Monthly Archives: December 2010

Neanderthals Ate Veggies

neanderthal man 2

I read an article from the UK News yesterday which said that researchers had discovered through examining the fossil remains of Neanderthal teeth that Neanderthal man ate a wide range of plant matter.

But they also said something weird. They said:

Until now it was widely assumed that this subspecies of modern humans, who lived in Europe and Asia 230,000 years ago, ate almost nothing but meat.This was thought to have contributed to their downfall because they did not exploit other food sources.

Eating meat led to their downfall? According to many anthropological experts, eating meat is what increased the size of our brains and allowed us to survive in virtually any environment.

The bias against meat and pro veggies in this article is so thick you could spread it on your morning toast (sprouted and gluten free preferably.)

Microscopic particles trapped in the teeth contained residues of wild grass, beans, roots, tubers and palm dates. Many had undergone physical changes that matched experimentally cooked starch grains.

Cooked starches? Grains and beans? My, my. No wonder they went extinct.

And look at us modern humans. The more plant matter we eat (carbs) and the less fat and meat we eat, the fatter and sicker we are becoming.

If we are not careful, we may suffer the fate of the Neanderthal.

WebMD stands for Web Mindless Drivel


After attempting to relay the benefits of low to no carb eating to type II diabetics (T2D) on the American Diabetes Association (ADA) web forum to no avail, I decided instead to do some searching around the web. I wanted to see if any web-based organization stated that a high carbohydrate diet is a cause/risk factor of/for T2D.

After a time I landed on WebMD. Web MD is a popular website for health and medical information (as is the ADA website). Many look to WebMD for solid, sound and accurate explanations of various different conditions. In looking over the section on diabetes, I came across this info on Web MD’s causes of T2D:

Causes of Type 2 Diabetes

Other type 2 diabetes risk factors include the following:

High blood pressure
High blood triglyceride (fat) levels
Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
High-fat diet (The bold is my doing.)
High alcohol intake
Sedentary lifestyle
Obesity or being overweight
Ethnicity: Certain groups, such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Japanese Americans, have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.
Aging: Increasing age is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes begins to rise significantly at about age 45 years, and rises considerably after age 65 years.

Hold the phone – a high fat diet is a risk factor/cause of T2D? Since when? Fat doesn’t raise blood sugar in the least and is an essential macronutrient unlike carbohydrate). Only carbohydrate raises blood sugar. It is well established that chronically elevated blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance which in turn can lead to T2D. But WebMD makes no mention of carbohydrate intake at all.

If they are going to point a finger at fat for whatever reason, they’d better point a finger at carbs too. Bear in mind that diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate intolerance. I am not saying that eating carbohydrates directly causes diabetes (as many of the folks on the ADA web forum thought I said – they get very touchy). But if you have either T1 or T2 diabetes, you don’t tolerate much if any carbs.

How can WebMD leave carbohydrate off the list? Again, diabetes is a condition of carbohydrate, not fat intolerance. How can the doctors that supposedly wrote this info confidently state that a high fat diet is a risk factor for T2D when there is no physiological or scientific basis for such a claim? If you want to hypothesize that it’s true, fine. Get some funding do some studies and see. But the current research show us pretty clearly that, high fat, adequate protein, low carb diets result in lower blood glucose levels and improvements in insulin sensitivity.

Makes one wonder about WebMD, no?

And if they mucked up that statement (and they did), what else on the website is flat out wrong and misleading? If someone with diabetes saw their webpage on diabetes risk factors, she might opt for a low fat diet and a low fat diet is, by default, a high carb diet. Not good.

WebMD also states:

The Basics of a Healthy Diabetes Diet
Contrary to what you may have heard, there is no “diabetes diet,” per se — and that’s good news! The foods recommended for a diabetes diet to control blood glucose (or blood sugar) are good for those with diabetes — and everyone else. This means that you and your family can eat the same healthy foods at mealtime. However, for people with diabetes, the total amounts of carbohydrates consumed each day must be monitored carefully. Of the different components of nutrition — carbohydrates, fats, and proteins — carbohydrates have the greatest influence on blood sugar levels. Most people with diabetes also have to monitor total fat consumption and protein intake, too.

Wow. You mean it’s good news that no one has yet developed a diet that is best for diabetics? Sounds more like bad news to me. And notice how they say “Contrary to popular belief…” as if scores of people are murmuring about the best diabetes diet and are wrong about it. It’s as if they are suggesting that there shouldn’t be a best diet for diabetics or that a diet that is best for diabetics is a tasteless and bland.

Notice too how they state that diabetics have to monitor their carb intake carefully. Well if they do then would not a low carb diet be the best diet for a diabetic and not a low fat diet? Someone needs to snatch these people bald headed.

The folks that write for WebMD also cleverly try to lead one to believe that protein and fat negatively affect blood glucose levels when they don’t – at all. And these are supposedly doctors who write this drivel? And if diabetics have to monitor total carb, fat and protein intake – what exactly are they suggesting – starvation?

Here is a very good paper to read if you are diabetic and want to adopt a low carb diet. You’ll see that what WebMD is saying regarding fats, proteins and carbs and how these three macronutrients affect diabetics is wrong. Show it to your doctor at your next visit and insist she reads it.

Be well!

John Durant and Paleolithic Living

John Durant

I had a nice paleo lunch with John Durant of Hunter-Gatherer fame yesterday. We discussed high intensity strength training, paleolithic living and many other ideas on how to get all humans to live and eat like, well, humans.

John knows his stuff.

He has a wonderful Meetup group that I did not know existed. If you are in Manhattan, join his group. I did. You’re life will be the better for it.

Paleolithic Diet Beats Mediterranean Diet For Satiety

caveman diet

A recent study indicates that a paleolithic diets trumps a Mediterranean diet for improvements in satiety. What this means, in essence, is that the total nutrient availability to the cells and resultant hormonal response is superior eating like a caveman as opposed to eating like a modern man – or woman.

The big difference was the total carbohydrate intake – ~129 grams for the paleo diet and ~211 for the Medeterranean. Protein intake was only four grams lower (half an egg) in the Mediterranean diet. So even though several experts claim that it is adequate protein intake that increases satiety, we see from this study that since the protein intake of the two groups was not statistically different, the lower carbohydrate intake and not necessarily eating adequate protein was the reason for the greater satiety in this study.

So keep your carb intake low and your protein intake adequate my friends and enjoy the feeling of health and satiety. Not only will you feel full on less food, you’ll save money too!

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