In the last digest, Jenny wrote:
"A question about high protien diets:
Have any of you any experience of putting people on high protein diets
I have read that most subjects (who were probably insulin sensitive
Caucasians) find this sort of diet nauseating and that experiments are
One experiment succeeded because the investigators added very large
of salt to the high protein diet. They did this becuase they noticed
high sodium excretion of unsalted high protein diets.
(Ref: Phinney SD, Bistrian BR, Wolfe RR, Blackburn GL (1983) The human
metabolic response to chronic ketosis without caloric restriction:
biochemical adaptation. Metabolism 32: 757-768.)
I find this fascinating because it might explain the historical and
preoccupation with adding salt to food.
I wonder whether the ability to 'tolerate' high protein diets is
bythe degree of genetically determined insulin resistance.
Best wishes Jennie"
When Stefansson undertook his classic dietary experiment (metabolic ward
controlled) in Bellvue hospital in 1922 in which he consumed an all meat
diet for an entire year (Lieb CW. The effects of an exclusive,
long-continued meat diet. JAMA 1926;87:25-26), he reported nausea and
illness after the 2nd day of eating large quantities of "chopped fatless
muscle" (Stefansson V. The Fat of the Land. Macmillan Company, New
York, 1960, p60-89). Inclusion of fatty meats, brains and bacon
remedied his nausea and he was able to continue the experiment under
metabolic ward conditions in which all food that was consumed was
measured and its nutrient and caloric content measured. Additionally
his metabolic rate was continually monitored in a metabolic chamber.
The results of this case study were widely reported in the scientific
and medical literature of the late 1920's and early 30's (I can provide
all of the references if you are interested). It turned out that his
ad libitum average caloric intake was 2,650 calories/day of which 2,100
calories consisted of fat and 550 calories consisted of protein or about
79% fat & 21% protein. It is difficult to speculate upon Stefansson's
degree of insulin resistance, however because he was of Northern
European extraction and somewhat overweight while on a normal mixed
diet, it is probable that he was not as insulin resistant as recently
acculturated peoples such as the Inuit, polynesians, Australian
aborigines or Pima Indians.
Speth has written extensively about excess dietary protein and it seems
likely that unless sufficient carbohydrate or fat are available, the
calories present in wild, lean game animals can only be eaten in limited
quantities.(Speth JD. Early hominid hunting and scavenging: the role of
meat as an energy source. J Hum Evol 1989;18:329-43; Speth et al.
Energy source, protein metabolism, and Hunter-Gatherer subsistence
strategies. J Anthropol Archaeology 1983;2:1-31).
Dean's report from 90 000 year old fishers makes sense. Why on earth
they not be fishing since they were just as intelligent as we are and
preoccupied with millions of other obligations (like exploring healthy
diets). Perhaps their fishing tools were made from materials which are
prone to become fossilized than other artifacts? Any comment from Foss
The fossil record which is obviously incomplete generally doesnt show
any evidence of exploitation of the aquatic environment until about
35,000 years ago. Clearly, part of the problem is that the
technologies which may have been used to capture fish: nets, lines,
weirs and bone hooks likely disintegrated. However, there should have
been a record of fossilized portions (heads, tails, fins etc) of uneaten
fish parts along with other animal foods consumed in the caves and camps
of our ancestors. Except for the recent report from Africa 90,000
years ago, there are virtually no reports showing evidence for large
scale fish consumption. The date of the African data has been
challenged because of the difficulty in dating fossils in this general
time period (C14 dating only can go back about 40,000yrs). Since
humans reached Australia by 50,000-60,000 yrs ago, it can be inferred
that they had mastered at least somewhat sophisticated boating/rafting
procedures - it is difficult to believe that they did not exploit the
creatures in the medium in which they sailed. Also, the sites of most
of the coastal dwelling people (most likely to have consumed fish) are
now under water and generally unavailable for archaeological
exploration. One final comment - optimal foraging theory would
suggest that the aquatic environment would generally not be exploited
until more easily obtained resources (i.e. large easily killed
pleistocene beasts) were depleted.
What are the specific differences in nutrient density (amount of e.g.
mineral per energy unit) between a wild edible tuber and a cultivated
hence bred) one? I posted exactly that question at the news group
sci.bio.food-science (which seems dominated by professionals) but I only
got more questions. If nobody in this group knows, could someone be so
to take the time and effort to find an expert who has a good answer?
I know of no specific studies examining nutrient densities between wild
and cultivated tubers, however in Boyd Eaton's most recent article
(Eaton SB et al. An evolutionary perspective enhances understanding of
human nutritional requirements. J Nutr 1996;126:1732-40) he provides a
table of average nutrient densities of 224 vegetable foods that hunter
gatherers may have eaten. There are perhaps 30 or more references
which have been provided including some of Jenny Brand-Miller's data on
Aboriginal foods. Perhaps somewhere in one of these you may find a
specific comparison of wild and cultivated tubers.