Paleolithic diets

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Reasons behind, challenges for, myths about, and little-known facts surrounding the "Paleo Diet." Learn about the Paleolithic Period (then) and evolution of both humans and their food (now). From a Culture and Food Course

Text of Paleolithic diets

  • 1. Paleolithic Diet?Is It RelevantFor Today?Professor Alana L. Jolley

2. Origins of Human DietsReview: Humans are Primates, too. 3. Green GenesReview: Green plants for good health! 4. ObesityReview: The Globalization of Obesity 5. Across Genders 6. And Across Generations 7. No Obesity HereWhy? 8. Paleolithic Age2.5 Million 10,000 Years Ago 9. Paleolithic PeriodPaleolithic Period: stone tools to thedevelopment of agriculture 10,000 YA 10. Paleolithic Patterns Nutrition depended on environment Available resources Seasonal and local Periods of shortages and abundance 11. Modern PatternsBadFatsToo MuchSugarToo MuchSalt 12. Modern PatternsSedentary Living and Fast Foods 13. Screen TimeProcessed, refined, unhealthy foods. 14. Paleolithic Foods Use of aquatic foods is recent, 20,000 YASome people lacked access to aquatic foods. 15. Cro-Magnon Period43,000 Years Ago Meat consumption increasedMiddle Paleolithic Period 16. Over-hunting, Climate ChangePopulation Growth Plant consumption increased; meatconsumption decreased.Domestication of Plants 17. Paleolithic Diets Paleolithic diets: unlike typical diet in U.S. Paleolithic diets: unlike USDA Pyramids Paleolithic diets: affected by extremeshortages, over abundance, seasonalavailability 18. Early Agriculture AlteredNutritional Patterns Plant food up to 90% of diet. 19. Agricultural Patterns Smaller body size, sedentary living,complex societies, less exercise, morecalories - but more work! 20. Acquisition of FoodHunting and Gathering(Paleolithic Period)Supermarkets(Today) 21. Distribution of FoodEgalitariandistribution of food(Food Sharing)Paleolithic PeriodTaco Taxi (Today)Mobile Food Distribution 22. Consumption of Food TodayToo much:FoodFatSaltSugarRefined foodsPackaged foodsCarbohydratesCaloriesOver abundance of foodMore food availabilityNo food shortages 23. Discovering Ancient Diets Primate diets Pre-agricultural, ancestral diets, DNA Diets of todays foragers (few left) Legacy of food adaptations over time 24. Would You Eat This?Extreme shortages made insects important. 25. Comparing Food PyramidsUnited States Dept. of Agriculture 26. Comparing Food PyramidsVegetarian Food Pyramid 27. Comparing Food Pyramids 28. Comparing Food Pyramids 29. Paleolithic Pyramid Omit Dairy Omit Grains Omit ProcessedfoodsIs this sustainable today for all populations? 30. Paleolithic Diets High cholesterol, different fat, more essentialfatty acids (EFAs) More polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) thansaturated fats. 1/6 th of salt content in todays diets A defense against some modern diseases 31. Comparative Health ThreatsPaleolithic: Modern:No sanitationHeart diseasemethodsNo modernmedicinesObesityInfectionsLethal parasiteinfestationsDiabetesCancers 32. Paleolithic LifestylesHunter-gatherersNo complexsocietiesEgalitarian (equalaccess to food)No domesticationof plants/animals 33. Are We Like Them?100% biologically like Paleolithic peoples? No. 34. Humans Have Developed A gene for lactose tolerance Thrifty genotype as a survivalmechanism against famine Immune systems that resistdiseases like malaria Microbial gut communitiesunlike Paleolithic times* Gene-food-culture interactions 35. Foods Have Changed Fruits, vegetables, animals have alsoevolved since Paleolithic times Humans breed animals for maximumyields of meat, eggs, and milk Humans plant only seeds for biggest,best, juiciest, fruits and vegetables 36. World Cuisines Have Evolved Surpluses created need to preserve Meats are dried, smoked, or frozen Other foods are salted, smoked, boiled Processing has led to additives: salt,smoke, vinegar, fermenting, chemicals 37. Diet Accordingly According to age According to needs According to resources According to budget 38. Summary Paleolithic diets are generalizations, notexact interpretations. Impossible to know exact proportions ofmeat and vegetables in Paleolithic times All Paleolithic peoples did not eat thesame exact diet. Is a Paleolithic diet a fad, or relevant intodays world, with billions of people? 39. Bibliography Culture and Food Goodman, Dufour, Pelto, NutritionalAnthropology, 2000, pp. 46-75. Jabr, Ferris, Scientific American, 2013. Counihan, Van Esterik, Food and Culture,3rd Ed, 2013, pp. 435-438. White, Tim D., Human Osteology, 2000,pp. 433-434.