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What Are Humans MEANT to Eat?


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I don't want any posts about how we need balance and variety, meats and proteins and vegetables and whatever else the media has been stuffing down your throats and minds.

Did you know we are the only beings on earth who COOK our meats? Carnivores won't go NEAR cooked meat, even if it's naturally roasted in a forest fire, or something of that nature. I find I feel beautifully better when I avoid meats entirely from my diet. Coincidence? I don't think so.

But what about grains, which are also unnatural foods? What about the artificially modified too-sweet fruits we're fed?

I'm not advocating cutting anything out, before the tigers jump at me and claw this topic to death. I am just honestly asking...what do you personally think humans, at their origin, were MEANT to eat?

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I think humans were meant to eat berries/fruit, nuts, vegetables, and meat. I'm glad I have the option to NOT eat meat now ^_^

"caveman diet" http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer .html

Original Post by moirainedamodred:
I am just honestly asking...what do you personally think humans, at their origin, were MEANT to eat?


Meat.

Our adaptablility to survive while eating other foods is why we as a species has evolved to where we are. (note I said survive, not thrive)

Original Post by sybil878:

Original Post by moirainedamodred:
I am just honestly asking...what do you personally think humans, at their origin, were MEANT to eat?


Meat.

Our adaptablility to survive while eating other foods is why we as a species has evolved to where we are. (note I said survive, not thrive)

If we were meant to eat meat, why are we not built like carnivores? Our bodies are not biologically designed to efficiently process meat, from the structure of our digestive systems, to the build of our teeth, and even to the enzymatic climate of our saliva. In fact, raw meat makes us sick.

I think people in caveman days just ate what they could to survive, whatever was around them...

I went to a seminar once where the speaker was talking about this very same subject. Evolutionarily speaking (if you believe in evolution!), humans are gatherers (and very rarely hunters) since fire/cooking, domestication of animals/plants, and even basic toolmaking (i.e. spears to hunt with) are VERY recent developments in the span of human history. So our bodies have only evolved to eat what we were eating at that point. Anyway, the guy would eat raw kale by the bucketful; basically, just fruits and vegetables. Occasionally nuts. Everything raw.

But you have to think, our ancestors were probably only living into their 30s before they got eaten by a tiger or something. They subsisted on whatever plant matter they could scrounge up while migrating from place to place. Their "meat-eating" was probably limited to the marrow they could scavenge out of bones. Who's to say what we were meant to eat is what we SHOULD eat.

Even if I wanted to, I don't think I could do it. If we weren't meant to eat cooked food, then why does it taste SO GOOD!?

Original Post by moirainedamodred:

Original Post by sybil878:

Original Post by moirainedamodred:
I am just honestly asking...what do you personally think humans, at their origin, were MEANT to eat?


Meat.

Our adaptablility to survive while eating other foods is why we as a species has evolved to where we are. (note I said survive, not thrive)

If we were meant to eat meat, why are we not built like carnivores? Our bodies are not biologically designed to efficiently process meat, from the structure of our digestive systems, to the build of our teeth, and even to the enzymatic climate of our saliva. In fact, raw meat makes us sick.

 This question has been asked a million times, and out of my own curiousity, I stumbled upon this answer:

Humans are omnivores - ie they can eat meat and veg. They have teeth which can cut (incisors), pierce and tear (canines),  chew (molars). Some people are more naturally inclined towards vegetarianism., some thrive on eating almost all meat. The comment someone made about salmonella - salmonella are bacteria which can live on all kinds of surfaces not just meat. Humans (and animals) build up immunity from bacteria like salmonella, listeria and staphylococcus simply by picking it up from the myriad different ways these bacteria can pass around, hence warnings are only issued for pregnant women, elderly, babies and people with immuno-deficient illnesses, because almost every normal adult has their own built-up immunity. Only when you pick up a large 'community' of these bacteria does it make you ill. The current trend to kill off all bacteria known to mankind on every surface of your environment does no favours as it removes the chance for the human body to produce its own antibodies, so then when you finally do eat that slightly old egg or badly re-heated pizza you will go down like a ton of bricks.

 

Foraged fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, occasional, VERY occasional meat. In that order. Like tofutti_cutie, I'm glad I don't have to eat the eggs, fish and meat, thanks to our big brains and opposable thumbs which allowed us to learn to cultivate beans and grains.

 In fact, raw meat makes us sick.

Lots of people eat steak tare tare (sp?) ... sushi? I know a girl who eats nothing but raw ground beef. Not that I recommend that, but she's got a six pack to die for!

Original Post by sybil878:

 In fact, raw meat makes us sick.

Lots of people eat steak tare tare (sp?) ... sushi? I know a girl who eats nothing but raw ground beef. Not that I recommend that, but she's got a six pack to die for!

Plus it's not the meat that makes us sick, it's the germs that get in there largely thanks to our incredibly filthy factory farming system.

Not to mention are eyes face forward, rather than to the sides of our face, a defining characteristic of predators.

The reason we heat our food stems from ( my opinion) the idea of preserving food for later. A piece of cooked meat might last a little bit longer than raw meat. Most animals that eat raw meat will gourge themselves because there is no guarentee that there will be food tomorrow. So they have to hunt almost everyday and be very good at it. Hence the sharp teeth and the jaw pressure to take down prey quickly.

Early man didn't have refridgerators, or even a vast knowledge of salting/drying methods. So, that would lead to storage and carrying of food items that keep fairly well, like ruit, nuts, roots and tubers.

 So, over time I think we went from eating a meat based diet to a more easily storable diet. That caused us to evolve out of a total predator physique into an omnivore body.   

 

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I think early humans probably ate like many nomadic hunter/gatherers did or do – lots of raw fruits and vegetables, plus insects, eggs and some meat when it was available. Kinda like how apes are primarily vegetarian, but are opportunistic carnivores.

 

That said, I don't think it matters what we're meant to eat. I'm all about a plant-based diet, and I think it's very healthy.

Original Post by moirainedamodred:

I don't want any posts about how we need balance and variety, meats and proteins and vegetables and whatever else the media has been stuffing down your throats and minds.

Did you know we are the only beings on earth who COOK our meats? Carnivores won't go NEAR cooked meat, even if it's naturally roasted in a forest fire, or something of that nature. I find I feel beautifully better when I avoid meats entirely from my diet. Coincidence? I don't think so.

But what about grains, which are also unnatural foods? What about the artificially modified too-sweet fruits we're fed?

I'm not advocating cutting anything out, before the tigers jump at me and claw this topic to death. I am just honestly asking...what do you personally think humans, at their origin, were MEANT to eat?

My son is obviously a caveman, ordering his steak rare.

In those days, yes, I think humans were meant to be hunter/gatherers eating foods like meat, grains and berries in their true natural form.

However, with the discovery of fire, they began cooking their meat. We've evolved since then due to advances in technology, but I believe all humans to this day are best served to eat foods in their most natural, unaltered form with the exception of meat. Not that meat wasn't eaten raw before, but now because it is safer, since we are exposed to so many bacteria, etc. the cavemen were not and cooking it kills much of this.

Original Post by moirainedamodred:

I don't want any posts about how we need balance and variety, meats and proteins and vegetables and whatever else the media has been stuffing down your throats and minds.

 

So, in other words, you want to preach and have nobody disagree with you?  That's not how forums work.

As for the argument about carnivores avoiding cooked meat, that's blatantly wrong.  My two little carnivores love many kinds of cooked meat (and eggs and cheese).  So, do all the other cats I've ever met.

Humans are omnivores.  We're meant to eat whatever we find to eat - be it meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, dairy, you name it.  We've evolved because we were creative about our food sources.

I'll follow Pollan on this one and recommend food. As opposed to foodlike substances.

Original Post by susiecue:

Humans are omnivores.  We're meant to eat whatever we find to eat - be it meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts, dairy, you name it.  We've evolved because we were creative about our food sources.

 I believe this also. The price of gaining our intelligence was our brains high demand for energy. Hence eating anything we could find.  

I asked myself this question about 3 years ago, and it has changed my life! I look and feel much better since I have stopped eating heavily man made, and man altered foods. We do not need them. However, most people do eat standard  processed ice cream and pizza, so I will not preach or be dogmatic. I will just tell you what works well for me.

I am not an expert, so I have no idea exactly what we have eaten throughout our evolution, or for how long, and it what amounts.  I have only read bits and pieces of basic information. This is what makes sense to me, based on the limited information I have read:

Humans would have always been able to gather raw fruit, nuts and seeds ( and possibly avocado and coconut?)

Humans would have had to eat fish, poultry, meat, and bugs at some point to survive. We would have needed to have been opportunistic eaters.

Based on our anatomy, we are apparently very different to carnivores,  and are more like vegetarians. Logically, this could mean that although we may have needed to eat animals at some point, that it is not the dominate or preferred source of energy. Although again, I am sure there were some communities or tribes that ate a large amount of animals. Perhaps their ancestors also function well on a high animal diet? ( and why some people feel best on high protein diet while others do not?)

In terms of grains, I think it is likely that there were some ancient forms of grains that we would have eaten. Although agriculture and grains are only a recent invention, about 10, 000 years ago, I am not an expert so I have no idea if, and how much our bodies have adapted to cultivated, and cooked grains.

Personally, I try to eat a lot of raw fruit, raw vegetables, raw corn for energy, sprouted grains (which are not cooked or heated),  raw nuts and seeds, raw coconut, and I also eat raw fish about twice a week, sometimes cooked, and goats cheese about once a week.

I do not feel that a 100% raw diet without grains, dairy, or meat is healthy long term so I do include small amounts of the fish and goats cheese weekly!  

I do take calcium supplements though. In regards to the standard recommendations for calcium? They recommend the equivalent of three glasses of milk per day. I may not be well read or an expert in the field, but I am not convinced that cows milk dairy is needed in this quantity.  Without the calcium from dairy, it would be impossible to reach the RDI. Therefore, perhaps the standard RDA is not accurate? Although just to be safe, I do take a calcium supplement!

I think asking what we're 'meant' to eat is rather irrelevant because the whole point of the human race is that we've evolved to eat a wide variety of foods making us the most successful species on the planet.  If a particular tribe a million years ago had decided to say 'no thanks' to an available food source because they weren't meant to eat it, they simply would have died out.... and they would not be our ancestors. The nomadic aboriginal Australian was making the most of the foods available in their environment same as the indigenous people of the icy North were making the most of theirs.  There is no one universal 'human diet'. 

Today, because a lot of us have no shortage of food of all descriptions, the most relevant question is what we choose to eat.  And that is entirely down to the individual

 

 

Original Post by personaltrainer87:


I do take calcium supplements though. In regards to the standard recommendations for calcium? They recommend the equivalent of three glasses of milk per day. I may not be well read or an expert in the field, but I am not convinced that cows milk dairy is needed in this quantity.  Without the calcium from dairy, it would be impossible to reach the RDI. Therefore, perhaps the standard RDA is not accurate? Although just to be safe, I do take a calcium supplement!

There's a great deal of calcium in crucifers and leafy greens, which I imagine were eaten in large quantities by early humans (I don't take calcium supplements or eat dairy and get more than 100% of my RDA daily from my fruit and veggie heavy diet).

Wow, it is good to know that you meet the RDI’S without dairy!  I eat a large amount of mild greens, but do not eat dark greens, such as spinach, and I do not like cruciferous. I do eat almonds and brazil nuts though, which have calcium, but not in large enough amounts to get the RDI. So I think supplements may be necessary for me.

And GI Jane: yes, our ability to adapt to new foods is ALSO part of human nature. However, I do not believe there is anything healthy or natural about the types of meals and foods people now eat;  we have no need to have a bottled sauce or flavoring which has 20 different ingredients in it,  or to eat processed doughnuts, ice cream, or pizza. Some food is HEAVILY changed and altered from its natural state, so such a ridiculous extent that I just cannot see how it is necessary to include such foods.

Of course, mental stability and other NON physiological reasons that are impacted by our food choices are equally as important as WHAT we eat. Therefore, because most people have grown up eating “ normal” pizza, processed ice cream, and processed and packaged cookies and goods, they will be happier and therefore healthier over all, if they do not have to force themselves to deprive themselves of such foods.

Interestingly, once a person DOES go cold turkey without the processed foods they have eaten their whole lives, their taste buds always develop and they never crave a heavily altered, processed food again. A viable theory that makes sense to me, is that once we eat the foods we are supposed to eat, our bodies and taste buds stop craving the artificial, heavily altered stuff.

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