Tuesday, 20 December 2011

What's Wrong with my Plate Full of Meat???

This is a section that I copied from an article on the Blog of Michael R. Eades, MD.  He is discussing exactly how good of an understanding we have of what early man ate (since many people have suggested that we don't really know what early man ate, this guy is saying we DO know, very clearly, almost exactly what early man ate).  The sciency talk of isotopes is not what interested me in this article--it's how they place our carnivorous diet ABOVE that of wolves and foxes, meaning that we ate a diet higher in meat than foxes and wolves.  Anyone who owns a dog knows that they do not eat veggies, not by choice, that canines only eat trace amounts of veggies and fruit by choice (what dog would eat a carrot over a piece of dried liver?? Certainly none that I have ever known of).

"The bulk of the stable isotope studies show both Neanderthals and ancient humans were, at their robust cores, meat eaters to the max. What the stable isotope studies don’t show, is how much carbohydrate these folks ate along with their meat. (Actually some stable isotope studies do show what kind of carbs in the sense that they can differentiate between grains and non-grains, but since there were no grains in Paleo times, that isn’t a concern.) But since we do know that wolves and foxes are predators that consume mainly food of animal origin, and we know that early humans have an even more carnivorous stable isotope footprint, it seems unlikely that these humans would have consumed many calories from non-animal sources. Remember, natural sources of protein are virtually always associated with fat (copious amounts of fat if the protein is from large game and the entire carcass is consumed), so it’s doubtful there would be either the capacity or the necessity for complementing the basic diet of fat and protein with much carbohydrate. But, nonetheless, even if our ancient ancestors did eat some carbs they could scrounge while in season, the stable isotope evidence clearly demonstrates they were not vegetarians."

Now, since going "primal" or "paleo" whatever you want to call it, I have been carefully eating a 50/50 ratio of meat to non-starchy veggies, at least for lunch and dinner, every single day.  I don't know if its some subconsscious belief that veggies are good for you, or a need to feel like there's just more food on my plate, but reading this article makes me want to re-think this.  It makes me want to read up on this further, because this article suggests that fruit and veggies both need be no more than a mere garnish on my pile of meat.

Last night I was out at the Mandarin Restaurant for dinner (family obligations, I know, but they cannot be ignored).  It is always all-you-can-eat buffet there, and while you're thinking "Chinese food=batter, deep fried in bad oil, and MSG, they actually do serve good things around the perimeter of the food tables.  I had a huge carving of somewhat rare roast beef, laced with tasty fat, strips of grilled chicken, peel-and-eat shrimp and a few lobster claws.  I heaped my plate full of meat, twice!  And you would not believe the stares I got--not because I had two platefulls of food (I don't like my meats to touch each other, ok?  The plates weren't THAT full of food)--but because there was NOTHING BUT MEAT on my plate BOTH TIMES.  I got stares from the people whom I was dining with, stares from other diners nearby, stares from the waitresses, and stares from the people behind the counter who serve the meats.

Given the point of this study, what was wrong with my meal??  I did have a slice of pineapple and two strawberries off the dessert table (and 2 chocolate-covered strawberries, because who can resist those??)  Michael Eades was saying that the Paleo Diet was by far the superior way of eating, according to our genetic makeup, but that many paleo-followers were straying, somehow, too far into starchy carb territory despite being a "low-carb" type of diet.

To read the full article, follow the link.  I guarantee it will make you  think about this...


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