspects too, such as these:

The foods that are available to an organism in its habitat.
The hunting/killing/butchering/eating capabilities of an organism.
What foods an organism can digest and what nutrients it can absorb from them.
What an organism needs to consume in order to survive and thrive.
The foods that the anatomy and physiology of an organism is most geared toward digesting and utilizing.
The genetic and epigenetic history of the organism.
The zoological classification of an organism.
Changing definitions of what constitutes a carnivore and its subclassifications and of what classifies as "meat."

And probably others that aren't occurring to me right now. The giant panda is an interesting example, because according to those who have studied it, the giant panda has one of the most carnivorous physiologies among the bear/ursidae family of the order carnivora, yet their diet in the wild has been reported as coming as much as 99% from bamboo plants, given current data. Interestingly, they reportedly digest their diet much less well than the average mammal and produce much more feces and spend much more time lying about and sleeping than average. I have shared info on them in the past in this forum.

The hippopotamus is an herbivore, yet it will munch on the rotting meat of a carcass:
Hippo Eats Buffalo

Even deer will eat meat (Seeing is believing with meat-eating deer, http://www.kpcnews.net/outdoors/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=557:seeing-is-believing-with-meat-eating-deer&catid=37:don-mulligan&Itemid=55):


"Two such researchers recently stumbled across some crazy deer behavior, and what they uncovered has to be seen to be believed.

According to their research, deer aren't the strict vegetarians we thought they were [Note: I have seen no evidence of such thing as a "strict vegetarian" in the wild--vegetarianism is a human-invented philosophical notion rather than a scientific term.]. Sometimes deer prefer corn, apples, acorns or clover, and sometimes they just want a nice steak.

That's right. Deer eat meat. ....

The Thurston-Squibb study revealed deer as more omnivorous than ever previously recorded, however. Instead of making conclusions based on isolated observations of deer eating bird eggs and fish, this study offers scientific evidence that deer eat everything from rabbits to turkeys, to other deer."

...and even a live baby bird:
deer eating a bird

This from another study of deer eating meat in the wild:

"A few years ago, Canadian bird researchers capturing songbirds in mist nets reported deer eating songbirds right out of the nets. Although they also suspected the deer as nest predators, they could not confirm it.

But Pietz now has proof they are, at least in North Dakota. The deer her cameras recorded found the nests when they were grazing at night. They may have been attracted to the adult bird flushing as the deer approached. In both cases, the nests contained nestlings. But Pietz is confident that if a deer found a nest containing eggs, it would eat them too. "They don't have to be stealthy predators to take eggs out of a nest," she points out.

When she first recorded a deer eating nestlings, she wondered if they would eat eggs, too. She incorporated the help of a captive deer at the research center to find out. "We presented it with a few quail eggs -- just to see what it would do -- and it munched them right up."

It's not too surprising that a variety of animals would be interested in nest contents, says Rothwell. "There's certainly some nutritional value." ('Herbivores' Busted Preying on Bird Nests, http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/news/press/ontape.htm)

Nature does not tend to have 100% absolute pure rules about how things must be done--that tends to be the realm of modern humans.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Alive

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Interesting!

The online definitions of carnivore range from organisms that eat any amount of flesh (including some plants such as venus fly traps), to an animal that mostly eats flesh.

Here's some carnivores eating carbs & leaves...

Wolves eating berries:
Wolves eating berries!

Fox nicking gooseberries:
Fox nicking gooseberries

Tigress Eats Mint Leaves
Tigress Eats Mint Leaves
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 08:52:53 am by alive »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Precisely! Nature cares not a whit for the artificial discrete categories that humans create, the meaningless macronutrient wars of of humans on the Internet, nor the sensitivities of vegetarians. Thanks for re-emphasizing that with splendid videos. The wolves eating berries is one of my favorites. Wow, the fox loves gooseberries so much, it allowed a human to get very close while feasting. You are much less likely to see people touting videos of "herbivores" eating flesh, though. It's not popular with the vegans, vegetarians, and ultra-sensitive, but it exists in nature.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 08:41:36 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Chris

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WOW! I alway's thought a Carnivore was an animal that eats "only" flesh. But, from what I'm  hearing there is no such animal, that eats 100% flesh. Is that right? So what defines a Carnivore? The amount/percentage of meat in it's diet?

Offline eveheart

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So what defines a Carnivore? The amount/percentage of meat in it's diet?

That is what this thread is about, and other threads in this forum, too. Adjectives such as obligate  and facultative make the name-game even more interesting. Seasonal variation of food supply throws in another angle. Perhaps, as these posts suggest, there is no need for rigidity.
"I intend to live forever; so far, so good." -Steven Wright, comedian

Offline Chris

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My definition of a carnivore is an animal that eat's only flesh, unless there is no flesh to be had. How's that?

Offline PaleoPhil

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There's no precise definition based on %. My understanding is that it's more of a consensus thing based on multiple considerations. Some years ago chimpanzees were reclassified from frugivore to omnivore after the consensus changed.

There are obligate and facultative subcategories of carnivore, as explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivore
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Alive

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I thought the cat family would be one of the most carnivorous, but there are still so many youtube videos of domestic cats eating fruit:
Cat eating fruit :)

A few eating leaves
LEX THE CAT EATING SALAD

Avocado, coconut... (our cat loves coconut oil)
Our Crazy Cat #3 - Eating Coconut

Offline PaleoPhil

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Yeah, probably the most common misconception is the notion that the categories of carnivore, herbivore and frugivore (omnivore is not even yet fully accepted as a truly scientific term, nor does it even have an agreed-upon definition, by the consensus of scientists in relevant fields, though it's often used anyway for lack of a better term) are based solely on what an animal will eat from among all the foods on the planet. The scientific consensus actually seems to be based more on what foods an animal's physiology is best designed to eat and what foods they actually acquire and eat in the wild, than what they will eat if you give them foods from a supermarket. Thus, photos like those above are largely irrelevant except as curiosities.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

 

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