Monday, September 27, 2010

Why the Paleo Diet should be High in Starch

I don't believe that our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of red meat. At least compared to how the "paleo" community is doing it. Our paleolithic ancestors probably ate collagen and organ meats instead.

I will speculate that our paleolithic ancestors got their majority of their calories from eating root vegetables, and not from eating animals. Yes, this is contrary to what the "paleo diet" envisions.

So what justifies this theory?

The first reason is that our ancesters ate a plant-based diet four million years ago. We have hunted animals only recently, only after we have invented tools such as the handaxe and spears.

The second reason is that meat in high in iron, and that humans don't have a mechanism to remove excess iron. Thus, this means that humans aren't evolved to eat large amounts of meat.

The third reason is that some of our ancestors have larger snouts. Large snouts persisted even to two million years ago. Yes, even archaic Homo sapiens, who lived 100,000 years ago, have larger snouts than us. As you know, large snouts are useful in eating plant foods. Large snouts help us to chew raw sweet potatoes and other root vegetables more easily.

There's a theory that we evolved smaller snouts became more carnivorous, thus eliminating the need for large snouts to chew plant food. But I don't this theory is correct.

Even if our snouts receded in size, this still isn't evidence that we ate more meat. Actually, cooking may have caused this. The invention of cooking made sweet potatoes softer to chew, because heating them breaks down the cell walls. So we don't need large snouts to eat cooked root vegetables. This may be the reason that our snouts evolved smaller.

The fourth reason is that our ancestors probably lived in the savanna, where the root vegetables are high in Calories. This encouraged our ancestors to dig up root vegetables because they're "fallback foods".

The fifth reason is that there are traditional cultures which eat a predominantly starch-based diet. They are very healthy. The Kitavans and Australian aboriginals come to mind.

The sixth reason is that a starch-based diet is more muscle-building than an animal-based diet. Starch refuels glycogen, and it can be directly used for energy. It's common for low-fat dieters to experience lowered athletic endurance. This means that humans do best on a plant-based, high-starch diet. We do best on a plant-based, high-starch diet because we are evolved to eat a high-starch diet. If it's the other way around, then why will we experience poorer athletic performance on an animal-based diet? So there's must be a reason that we do better on a high-starch diet: we are more adapted to it.

An Introduction

Tropical Sunrise

So, basically, I'm eating a "tropical paleo diet" right now. My main sources of Calories are from potatoes, white rice, fatty beef.

Wait—white rice? And potatoes? Aren't these paleo not at all, let alone "tropical" paleo? You're correct—no, they aren't. But my point is that my diet based on the "tropical paleo diet." I don't want to be too consistent or too pure. They are evil if applied to the extreme.

Hence, the blog's motto: "Tropical Paleo Diet...but purity and consistency are the roots of all evil."

Nuts are a no-no. But I have exceptions to this rule. Coconuts are good, macadamia nuts are good, and cacao is okay. But any other nut, including walnuts and almonds, are just too evil. Because they contain so much polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs).

Berries? Oh no, most of them grow on deciduous trees, far from the tropics. So humans only ate berries after they migrated out of Africa! Besides, they are high in estrogenic compounds. You know—too much estrogen is bad for men, and bad for women. Just read Ray Peat's articles against estrogen.

Nightshades? They contain glycoalkaloids. Potatoes contain solanine.

Fowl? These birds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Too much PUFA is a no-no. Yes, even pastured fowl and poultry have too much PUFAs.

I could go on and on, but the thing to avoid is polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are rare in the tropics, where the humans evolved for 99.99% of our history.

I'm not saying that you have to avoid them completely. Things like grapes and nuts are fine. But keep your PUFA intake within 2% of your daily Calories. That itself is very important.

That's all for now, guys. More posts later on the real paleo diet that our ancestors ate!