Paleo Is Dead Wrong — Science & Your Human Body Tell The Truth!
This is page 2 of a 2-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to understand how your human body-mind evolved to thrive best on plants.
Best Protein for Us Frugi-Folivores
Have you seen the DVD by Victoria Boutenko, Greens Can Save Your Life?
Victoria holds up two BIG bunches of greens and says we should eat ALL of it each and every day.
The error here is, we are not Foli-Frugivores. Our great ape cousins are. They have capacious cecums teeming with microbes, to digest these greens.
Just because we’re genetically closest to apes, chimps, orangutans and bonobos, does NOT mean we are meant to eat like them!
We humans are Frugi-Folivores!
Don Matesz in his book Powered By Plants: Natural Selection & Human Nutrition, shows how every system in your body — digestive, heart & circulation, reproductive, brain & nerves, you name it — is a Frugi-Folivore lover!
Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss advises we eat a pound of leafy greens a day.
So do nutritionists Davis & Melina in their book Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets. They say 600 grams a day (a pound is 450g).
For myself, 300-400g a day is the max I can eat. My leafy greens are fresh from my garden or sprouter. They’re extra nutrient dense and energetically easier to digest, because they’re ALIVE.
I no longer buy into the belief: “eat greens-by-the-ton to get your protein.” Protein is in ALL the botanical fruits — beans, seeds, nuts, grains.
Frugi-Folivores are born to eat botanical fruits (and leafy greens).
Thank you to Don Matesz for opening my eyes to the difference between the chimp’s hindgut and our human midgut digestion — see part 1.
Home-grown greens (and sea vegetables) are still your best source of minerals and trace minerals — when you add healthy compost, rock dust and effective micro-organisms to your soil. For your indoor sprouts and microgreens, spray them with OceanGrown solution or liquid kelp.
But for protein, it’s best to eat a VARIETY of legumes and grains, in addition to greens — just as the responsible physicians say at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM.org).
PCRM advises not to use nuts & seeds as a protein source because they’re so high in fat. Fat clumps your blood cells together.
They suggest an ounce a day of nuts or seeds — that’s two rounded tablespoons of chia seeds, or a handful of walnuts or almonds.
Your Taste Buds
Let’s take a look at your taste buds. And your love of SFS Drug — Sugar Fat Salt! Don Matesz’s book, Powered By Plants, deals in depth with this.
We have sensitive taste buds, don’t we? I love to see everyone bring their own favorite plate to a party. Such a variety of tastes!
Don points out we sport around 9,000 taste buds, compared to 1,700 in dogs (who are omnivores) and 470 in cats (who are carnivores).
Why are we SO sensitive to taste? Because fruits, leaves, nuts & seeds differ widely in flavor depending on how ripe or how toxic they are.
A berry growing in my garden (Solanum nigrum or huckleberry) is highly toxic when it’s green, but delightfully sweet when it turns black. We humans have eaten it for eons — it shows up in paleolithic deposits of ancient Britain.
Only a Frugi-Folivore needs such sensitivity to taste, so she can avoid toxic berries and pick ripe ones.
If we’d been a carnivorous or omnivorous cavewoman, we’d have 900 or so taste buds, not 9,000.
Your Taste for Sugar
Do you love sugary things like donuts and chocolate? So do all great apes. Yet carnivorous cats can’t even taste sugar (see Cats Lack a Sweet Taste Receptor).
Are you trapped in sugar addiction? Green juices are a quick escape route! They’ll free you from sugar cravings.
About 35 million years ago, our supposed predecessors (hominoid primates) developed unique taste receptors for glucose, fructose and sucrose. These carbohydrates are only in plants, especially botanical fruits, tubers, and roots.
Our sugar taste played a critical role in the evolution of our brain. Your frontal cortex (the thinking area of your brain) gobbles the most glucose of all.
Your thoughts are so sensitive to a drop in glucose levels that you’ll suffer brain fog long before you get short of breath (you need glucose to breathe).
There is NO glucose in flesh foods — fish, birds, and animals.
Sadly our fruits today are so hybridized. They’re abnormally high in fructose and sucrose, and LOW in glucose. Wild fruits are the opposite, about 65% of their sugar is glucose. And they’re richer in protein and fiber.
Dry starchy fruits like legumes & grains, and starchy roots & tubers are HIGH in glucose, and low in fructose & sucrose. Of these, legumes have the most fiber and protein.
Glucose is what your brain needs, remember. Your brain wants beans not beef :)
Your Taste for Salt
We love salt. We love to add it to our food. Chips (potato crisps) are often the last junk food to leave us.
Yet cats show no taste for salty foods. Why? Because meat is rich in sodium. Fruit & veg are low in sodium.
Don Matesz writes in Powered By Plants:
“The fact that we have highly tuned salt receptors and salt cravings demonstrates that we have a physiology adapted to a diet that contained very little sodium and therefore, lots of plants and very little if any flesh.”
Your Taste for Fat
Do you think we love fat because we evolved to eat animals? In fact, wild nuts give you more fat & calories than wild game. That’s why the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine tells us to go easy on the nuts, at PCRM.org — What about Nuts and Seeds?
Nuts are seasonal. You can’t pick tree nuts all year round, as you can fruits, beans, and the seeds of grasses (grains).
Fatty foods are scarce (like nuts) or hard to get (like game). Hence our taste for fat reflects that we had a low-fat diet, not high fat! Our ancestors needed to detect and choose food with the most fat.
Don Matesz writes:
“This adaptation [fat taste] has led us to consume a toxic amount of fats whenever we have had the opportunity to indulge it…
populations that sustain a high … animal flesh intake, such as the Mongolians and Argentinians, have an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancers, in comparison to those that sustain a low intake of fats, mostly from plants, such as rural Chinese.”
Are We Hunters?
Do you believe our weapons gave us the power to eat lots of animals? In truth, modern African hunters have a low hunting success rate and low energy return from hunting.
A child gathering roots, shoots & fruits brings home more calories than the hunter! To propose that with yesterday’s primitive weapons, humans were more successful hunters, is preposterous :)
Did we chase our game to exhaustion, as modern-day San (Bushmen) do in the Kalahari? Not possible, unless we have lots of energy from eating plants. 70-80% of the San diet consists of plants such as berries, nuts, roots and melons.
Athletes who run marathons in hot countries suffer a high rate of dehydration and hyperthermia despite receiving plentiful water all through their race.
Do you believe that Paleolithic humans in hot Africa who had little access to water during the hunt, could fare better than today’s athletes?
In Chapter 7 (Stomach) of his book, Don shows that the pathogens in animal foods are very much the same in both intensively farmed livestock and in wild game.
These pathogens cause disease and even death in humans. Yet animals adapted to meat-eating can eat these microbes, and carry them around, without suffering any disease.
What About Beans?
Legume intake is the ONLY food among humans that consistently predicts longevity across ALL cultures!
The more beans you eat, the longer you live. Paleo gurus who tell you NOT to eat beans are dying at a younger age, the research tells us.
But of course they ignore the research, don’t they? Research such as:
- Dan Buettner’s book — The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, and
- Countless studies — such as Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities.
All those silly paleo arguments — that legumes are high in phytates, lectins, protease inhibitors, and what not — do not stand up to the epidemiological truth. The more beans you eat, the longer you live.
Indeed, way back in 1997, Simkin & Ayalon pointed out in their book Bone Loading: Exercises for Osteoporosis that the more phytates you eat, the more phytase you produce to digest it.
The phytase comes from three sources:
- Phytase is in the plant you eat, it gets activated in your stomach
- Your small intestines produce phytase
- Microbes in your colon produce even more phytase.
In short, when you eat beans often, your body and gut flora respond with more phytase to digest the beans. The problem is, your mom raised you on egg and bacon, not beans, for breakfast.
Sprouting your beans and grains will reduce their phytic acid. In the early days of going plant-strong you can take a vegan enzyme supplement that has phytase, e.g. Veganzyme.
Phytase releases the minerals bound up in the bean’s phytic acid molecule, such as phosphorus, zinc, iron and calcium.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman advises us to eat at least one cup of legumes every day. That’s beans, peas, or lentils.
Best to leave peanuts out. They’re a legume, but may carry the carcinogenic aflatoxin mold. Aflatoxins are also in the milk of cows that ate moldy grain.
I Love My Beans!
Ever since I began to listen to Dr. Fuhrman, I’ve enjoyed even more energy! My body loves the glucose in beans. They’re a welcome change from high-sucrose sweet fruit.
I don’t manage a cup of beans every day, often it’s half a cup. An easy way to cook beans is to heat them to simmering at night or in the morning for 10 minutes. Then wrap the pot in a Wonderbag. They’ll slow-cook overnight, or while you’re at work, without any electricity!
I keep cooked beans easily at hand every day, to feed my calorie needs. I no longer eat bread or grains as my filler food. It’s beans for me!
This is what I do:
- I soak two cups of beans overnight in a pot. I like to mix them, e.g. one cup of chickpeas and one cup of aduki beans.
- In the morning I throw away the soak water and cover them with fresh water.
- I bring them to a simmer on the stove, removing the white foam with a spoon.
- I simmer the beans for ten minutes, then
- Place the pot in a Wonderbag where they continue cooking without electricity to a lovely tasty texture.
- In the evening, I scoop them out into containers, one measuring cup to each container, then freeze — eating one cup right away of course!
What About Gluten In Grains?
Dr. Tom O’Bryan reports that no human can digest the gluten in wheat, rye, and barley. That’s your “bad” gluten.
You want to avoid this toxic form of gluten in wheat (all kinds, including spelt, kamut, durum & einkorn; and wheat products like bulgur & semolina), and in barley, rye, and triticale (a rye/wheat hybrid).
Gluten is a family of proteins in most grains. Gluten is not bad for you. Bad gluten is bad for you. There’s gluten in rice, corn, quinoa, millet, oats — they’re all fine to eat.
Look for gluten-free oats. Oats are often contaminated by wheat when they go through the same distribution channels.
How About Fertility?
Don writes in an email to me:
“The hypothesis that an animal-based diet powered human evolution predicts that animal-based diets promote, and plant-based diets harm, human fertility.
…Chapter 11 (Reproductive System) discusses extensively the abundant evidence that even a small consumption of meat impairs human fertility whereas plant-based diets enhance it.”
Weston A Price Foundation
Why does the carnivorous caveman myth persist? The Weston A Price Foundation loves to promote it.
In an article on their website by Stephen Byrnes, ND, RNCP, “Myths of Vegetarianism” they tell us at the end that “Dr Byrnes died of a stroke in 2004 at the age of 42”!
A STROKE at 42? Come on. Is that the health you want?
See what Dr. Fuhrman and John Robbins have to say about this Foundation here:
* Joel Fuhrman, MD: The Truth About the Weston Price Foundation
* John Robbins: Reflections on the Weston A. Price Foundation
Dr. Loren Cordain
Don Matesz also deals extensively with the “red herring” logic of paleo authors such as Dr. Loren Cordain, famous for writing The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat.
Designed ?!? Come on! How can you be “designed” to eat something that 200 years of nutritional research proves is actually BAD for humans?
Don points out that the speculations by Cordain and other paleo authors about:
- what prehistoric species ate, and about
- our proposed evolution from non-human species,
ignores the huge body of nutritional research on modern humans!
Research “clearly indicates that plant-based diets best support human health, fitness, and athletic performance“ (Powered by Plants, chap. 1).
“I believe that advocates of ‘low carb’ and ‘paleo’ diets have used this red herring because they lack quality evidence derived from studies of modern humans to support their claims, so they have to resort to logical fallacies to mislead people into adopting their miserable menus.
The ‘prehistory/evolution’ argument for ‘low carb’ and ‘paleo’ diets just distracts us from the large body of historical, epidemiological, experimental, and clinical data, accumulated over the past 200 years.
Go Plant Strong!
Would you love to live a long, strong and healthy life? With high energy?
Then eat legumes. And all the other botanical fruits — vegetable fruits, sweet fruits, seeds, nuts, and a few grains (in that order). Plus leafy greens.
Would you rather die young? And in pain? Then eat animals, birds, fish, and their eggs and milk.
Please don’t believe me. Read the science. Read Don’s book, Powered By Plants: Natural Selection & Human Nutrition.
It’s a must-own in your library!
“Hypnotized by the idea that we must eat flesh, eggs, or milk to maintain health and fitness because we “are” omnivores, we imprison, torture, kill and eat millions of animals annually; suffer obesity, premature aging and degenerative diseases; waste agricultural resources; pollute water; contribute to global climate change; and degrade the natural beauty of rural regions.”
Don Matesz, Powered By Plants: Natural Selection & Human Nutrition (2014)
Hello Val, I really love your site, it has to be one of the best raw food sites I have found on the net.
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