“MMMM – box lunch! They say that if I add a little fiber to it, it will slow the absorption…”
Sugar is the ultimate “comfort food“, as that is what pasta, bread and the other indulgences are composed of primarily. I’m not comforted by the thought of all of it however, not even if it’s whole grain. Do we really need 6 servings of grains per day??? Our early ancestors did not eat grain (apologies to Dr Oz – whom I respect quite a bit.) Can you imagine a Homo Habilis dude baking some bread? Or perhaps preparing a good rich Serengeti spaghetti? Our bodies are still configured to thrive on the same environmental product as they did.
Unfortunately we find that there is a lot of misleading dietary advise out there, and a lot of it is coming from usually reliable sources. They have the right idea of course, but I just have to take exception to some of the guidelines they harp on.
I’m sure you’ve seen the fairly new “my plate” recommendation from the USDA.
While this certainly is an improvement over the earlier food pyramid, the percentages are quite a bit off in my opinion. The USDA recommends @30% grains, 30% veg’s, 20% fruits, and 20% protein daily. The efficacy of these proportions was severely challenged by the Atkins and other high protein successes of a little while ago. High starch is not the way to go.
Of course the early primates did not eat a diet even faintly resembling this one. Besides the grains, the protein recommendation is clearly way off. As any good dietitian (or fitness trainer) will tell you, you should strive for @ .4 – .8 grams of protein per Lb of body weight. The amount depends largely upon your age and daily activity level. Body builders frequently need over a gram per pound or even more. Would you say our early ancestors were what you’d call active? I’ll bet they ate almost 45% protein (mainly from animal sources), and I recall some studies showed this. It all stands to reason.
Please don’t assume that I’m trying to condemn grains in this post, even if it sounds that way. 😉 That’s not my goal. Many healthy vegans rely heavily upon high fiber grain, and rightly so. Food allergies aside whole grain is generally healthy, providing minerals and B vitamins, etc. I myself also consume them occasionally – and I also use whey and other dairy products which I doubt those troglodites had any hankering for. It’s just that I think you should limit the starches to 2 or 3 servings a day and beef up the quality protein and the vegetables to take up the slack. If you do this you’ll go a long way to improving your health.