Ketovore in the land of SAD

(Alec) #21

My 2 cents on this oxalate discussion: right now, oxalates are high profile in our community, but there are many many more micro toxins in plants that are not well known or discussed… histamine and salicylate being 2, but there are many more.

The “plants are trying to kill you” phrase is dramatic and to most people sounds just silly. But in the realm of evolution and survival of the fittest it is actually real and serious. Maybe the word “kill” is extreme, maybe what’s more likely is “give you a really bad stomach ache” so that you are put off eating that plant again. If the plant was just generally really nice to eat by animals (eg us!) right down to the root with no consequences, then its chances of survival through evolution would be less.

It is clear that through history mankind has eaten plants, got sick, and learnt what we can eat and what we can’t. And then done the same with various preparations of the plants pre-ingestion. [sidebar: you have to wonder at the fearlessness of the experimenters in history that did this… I am sure that much of it was accidental, but I bet a lot of it was real experimentation!]


Throughout history, man ate what was available. Feast or famine? They ate what was available at the time. Sometimes there was lots of meat (feast) after a big kill, and at other times there was not (famine) and people had to forage for what was available. This idea that humans only ate other animals thousands of years ago is just not true. But like most people, we have our own biases. Yes, it was probably true that they were in starvation mode most of the time and potentially in ketosis, but is that optimum? Is it beneficial to always be in starvation mode? We don’t know and probably will not know for a very long time.
We all know people who thrive on keto in the short term, but what about 30 years down the road? To think that there is just one dietary protocol that is perfect is just false.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #23

One of the most important food processes in the Americas is to soak maize in lye for some time. This is necessary for unbinding the niacin and making it available to our body. When the Europeans brought maize to the Old World, they omitted to bring the preparation instructions, and many poor people came down with pellagra. The reason? The maize was extremely cheap, so they were subsisting on it and not getting enough niacin from other sources.

The other very important food preparation process is to do with cassava. Cassava is another New World plant, and it is the principle starch in much of Africa. Fortunately, Africans generallly know how to prepare cassava, but nevertheless, skimping on the process or using bitter cassava results in hundreds of deaths every year. (Bitter cassava is generally not eaten, except in times of famine.)

For millions of years, actually, until the agricultural revolution 12,000 years ago. Radio-isotope analyses of hunter-gatherer bones show that they mostly ate meat and very little plant matter, probably mostly berries in season. The difference in the health of hunter-gatherer skeletons and agriculturalist skeletons is quite marked, and pretty much renders isotope analysis redundant.

(Chuck) #24

I believe what is not being considered is how evolution has played its role in how we have cover the centuries. And how we are going to change as we try to undo the bad decisions made just in the last century. As hard as some try we can fully change over night. And we have to consider our mixing of different ancestry over the many generations.


I think the discussion on what our ancestors ate or did not eat is still open. I agree that in some cultures, meat was prioritised, but rarely was it abundant. If you look at the very few hunter-gatherer tribes that still exist in today’s world, you find out that while they do hunt extensively, they are only successful about half the time and have to look elsewhere for nutrition.

It’s true that hunter-gatherers around the world crave meat more than any other food. But most also endured lean times when they ate less than a handful of meat each week.
Year-round observations of current hunter-gatherer societies confirm that hunter-gatherers often have dismal success as hunters. The Hadza and Kung bushmen of Africa, for example, fail to get meat more than half the time when they venture forth with bows and arrows. This suggests it was even harder for our ancestors, who did not have these weapons. No one eats meat all that often, except in the Arctic, where Inuit and other groups traditionally got as much as 99 percent of their calories from seals, narwhals, and fish.
‘When meat, fruit, or honey is scarce, foragers depend on fallback foods. The Hadza get almost 70 percent of their calories from plants. The Kung traditionally rely on tubers and mongongo nuts; the Aka and Baka Pygmies of the Congo River Basin on yams; the Tsimane and Yanomami Indians of the Amazon on plantains and manioc; and the Australian Aboriginals on nut grass and water chestnuts.’ Alison Brooks, a paleoanthropologist at George Washington University, is an expert on current hunter-gatherer societies.


I do not disagree with the basic premise that humans evolved over time and that our own internal systems do change. I am not sure if this occurs swiftly or over many years, and potentially over thousands of years. If we look at the increases in obesity and the dramatic rise in T2D over the last 30 years, it would suggest we can change very quickly. What is not so clear is the path forward. We, on this forum, believe that eating meat is the way forward. Yet, there are many societies that do not eat any animal products and seem to thrive on their path. Having studied this stuff for a very long time my only conclusion is that like politics it is very polarizing, with cherry-picked doctors/scientists on either end of the spectrum. I personally choose the best quality food my budget allows; this would include organic fruits and veggies, grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, wild fish in limited quantities, and hopefully nothing from a box.
There are other factors that determine our life and health span; diet is just one of them.
Exercise is most likely the most important factor influencing your health and lifespan, but how many people engage in regular exercise? Many people don’t even walk, despite the fact that even walking can have a big impact on health. Most people know this to be the case but they still don’t.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #27

The prob[quote=“ffskier, post:26, topic:120207”]
If we look at the increases in obesity and the dramatic rise in T2D over the last 30 years, it would suggest we can change very quickly.
I’m not sure how this follows. Surely the rise of diabetes and the other metabolic diseases is a sign that human beings are not adapted to a high-carb diet?

Agriculture was invented around 12,000 years ago, and the anthropological record clearly shows that, whatever benefits it may provide for the advancement of civilisation, it had a profound negative effect on the farmers’ health: shorter stature, degenerative diseases, reduced cranial capacity, signs of metabolic disease, and so forth.

(Judy Thompson) #28

I love this! My hubby is the same as yours, @kib1. The only thing I cut was his salad, when I read that veggies are less toxic when cooked (and don’t require that toxic dressing) and he’s not crazy about salad anyway. So he gets the meat, a green veg, a starch or sometimes 2. He loves the carnivore ice cream with Redi Whip on it as it isn’t sweetened.
In my year and a half plus of carnivore he has heard all the facts. This week he decided to switch to Ezekiel bread. Baby steps.
The one thing we are very clear on is if he gets sick, his diet will change drastically to reverse whatever it is, as much as we can. For now though… his choices are his choices and I’m happy to make his food for him.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #29

Well, if you want to argue with the isotopic analyses, go right ahead. I’m not going to. And remember that over the two million years of human evolution there were megafauna available that provided a lot of meat and fat.

Going by what is available today is a natural impulse, but it can be misleading. As is borne out by those Web sites that display modern fruits next to their ancestral forms. Over the centuries since agriculture was invented, we’ve bred a lot of plant foods to be more edible and palatable than they were originally. Our ancestors couldn’t just hop over to the produce section of the local supermarket.

(Robin) #30

“ Sometimes we just have to step over the bodies and move on.”
How did I miss that one? So true.

Unless they’re zombies and are faking it.

(KM) #31

I think my question re “ancestral diet” is how long does it take to adapt. In school, I learned a cant that it was hundreds of thousands of generations. But then I was exposed to a school of thought that adaptation might be as short as ONE generation, depending on the external crisis. The long necked giraffe-during-drought theory, you could say. (that something which provides an extreme benefit to the mutated individual in an extreme situation could have a much, much shorter period of adaptation - the individuals in an entire species can adapt because they have the mutation, or die because they don’t. Dinosaur species that could or couldn’t survive a meteoric atmospheric change over a few years. Or, and I hope this isn’t offensive, the idea that certain diseases more prominent in African America populations were a matter of survival - without the mutated gene, individuals forced into a month-long sea voyage under horrendous conditions without the peculiar advantage of the mutation in the situation died. Ergo the remaining individuals who survived and reproduced had the gene, and now the population has a much higher percentage of the mutation (which doesn’t serve them here and now - salt sensitive hypertension, possibly sickle cell anemia).

Bottom line of my point, does the mutation path of 2 million years trump the necessary adaptations of 5 generations, or vice versa? Live in Norway and die, or if you’re lucky, get the mutation that lets you digest lactose, live, and have an adapted genome within 50 years…

(Judy Thompson) #32

You’re hilarious!

(Chuck) #33

I eat lots of salads, I have no issues with them. I eat lots of raw vegetables as snacks, no issues with that either. I eat cooking vegetables no issues, I eat fresh fruit no issues. But I also eat plenty of meat, dairy and nuts also, in other words I eat real food, my dairy is never low fat always fresh from the local Amish farmers as is my meat, vegetables and fruit. It is a lot more expensive but I am supporting the small farmers bottom line and not the mega farms and grocery store chains. I don’t eat anything with wheat, artificial sweeteners, or processed carbs. I have tried keto, for me I can do it for short periods of time, I just can not do it long term. Eat nothing but meat is something I do a few times a month up to a few times a week. Again I can’t do it long term. My saving grace is fasting. I never go over about 100 grams of carbs in any one day. And I average 60 grams of carbs per day. My protein and fat is my highest daily nutrition.
I was at a point of maintaining my weight, but more than likely when I return home from vacation I will have a few pounds to lose. On vacation I kept my total intake within my normal intake but wasn’t able to fast and keep my eating window shorter. And for me that has proven to be my issue. I need the short eating window.

(Polly) #34

Also, we should remember that the chemicals in plants prevent the proper digestion of good nutrients in meat and fish.

(Edith) #35

I really don’t think we can compare today’s hunter gatherers to those of the past. Today, many of them have to stay in certain areas, they cannot be nomadic like they mostly likely were thousands to millions of years ago. Just that alone limits what and how much they can hunt. It’s probably not that much different than a river or lake getting fished out

(Geoffrey) #36

My experience exactly. We all have to find what works for us.


Maybe ‘is it a bad idea’ is not the right question to ask but more: ‘what does your body crave?’
I’ve also moved from keto to an essentially carnivore lifestyle. But when I crave mozzarella & a tomato, I will have mozzarella & a tomato with basil leaves! Just as much is if I crave a baked chicken, I’ll make a small one and will eat it all for my OMAD.
I don’t eat broccoli, cauliflower or spinach any more; I’ve never liked their taste and am happy to avoid them. But a diced avocado with lemon juice next to my bacon and eggs or a bowl of 40% heavy cream with blackberries :heart:
Today my cravings naturally respect low-carb choices; so, what my body asks for it gets.