What do we really know about ancestral diet?


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #81

All it means is that of the 100 grams of avocado, 1.8 grams is digestible carbs. The rest of the carbs in an avocado are cellulose. I presume most of the digestible 1.8 grams are metabolized to glucose.


This has been an interesting thread to read, but I think that, if you are going to try to go back in time, you need to go back through your personal, ancestral line. All the way back to pre-industrial times. Then you will see what type of food your personal make-up will probably be better suited for. (I’m going to leave that “for” dangling there :slight_smile: ) It is easy if all your immediate ancestors lived in the same area, then diet can be traced much easier and you will see what’s in your personal genes. Look at all the plant varieties that evolved without our help - and how specific their requirements are tailored to availability. It makes little sense to believe that humans evolved any different. You should thrive best on the food your ancestors, your direct ancestors, thrived on.

(Justin Jordan) #83


His blood work was iffy. Now, it’s certainly true that he might be thriving long term, or it might be that he’s still in a place where it will catch up to him.

Ultimately, there’s a lot we don’t know, and a lot is confounded by the fact that we’re often compared to what might possibly be the worst diet on Earth, the SAD.

If people’s subjective sense of wellness improves and their blood work improves, well, I think that’s probably as good as you’re going to get, and even then, there’s some squishiness as to what good blood work IS.

Baker, on the other hand, has some stuff going on that might be of concern, but we don’t really know much about long term carnivory as he practices it. Because, as for instance, if Baker were a vegan with that blood work, he’d perceived verrrrrry differently here.


Bunny may be onto something here Michael, we don’t need to be tipping our green smoothies over our porcine friends just yet.

Bunny is not saying that carbohydrates are dietary. We all need blood glucose. Bunny is not saying the carbohydrates are plant foods.

Sometimes a need can be couched in terms of an addiction and the need is psychological, and the general state of observed mainstream dietary guidelines and affairs indicates that a lot of humans have a need for carbohydrates. They may well not be as well educated as those who chased the nutrition science rabbit and interpret their ‘need’ as responding to cravings.

In some people, and from what I’ve been listening to recently (Dr. Jaime Seeman), in particular women there may be a need for some carbohydrate for optimal health. Dr. Ted Naiman, with an engineering background follows the same thinking, using bell shape curves and ‘U’ curves. to indicate that optimal physiological health is not at the extremes. So logic would suggest that a zero dietary carbohydrate diet is less optimal than a low carbohydrate diet, as we follow the ‘U’ curve, and as such it may be a sign that zero dietary carbohydrates may indicate a deficiency for humans seeking optimal health.

The other thing Bunny’s conversation catalyst gives us is a lack of context, thus leaving things open to discussion and interpretation. “human(s) do not need carbohydrates” for what? We can live in their absence, but can we perform?


I think this insight is important within the evolutionary context and the vast change in the food environment and the expression, or not, of epigenetics in response to the current world.

Our way back ancestors lived in a different world. Our more recent ancestors even in industrial times, but before the rise of the worst aspects of the food industry ate more whole local, season foods and ways of preparing those potential foods to reduce toxicity and create bioavailable energy as priority to avoid ever looming potential starvation. Humans are evolving. If we include gut biota as part of our human being we have a microcosm of evolution and mutation occurring potentially with every meal, or every time period of not eating.


Thank you!

(bulkbiker) #87

Well that is exactly what she said…the correct way to phrase would have been “glucose is essential in the blood in very small quantities” but she made her extreme post instead?

Does this sound nuanced?

Also the claim that avocado is an “essential carbohydrate”… sounds rather like desperate measures…


I love the question marks. I agree nuance may be lacking but I reckon that’s because it is a challenge. Bunny is teaching us well. (I think the comprehension maths goes: nuance + challenge = passive aggressive)

Good questions may be making us think and produce better questions? That is the downhill snowball of scientific thinking.

A different way of saying it may very well have been the correct way that you modified it. I am glad I have brought you both together in detente.

OK, you are a clear thinker and I am a story teller. So let’s look at the ideas presented, if Bunny did mean dietary carbohydrates.

Michael was the one chasing the essential adjective definition. Bunny did not make a claim. And I did not see Bunny use the word essential. Like the true dietary Zen Maestro I observe her to be, she just asked us to behold an avocado. Which leaves us to contemplate the macro and micronutrients of that fruit, including the carbohydrates and fibre. Perhaps she is indicating, and I dare not presume too much, that most whole foods have those nutrients as inextricable from each other.

It sends our thoughts down the path of the commonly held foundation of improving a diet, any diet, be it vegetarian or carnivore, is best done with wholefoods. And with that being the well established case, and the carbohydrate molecules bound with the proteins and fats, it is folly to consider the concept of a carbohydrate-free healthy way of eating?



My research is pretty informal… but I recall there were some Pacific Northwest native tribes who had a ketogenic ratios kind of diet - Phinney & Volek (in The Art & Science Of Low Carbohydrate Living) talk about the traditional high value oolichan fish grease among all the Pacific coast peoples, traded inland even, and ketogenic aspects of the high fat PNW and further north cultures.

However - they lived in sync with constant change, and the forces of nature. Some years, the oolichan fish were less than others, whcih affected everyone in the oolichan trade routes. Fats/protein ratios probably fluctuated, as did the complex carb intake - because that’s natural living in a world where you hunt or gather or grow/steward everything you eat.

And I think that’s the thing that confounds modern inquiry by people in industrial culture. Being so far removed from what land-based living really is, all sorts of dogmatic, stereotyped notions of ancestral diets and ‘noble savages’ have been constructed. Also, there’s a huge, erroneous, and backwards belief that gatherer/hunter aboriginals were ignorant, prototypical moderners - when in fact they were quite advanced in terms of consciousness and generally egalitarian power-sharers and gift-givers according to oral histories of their worldviews and community values.

In ancient times, the rivers were dense with fish, the sky heavy with birds, and the land with large game and heavy forests. In North America, a squirrel could travel by mostly staying in trees from what is now called Maine all the way to Texas. (Lierre Keith wrote about that in The Vegetarian Myth).

The fact-gathering of the organizations, journals, and books by Gelgaudus, Fallon Morrell, Shanahan et al point to diversity in ancient diets united in one thing: unprocessed foods for the most part. And distance from the equator is another factor. Peoples in the far north areas relied heavily on meat, animal fat, seaweed, and stored precious grasses/berries from summertime. Farther south, the complex carb options really expanded - and corn & beans & squash made for more flexible meals and more leisurely hunting! Then there’s also the fasting which was a part of ancient traditions to some degree too - either because of weather or other conditions, or as part of the ceremonial spiritual culture.

People who’ve grown up disconnected from traditional cultures can hardly imagine what it was like before industry, land destruction, and invasions. But I think it’s important to remember that industrial culture is not the only way of living, and is only a brief (but massively destructive) blip in human history.

Paleoanthropology is very fascinating, and much needed - as is respect and support for the cultural survival of currently surviving indigienous & aboriginal peoples. If there was more of it, there would be less cherry picking postmodern appropriation and ongoing compartmentalizing of primal humankind into whatever suits the given ideology (ie, carnivores, vegans/fruitarians etc). :thinking: Since primordial humanity did originate in what was a very temperate zone in what is now North Africa/Middle East, they might well have feasted on pomegranates (the oldest fruit on the planet) and cherimoyas and avocadoes - and sweet grasses - along with lots of easily caught fish and abundant small game without ever having to bother much with big game hunting unless it was for a ceremonial feast, etc.

(Bunny) #90

Only eating meat is not?


(bulkbiker) #91

You mention a carbohydrate free way of eating in the lines above “carnivore” so how can it be folly?

But thanks for describing me as a clear thinker… big compliment…

(bulkbiker) #92

Not really… no

Certainly not in the way describing avocado as an essential carbohydrate is…


Mark you are most always straight to the point. It’s good stuff.

Yes, a carnivore diet is not necessarily carbohydrate free. It is protein rich and variable in fat.


(bulkbiker) #94

But it can be…?

So maybe not folly?


Clear thinker, and I’m guessing you’re a pom, tenacious and growly like a British Bulldog with a beef thigh bone. :heart::meat_on_bone:

Wholefood carnivore diet can not be carbohydrate free as you will always be ingesting muscle glycogen, for example, or blood.

Hence the folly in interpretation does exist not so much in the nuance as the detail?


(Bunny) #96

I like that, I would be bored to death without those kind of teeth.


nothing nuance about it all LOL It is carb free from plant materials. what a carb is wrapped in when being eaten is huge. Meat/seafood is whole in that nothing is antinutrient. Wrap a carb in an undesirable food source as plants and you get other things the body truly doesn’t need, like oxalates etc. Now the body must repair/heal/handle that damage. Not saying the body can’t handle it and deal with it as it must and if we triple up on these plant food intakes what do we end up possibly, overloads of oxalates and others, joint troubles, inflammation, pain etc.

Quality of life of food eaten should be a consideration and truly what that food is doing inside your body.

Give one total complete plant food example one can live on for life with no other food eaten ever.

I can give one example in the meat and protein world. Steak cut. A person can eat 1 big steak cut a day and thrive. Long term. For life. (not saying we aren’t ever debating if that is a good thing to do LOL but many veterans of no carbs from plant materials are doing it over 20 plus years so there is real actual people doing this :)) — give me an example of one single plant food that is equivalent to that. Has to be available to all worldwide. Just as hunting meat/fishing etc. is available world wide. Let me know of just one please that all humans have access and can survive superior long term. Then show me the proof of a person eating only 1 veg and nothing else for close to 20 years?

you do the @fangs and keep wanting me here LOL you dog you HAHA
I know Mark and Michael and so many other smart posters are putting out good info on the board here so ya’ll don’t really need me in on all this :crazy_face:

(mole person) #98

Actually, I agree. I find his bloodwork iffy too. And he explains it away with some very unscientific wishful-thinking handwaving and an “I feel great and am crushing it”.

His blood glucose and insulin are both high and increasing and he keeps on hammering away that his ultra high protein diet is not causative and not a problem while the scientific evidence predicts exactly what is happening to him.

This isn’t a problem with a carnivore diet however. Just one that relies too little on fats. My own blood sugar is dropping on this diet. I get values as low as 57 unfasted. Further, I can assume that my insulin is similary low since I have ketones around 3, also unfasted. But I practice a very ketogenic form of carnivore. Not the 24/7 all you can eat steak buffet version.


but yea we also have to remember this doesn’t apply to all carnivores ever in that once one gets thru adaption times and ravenous hunger to feed the body as it requires coming off who knows what crazy starved, nutritionally sad food, most carnivores are not the above at all LOL

kinda like that old atkins thoughts of ‘eat a ton of bacon cheeseburgers’, all ya want at any time and scarf down hot dogs too :slight_smile: version.

I know you know this and am not directing it at you, just putting it out on the board that carnivore in regular old carnivore plan form is not truly a 24/7 all you can eat steak buffet, dispelling it along with the old atkins statements out there for any new people reading.

(mole person) #100

@Fangs It’s fairly common, if you go on carnivore groups, to see carnivores who’ve been at it for many years still eating 2-4 lbs of steak a day. That’s way more than double healthy protein levels. I do think that there is a good amount of give in how much protein one can eat without issues, but the evidence suggests that this isn’t endless. I’ve heard several doctors on podcasts now say that when they see blood glucose increase in their patients on ketogenic diets it’s always that the patient is overconsuming protein and is rectified by reducing. Overconsumption of protein can lead to worsening metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance.

I think that multi pound of meat a day eating carnivores should be testing their glucose to ensure that it’s trending down and not up. And if it’s not going in the right direction they should rethink the 100% muscle meat paradigm.