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Every day I find myself speaking to someone who is surprised
by the concept of low carb / high protein diets.  There seems to be a deep and profound belief
that we have eaten a diet low in fat and high in grains for many many years.
There is also a deep belief that somehow the low carb way of life is faddy and
weird. This deep belief is actually quite recent and we only need to go back a
short period of time to see the normality of low carb eating.

It is hard to understand how anyone would think that the
human diet is based on vegetables. It is politically safe but that should not
make it right. Actual human anthropology shows that the only food that took us
from monkeys to Homo sapiens was MEAT. And in fact it was the marrow in the
bone that really helped us develop our minds. So vegetables were not critical
to our development. I know that some experts talk about our diet being based on
tubular plants prior to our evolution into Homo sapiens but we were a different
species.

So the idea that our natural diet is based on vegetables is
a little innocent when it comes to human history. Indeed if we had stuck with
vegetables we would still be swinging from trees and living a far more primitive
life.

Even if the vegetable lover accepts the development of the
human mind was dependant on meat they appear to have a complete blank on human
history spanning over 150,000 years when we lived as hunter gatherers relying
primarily on what we could hunt and kill. Vegetables and fruit were seasonal
and grains were not even widely available. Yes for 150,000 years we were low
carbing and didn’t even know it!

But even more naïve is the idea that a high protein /low
starch diet as a means of losing fat  is
new.  We know from letters written by
Darwin that he was a great fan of what he perceived was the natural human diet –
low carb / high protein.  We also know
from The Philosopher in the Kitchen by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin first
published in 1825 that the natural solution for obesity was cutting out sugar
and starch. In addition it was also the diet of choice for the hero of Anna
Karenina, Count Vronsky which was published during the 1870s.  Leo Tolstoy recognised the use of low carb /
high protein diets for good health and obesity avoidance.

So low carb is not new or faddy. It is as old as the hills
that we walked as hunter gatherers before the industrialisation of food and
man.

9 May 2011

Leave a comment

  1. Lynsey said on 24th May 2011

    Thanks for sahring. Always good to find a real expert.

  2. Hannah Sutter said on 17th November 2011

    you are welcome

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