Thread: Fad Diets
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post

In paleolithic times there were no famines as there was no agriculture. People were hunter-gatherers and thus fed off whatever the land gave them. Since tribes followed the herds, game was readily available, while fruits and vegetables were seasonal, with different things available throughout the year. Since these people were always on the move, it is highly unlikely that they were ever obese or had "bellies," despite their high fat, high protein diets. Likewise it does not appear that the "bad" animal proteins killed off our ancestors.
Famine is a scarcity of food. Doesn't have anything to do with agriculture.

The beauty of the theory is that it is impossible to see the health of individuals on such a diet.

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
If we look at cultures today that eat mostly animal proteins, say for instance the Inuit, which eat mainly whale oil, deer and elk muscle and organs, seal oil and organs, and supplemented with whatever little plant material grows at such extreme climates, they are a picture of health. A number of them live to be quite old. It is only when people of that culture migrate to the city and adopt a westernized diet that the health problems begin.
Inuits live on average 10 years younger than their surrounding populations. They also tend to be quite overweight. If that is the picture of health you seek, then it would appear you are eating the correct diet.

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
I am not advocating enslaving people or oppressing women. But we can look at whether or not the low-fat, plant-based advice handed out over the last thirty years has benefited the general populace. IMO, it hasn't. And saying that it's a compliance issue, that the reason it has failed is because people don't really follow it, is just blaming the victim. We can look to the past and see what has worked in terms of diet and nutrition for specific populations, then adopt those to improve our own health. There's nothing wrong in that.
What plant-based advice handed out over the last thirty years? I have had the standard American diet pushed in my face since I was born. Our government, medical associations, and educational institutions still promote the standard American diet. It is a very small number of individuals promoting a plant-based diet, and their health is much better than the rest of the population. Only recently has the UN started promoting a plant-based diet.

To call someone who is overweight with health problems a victim is like saying a drunk driver who causes an accident a victim. If you cause your own problems, you are not a victim.

We can't afford to look into the past simply to make excuses on what we should eat. Our planet has around 6 billion acres of arable land. Someone eating a plant based diet needs only 1/2 of an acre. A person consuming a meat based diet needs over 3.5 acres. That means that a meat based diet is unsustainable with out current population and ends up being quite selfish. In addition, animal agriculture is the largest contributor to air, soil, and water pollution, water depletion, soil erosion, etc.

Even if a meat based diet was found to be the most healthy, is it worth starving 6 other people so you can eat your meat?

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
Adolescents and adults need the extra protein for muscle synthesis, as well as protein synthesis for other organ systems (hemoglobin doesn't grow on trees). Toddlers don't have that problem since they're not packing on muscle. They burn off enough calories just running around and supporting all that new gray matter. Since adults are fully developed creatures, some muscle mass is needed to bolster resting metabolism.
And there is plenty of protein in plant products. There are power lifters, bodybuiders, marathon runners, iron men and women, Olympic gold metal winners, etc who all eat a plant-based diet. If you look at the number of people in the general population and relate it to the number of athletic records held by people on plant-based diets, they would show an amazing domination of the fields in which they compete.

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
Olympic strength coaches get their athletes 1.5g of protein per lb of lean body mass, minimum. For a 225lb lifter that's around 11% body fat that's 300g of protein per day, or about 1200 calories. At a caloric intake of 4800 calories a day, which is typical, this is around 25% protein, minimum. If they are trying to make weight at 4000 calories, this bumps it to 30%, minimum.
25% protein is quite low by American Standards. I can get 25% protein very easily on a plant based diet.

Originally Posted by tandoorichicken View Post
What exactly in animal protein is bad? Sure, I'll concede that corn-fed beef and vegetarian-fed chickens, as well as farmed fish are animals that exist only to feed American appetites and are not allowed to live in their natural states, and thus are stressed out and produce more inflammatory chemicals that end up in their flesh. But I doubt there is anything bad about grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and eggs, wild-caught fish, and hormone-free dairy. All of these protein sources are complete, meaning they provide all the necessary amino acids. Plants are naturally more specific in which amino acids they produce, so you have to eat a multitude of plants to keep from becoming deficient in any one amino acid. I'll keep the vitamins, fiber, and trace phytochemicals from my vegetables, but I'll turn to meat, dairy, or eggs for my protein.
I recommend you read the China Study. It clearly lists all of the problems that animal protein causes.

There is no such thing as hormone or anti-biotic free dairy, eggs, or meat. They may have no hormones or anti-biotics added, but the animals still produce their own hormones and anti-biotics that end up in the meat dairy, and eggs. And I thought you were promoting the Paleo-diet which strictly forbids dairy. That didn't come about until animal husbandry.

There are several plant-based foods that are complete proteins. And if they are not complete with essential amino acids, it often takes only two different plant-based foods to get them all. Protein deficiency is extremely rare and usually only seen when people are subject to malnutrition.

And if an athlete on a plant-based diet only needs 10% protein to excel, you should be able to get by on less than half that of "complete" animal proteins.

The issue here is that there are possibly hundreds of thousands of studies which show strong statistical evidence that consuming animal products is unhealthy. There are no studies with any statistical data to support that a plant-based diet is unhealthy.
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