Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eating the Diet that Our Body was Specifically Designed for is Weird

There is an insurmountable amount of evidence that the diet a human body was designed for is just as some of the other blog entries here have discussed in detail. That is one that is nearly totally comprised of raw, ripe, organic, fresh, fruits and vegetables that are eaten one type at a time to satiate hunger and only when hungry. This is a simple way to put it, but it is also a simple diet that was available for us when we first arrived on this planet.

I won’t go into all of the evidence but I would like to mention some of it. For example we are closest in our genetics to the primates. In fact the chimpanzee or to be more specific, the bonobo chimpanzee has nearly 99% of the same genetics as humans.

When these animals are observed in the wild, when they have sufficient varieties of food and there are no external influences such as human activity, they will eat a diet that is practically all composed of fruits and vegetables and some insects. They rarely, but occasionally will hunt for animals but this behavior is not common and the percentage of calories that is from animal fare is close to negligible in their overall diet. Over 95% of their daily amount of calories comes from fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

The human body can not handle a diet that is comprised of more than a single digit percentage of calories from fat. This is a scientific and anecdotal fact. In western cultures where the diet is high in fats the amount of heart disease is much higher than in populations with a diet that has a much lower percentage of fat calories. In fact heart disease wouldn’t exist if people had stuck to the original diet that they were designed for.

Many of the institutions of the study of health recommend a diet that is low in fat, most recommend a single digit percentage of calories from fat. The American Heart Association, The American Cancer Association, The American Diabetes Association all recommend a diet that derives little of it’s calories from fat. A diet such as one very low in fat is known to reverse these diseases, and prevent them if they did not already exist.

There are several well known doctors such as Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Fuhrman, and others that all recommend a low fat diet that gets less than or equal to ten percent of it’s calories from fat in order to reverse heart disease and stay healthy.

T. Colin Campbell, a highly renowned scientist in the field of nutrition recommends a low fat diet also. His studies have shown that a diet that is high in protein is carcinogenic. Generally when a food is high in protein, it is also high in fat, unless of course the food is highly processed. Natural foods which contain a lot of protein also contain a lot of fat.

These are just a small number of reasons why the human body is designed to thrive on a very low fat diet. There are many more reasons, but in a short blog post there is not enough space to go into a lot of detail.

Since the human body is designed to consume a low fat diet then it follows that the best foods for humans are those that have sufficient calories to maintain our weight and to accomplish our daily tasks but do not contain a lot of fat. The only foods that nature provided for us that fit these requirements are fresh fruits. Vegetables are very high quality foods and do not contain a lot of fat but they are lacking in calories.

Animal foods such as flesh, eggs, and dairy, all contain more than the recommended amount of fat and are overall a poor supply of vitamins compared to fruit. They also are void of fiber, which is a requirement for the human digestive system to function correctly.

There is one more type of food group which might be a good candidate for a human diet and that is starches. Starches are found in root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. They are also found in grains such as rice, wheat, rye, barley, and all the others. Beans and legumes also contain a lot of starches but they also contain a lot of protein which when combined with starches cause dificulty in digestion, this is why bean eaters are known to pass gas.

Why are starches not a suitable part of the human diet? First of all they are nearly impossible to consume without heat. In fact potatoes are considered poisonous until they are heated. Grains also are difficult if not impossible to digest without heating them. Since humans arrived on the planet without heating utensils or even the ability to produce a fire that was under control it is highly unlikely that the human body was designed to exist on these foods. Were humans supposed to fast for as long as it took to develop the skills to heat food? I don’t think so, no humans were consuming the easy to digest and easy to find fruits and vegetables for millions of years before the invention of and control of fire occurred.

Besides this, the human body has little of the enzymes that are needed to digest starches. This is because there are only traces of starches in ripe fruits and that is all that is needed to digest this little amount.

Now that the evidence has shown that humans’ natural diet and the foods that the human body was designed for is fruits and vegetables with an occasional nut and seed, why do most humans ingest most of their diet from other foods?

The answer is not simple, there are many reasons but the main reason is that the human population left the fertile tropical regions of the planet and found limited amounts of fruits that were available for consumption. They soon began to experiment with what types of food existed in that part of the world. Eventually they found ways to adapt to the new kinds of foods and ways to prepare them. This however does not mean that the human body and digestive system adapted but that it tolerated the change in diet.

Certainly around that same time there were many changes going on. Agriculture is one thing that was developed. Humans were no longer foraging for food but were now specializing in creating foods for an entire city of humans. There was little high speed transportation available so the shipping of tropical fruits from the tropics to the colder climates was not an option. Humans were not seeking to thrive at that time but to survive. The new foods and the new preparation of foods allowed just that, the survival of humans.

This explains how the human population started to eat foods that were not totally appropriate to them but still managed to survive. Certainly there were obvious changes in the human population such as new diseases that appeared and many other issues but these were overlooked at the time because survival was more important than worrying about a few cases of heart attacks or cancer.

Going back to the original topic, why do humans look at people who consume the diet that their body was designed for as weird while their totally deviant diet that is simply a survival diet seen as not weird? Just because there are huge numbers of humans eating the survival diet does not make it weird of someone doing what the human body was designed to do.

What do you think?

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