Monday, 16 April 2012

Food Ratios

It is always interesting to think about the ratio of vegetable to meat intake and what is appropriate.  I find myself leaning toward thinking we should eat a higher percentage of plant matter.  However, in daily practice, end up eating a lot more meat.

Recently having exchanged a purple onion craving for a liver pate craving has been an interesting recent occurrence for me.

I still wonder why I was craving purple onion so much for several months.  I had read that the closer to a paleolithic regimen, the more organ meat cravings would set in.  So it is curious that I since I have become more strict, once again, that a liver craving has set in.  Is it the long-chain polyunsaturated fats (LCP) that my body is yearning for?

What is most interesting to me is that when adopting a vegetarian way of life (a lot of grain - wheat - and cheese), which may have been wrong but I see many vegetarians eating this way even now, and I was frequently ill.  When I brought meat back into my regimen, I felt better immediately with no apparent negative repercussions.

When my regimen reduces grain, dairy and refined sugar to none or almost none, I do not appear to become ill (viral) and when I increase that intake (during special occasions such as Christmas and Easter),  I don't feel any differently at first but gradually begin to decline.  The end result is a feeling of great fatigue, some minor joint pain and clearly being bloated (measurements prove this).  It is always a relief to get away from those 'treats' that end up, ultimately, replacing the amount of meat and plants in my regimen.

So why do I begin to feel so poorly even only 3 to 5 days into a grain/dairy (some refined sugar) increase?  Is it that I am replacing a higher fibre source (fibrous plants) and lower my LCP intake too far?  It is an interesting idea.

This is today's read that I am pondering:

 "...Chimpanzees are closest to humans genetically, sharing more than 98% of their DNA code with humans, and their digestive tract is functionally very similar to that of humans[citation needed]. Chimpanzees are primarily frugivores, but they could and would consume and digest animal flesh, given the opportunity. However, their actual diet in the wild is about 95% plant-based, with the remaining 5% filled with insects, eggs, and baby animals.[105][106] Some comparative studies of human and higher primate digestive tracts do suggest that humans have evolved to obtain greater amounts of calories from high-quality sources such as animal foods, allowing them to shrink the size of the gastrointestinal tract, relative to body mass, and to increase the brain mass instead.[91][107]

A difficulty with this point of view is that humans are established to require certain long-chain polyunsaturated fats (LCP), such as AA and DHA.[108] Human LCP requirements are much greater than chimpanzees' because of humans' larger brain mass, and humans' abilities to synthesize them from other nutrients are poor, suggesting readily available external sources.[109] Pregnant and lactating females require 100 mg of DHA per day.[110] But LCPs are nonexistent in plants, and DHA is also almost nonexistent in most tissues of warm-climate animals.

The source of DHA in the modern human diet is fish and fatty organs of animal like brains, eyes and viscera. Despite the general shortage of evidence for extensive fishing, thought to require relatively sophisticated tools which have become available only in the last 30–50 thousand years, it has been argued that exploitation of coastal fauna somehow provided hominids with abundant LCP.[109] Alternatively, it has been proposed that early hominids frequently scavenged predators' kills and consumed parts which were left untouched by predators, most commonly the brain, which is very high in AA and DHA.[110]

Just 100 g of scavenged African ruminant brain matter provide more DHA than is consumed by a typical modern U.S. adult in the course of a week.[110][111] Other authors suggested that human ability to convert alpha-Linolenic acid into DHA, while poor, is, nevertheless, adequate to prevent DHA deficiency in a plant-based diet.[112]..."


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