In my last post I mentioned how traditionally, humans evolved on a grain-free, Paleolithic diet consisting of plants (vegetables and plants) and meat.
The Globe and Mail had an interesting article a couple of weeks ago outlining the journal of an Inuit man whose obesity and associated health risks led him to adopt the diet of his ancestors, before the Westerners arrived with their flour and sugar.
I found this quote quite telling:
Ever since colonization, my people went from being a fit, athletic race of people to the most sickly and lame. The most obese. The highest diabetes rate… We went from eating our natural food to a diet completely different from 100 years ago.”
More than a third of Canadian aboriginals are obese, and about a fifth told the 2011 First Nations Regional Health Survey they had diabetes, according to its preliminary results.
He researched the diet of his ancestors but there wasn’t a consensus on what that was…so he created his own. From reading Taubes and other sources, I do know that the Inuit of the far north subsisted on a diet of seal fat and fish for at least 6 months of the year, and they were considered very healthy before adopting European diet.
A fascinating case is of Canadian adventurer Vilhjalmur Steffansson, who explored the Arctic and whose 10 year experiment with an all meat (and animal fat) diet with the Inuit make him a figure of interest in Paleo circles. He and another man reproduced the all meat (including organs and bones) diet in a laboratory setting for the Journal of the American Medical Association, closely monitored by observers, and the result was perfect health for both men.
Back to the article.
Mr Ducharme states that one point, his new ancestrally-intuited diet started to take a toll on his disposition – he was constantly hungry, moody, and emotional.
I’ll bet it was because he wasn’t incorporating fats into his diet, due to operating under the “fat is bad” for your paradigm. He mentions eating very lean game meat like elk and buffalo and lots of nuts and fruits and veggies, with wild rice and natural sugars. He probably would be a lot more satiated by adding some fats.
I’m glad to see awareness of the horrible state of health of traditional hunter-gatherer societies and actual attempts to adopt ancestral diets in an effort to reverse illness and achieve good health. Mr Ducharme is in the process of producing a documentary on his journey and it will hopefully help others in his community.