Author Topic: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?  (Read 4504 times)

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Offline AnopsStudier

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Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« on: January 09, 2014, 07:19:38 am »
Why can certain animals thrive only a certain type of vegetation while we need tons of variety?  What if a person just ate quinoa, berries, kale and some eggs? (just a random example)  Would they eventually become malnourished?    Did early humans consume all types of vegetation or just a few things, etc???

Offline eveheart

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2014, 08:11:20 am »
Why can certain animals thrive only a certain type of vegetation while we need tons of variety?  What if a person just ate quinoa, berries, kale and some eggs? (just a random example)  Would they eventually become malnourished?    Did early humans consume all types of vegetation or just a few things, etc???

Perhaps your example is too random! A South American autumn grain, a summer fruit, a winter green, and then we throw in some eggs, which have their own seasons, too! Let logic prevail - early humans ate what they could get in their area, or they moved on. You don't have to be ancestrally authentic to eat instinctively.
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Offline sabertooth

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2014, 08:22:59 am »
It depends on what you mean by early humans.

Humans evolved from a procession of more primitive life forms. Our very early proto primate ancestors where insectivorous tree weasels. These creatures evolved into the higher primates whose diet diverged greatly depending on the environment. Many became furgavors, herbivores, and omnivores. The great apes split into other subgroups including our ancestors who evolved from the most carnivorous of the apes.

Meaning we hold the blueprints which allow us to adapt to a wide variety of diets. In order to maintain our humongous brains, and highly active way of life we need a variety of different nutrients in order to maintain optimal health.

Its difficult to know exactly what combinations of plant and animal foods our ancestors sought out as part of their optimal diet. We can only assume that as foragers and hunters they must of ate a wide variety of both plants and animals.

Its very feasible to assume that if one were limited to such a narrow variety of foods, especially a human with very little animal food, that Undernourishment would result, unless the limited variety of food contained everything the needed.

I personally eat one of the most limited diet on this forum. Primarily whole animal and coconut, with some leafy vegetable garden salads. Of course the animals I eat graze on a variety of plants so I can only assume that I can get all the nutrients one would need from the flesh and blood of the animals I eat. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 08:56:53 am by sabertooth »
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Offline thunderseed

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2014, 11:18:46 am »
Why can certain animals thrive only a certain type of vegetation while we need tons of variety?  What if a person just ate quinoa, berries, kale and some eggs? (just a random example)  Would they eventually become malnourished?    Did early humans consume all types of vegetation or just a few things, etc???

I gravitate to examples of evolution that prove humans and animals can eventually learn to survive on anything.
However, I like basic physiology that proves optimal health equals that we need complex carbs to be anerobic, we need fats to be aerobic, and we need protiens to keep our bodies strong and healthy.
Without carbs in the diet it will lead to euphoria and brain damage, and no energy. Lack of fats and carbs will actually make the body store more fat and people will have difficulty losing fat, although they will lose water weight. Lack of protien has many serious side effects.
Howevre people have been known to survive extremely without on or another, but it doesn't mean they will be in optimal health. 
Survival doesn't necessarily mean being healthy, but the body is able to literally survive on anything or even nothing for a very long time, the only exception being that we always need water.

We've adapted to be able to withstand extreme starvation, and the ability to live without important nutrients in our diets.

People quickly adapted to be able to eat modern foods, while others who did not evolutionize as fast have problems with modern foods.

The inuit people had abnormally large livers, and this was perfectly natural for them because they had to adapt to their environment of very little vegetation and a diet strictly of meats, mostly raw. If just anybody were to start eating that way suddenly, it could make them very sick, like in cases of people suddenly following atkins diets, because their organs have not yet had time to change or adjust to it, and their bodies are not accustom to that much meat in a diet.

But given time, people can literally force their bodies to adjust to eating anything.  That doesn't mean they'll be healthy though.

First nations people here ate a huge variety of things and were never starving even during the winter, because this land was called the Land of Plenty or in the coast salish language, K'omoks. An example of all the wild edibles here are a huge amount of berries, tree barks, trees, saps and syrups, roots, insects, a whole bunch of different plants and fruits, mushrooms. Because this is an island surrounded by ocean and full of rivers and lakes there was/is a neverending supply of salmon, trout, other types of fish, whale, seal, and other sea creatures and seaweeds. Also they feasted on reptiles that live here like frogs and snakes. Wild game has always existed here and were not "brought" here like some islands, because this island is surrounded by a bunch of tiny islands that are swimming distance away, that are surrounded by more tiny islands, so you can literally kayak across to many small islands until you get to the mainland but there are dangerous currents in some places, so we always had elk, beaver, black bears, grizzly bears, deer, cougars and wolves and much more also they ate tons of birds and eggs. Most of these things are also available in the winter. This would be a very easy place to eat a wild edible diet. I'm thinking of starting that someday, but man it would be a lot of work to go collect wild edibles and there's a lot here, but there are also indenticle poisonous things so you have to be sure.


Offline Iguana

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 06:02:49 pm »
 
Why can certain animals thrive only a certain type of vegetation while we need tons of variety?  What if a person just ate quinoa, berries, kale and some eggs? (just a random example)  Would they eventually become malnourished?    Did early humans consume all types of vegetation or just a few things, etc???

Our healthy hominids ancestors perhaps didn’d need much variety as long as they had an unlimited access to the kind of food they needed such as insects, whole animals and carcasses plus some plants and fruits. Anyway, our species seems to be always seeking to increase its food choice range. This provides better survival capabilities in various surroundings and variable conditions. 

But we live in a degraded environment and most of use have a body which has been suffering during decades of cooked nutrition and is thus more or less damaged. A broad variety is an big plus to repair damages. Some specific raw paleo foodstuff may be able to unlock the situation and allow healing. It may be very different form person to person, something very weird or unusual in some cases. The more ill a person is, the more specific her/his needs are. 
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 sabertooth

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2014, 06:12:07 am »
Thunderseeds comment about Inuit having larger livers intrigues me.. Do you have a specific link?

I am on a primarily carnivorous diet, and have had liver trouble in the past. My liver seemed to produce to much glucose which would cause my blood sugar to rise even when fasting. Because of some fluke of nature, or perhaps my mixed native American ancestry, I seem well suited for low carb Paleo. 

I bet having a larger may have enabled carnivores peoples like the Inuit to live without carbs because the liver is able to produce enough carbs through gluconeogenesis to sustain the body functions..
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2014, 07:41:14 am »
Here's one link:
Quote
On a truly traditional diet, says Draper, recalling his studies in the 1970s, Arctic people had plenty of protein but little carbohydrate, so they often relied on gluconeogenesis. Not only did they have bigger livers to handle the additional work but their urine volumes were also typically larger to get rid of the extra urea. Nonetheless, there appears to be a limit on how much protein the human liver can safely cope with: Too much overwhelms the liver’s waste-disposal system, leading to protein poisoning—nausea, diarrhea, wasting, and death.
http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-paradox#.Us8z8_S1z5U
I think Cordain wrote about it too, in his first book, IIRC. Bear in mind that the Inuit may have developed their large livers over thousands of years of biological adaptation, rather than within a handful years of a single individual's lifetime. So it's plausible that trying to emulate them for too long would stress most non-Inuit peoples' livers.

While the Inuit probably ate some of the least carbs of human societies, they still did eat some--including even the most carnivorous of the Eskimo (the Kalaallit, aka Greenland Inuit). Some of the carb-containing traditional Eskimo foods were fresh raw liver and brains, animal stomach contents (which ferment in the animals' stomachs; see Reindeer hunting in Greenland, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer_hunting_in_Greenland), Eskimo potato (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eskimo_potato and Ugnaratneqait - Mouse Food), berries (including those frozen or stored in seal oil for later use), and sugary tree saps like sugliaq (spruce sap--Social Life in Northwest Alaska: The Structure of Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations by Ernest S. Burch).

See also
- Alaskan Foods, http://www.alaskawildberryproducts.com/education/alaskan-foods.html
- Plants That We Eat: Nauriat Niginaqtaut - From the traditional wisdom of the Inupiat Elders of Northwest Alaska, by Anore Jones
- Native American Food Plants: An Ethnobotanical Dictionary
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 07:57:49 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 thunderseed

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2014, 08:44:37 am »
Thunderseeds comment about Inuit having larger livers intrigues me.. Do you have a specific link?

I am on a primarily carnivorous diet, and have had liver trouble in the past. My liver seemed to produce to much glucose which would cause my blood sugar to rise even when fasting. Because of some fluke of nature, or perhaps my mixed native American ancestry, I seem well suited for low carb Paleo. 

I bet having a larger may have enabled carnivores peoples like the Inuit to live without carbs because the liver is able to produce enough carbs through gluconeogenesis to sustain the body functions..

If you're native I hope you have info about how your tribal people ate because that would be the best way of eating suited for you and all tribes varied on foods. Being native means more food allergies to modern food unfortunately. I am native also. You might be blood type O also?, which means you need to eat more meat than most people do.
Most Native American tribes ate some forms of carbs though, but not the typical ones found in society nowadays, so we tend to have more intollerances to those.
Well, you can train your body to be able to eat lots of meat like the inuit but it would take time so you don't cause kidney or liver problems, otherwise the covertion of protien into glycogen causes toxins that overtax the kidney and liver and excess urea so you have to drink a lot more water than most people to cleanse the organs, and drinking pure cranberry juice can help with that. 
I believe in time people can train themselves to eat whatever they want to eat, just do a lot of research first.
If you ever get liver problems again, I thought I'd just mention milk thistle is good for that. I had liver problems before too but that was caused by alchohol LoL and milk thistle cured it super fast!

Just look up "Inuit Diet" on wikipedia. It says,

"Inuit studied in the 1970s were found to have abnormally large livers, presumably to assist in this process. Their urine volumes were also high, a result of the excess urea produced by gluconeogenesis.[9]"

Here is the link to the original study where that information came from if you fancy reading a lot more about their diet and their health, it is quite amazing,
http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-paradox#.Us8_wGRDuRg.
I don't see a button to create links so you might have to copy and paste that.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 09:16:14 am »
There is a growing mountain of evidence that it's also optimal to feed one's probiotic mutualistic gut bacteria, not just one's own body. See the Old Friends Hypothesis (which Tyler has posted about multiple times in the past, IIRC) and Google "resistant starch," for some more info on that.

Here is the link to the original study where that information came from if you fancy reading a lot more about their diet and their health, it is quite amazing,
http://discovermagazine.com/2004/oct/inuit-paradox#.Us8_wGRDuRg.
That's a link to the magazine article I quoted and linked to.  :D  Here's a link to the study:

Draper, Harold H. (1977) The aboriginal Eskimo diet in modern perspective. Am. Anthropol.79, 309–316.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/673842?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103317959683

Unfortunately, it requires payment to view more than a preview.
>"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 thunderseed

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 09:25:50 am »
Oh for some reason I didn't see your first post there LoL lots of good links.

There is a growing mountain of evidence that it's also optimal to feed one's probiotic mutualistic gut bacteria, not just one's own body. See the Old Friends Hypothesis (which Tyler has posted about multiple times in the past, IIRC) and Google "resistant starch," for some more info on that.
That's a link to the magazine article I quoted and linked to.  :D  Here's a link to the study:

Draper, Harold H. (1977) The aboriginal Eskimo diet in modern perspective. Am. Anthropol.79, 309–316.
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/673842?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103317959683

Unfortunately, it requires payment to view more than a preview.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Explain to me why we need Variety in our diets?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2014, 09:53:43 am »
LOL, no prob, and 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

 

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