Author Topic: Natural versus Artificial Paradigm of Health?  (Read 2236 times)

Offline thomas_seay

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Natural versus Artificial Paradigm of Health?
« on: April 15, 2011, 09:52:36 AM »
So, since so many people here eat Paleo, I thought I might throw this one at you, even though it applies to many non-Paleos as well.  Now part of the thinking behind Paleo is that mankind has eaten a certain way for most of its history and that that pattern was broken by the advent of agriculture and, even more so, by industrialization.  In the case of agrarian society, we started to eat more grains.  In the industrial era, in addition to grains, we eat more processed foods.  Now the assumption that many Paleos hold (and not just Paleos, I would say that paradoxically a lot of Vegans and Vegetarians make similar arguments) is that the key to health and longevity is to imitate, as best as possible, our "natural" diet.  This approach reminds us of the lyrics from the song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young:
  
                                 We are stardust, we are golden.
                                 We are billion year old carbon.
                                 And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.


Now yesterday on the Paleohacks site, Dr. Rosedale, of the Rosedale Diet, made an interesting intervention.  He argues that nature does not give a damn about your health and longevity outside of the framework of reproduction.  In other words, you are here to pass on your genes.  If you want to be fit longer, looking to the natural diet of our ancestors will not necessarily get you there.  You, instead, need to look at the science and figure out how to create the proper signals to your body to promote longevity.  In other words, what we should proceed according to an artificial paradigm, not natural.  By artificial, I do not necessarily mean that we use drugs (although that is not ruled out) but that we employ methods that actually deviate from the "natural" scheme of our body (which is just here to serve evolution, if you agree with Rosedale).

Now, here is the link to the page where Rosedale's post occurs.  You will have to scroll about half-way down the page or just do a search on the page for "Rosedale":
http://tinyurl.com/3bzszqa

Rosedale believes, for example, that Paleos eat too much protein and need to eat more fat.  He agrees with Paleos on Carb restriction.  However, it would appear (I might be mistaken about this) that he is not a big fan of saturated fats.
  
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 09:54:50 AM by thomas_seay »

Offline Ultra Magnus

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Re: Natural versus Artificial Paradigm of Health?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 03:07:39 PM »
I agree that high mTOR resulting from a paleo diet could be a recipe for cancer somewhere down the line because of the pollution we are all exposed to. But it sounds like that in order to live as long as possible, instead of adopting a (high protein) paleo diet where we have good muscle mass, low body fat, and decent sexual arousal.... We have to ditch our muscles, have low body fat, and possibly kill sexual arousal (all from low mTOR). And maybe take supplements to make up for the lack of nutrients. Hmmm.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 03:14:20 PM by Ultra Magnus »

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Natural versus Artificial Paradigm of Health?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 03:30:37 PM »
I agree that there is something to be learned by looking at science and not eat just what we think primal humans ate. This is important for two reasons. One, in many ways we cannot know exactly what our ancestors ate and we must justify our assumptions in scientific grounding. Second, there are many foods that our ancestors did not eat that may not be bad for us. I think most of us here agree that lots of grains and processed food are not good humans. However, even among paleos the opinions is very divided on topics like dairy, for example.

Where I disagree with him is the idea that nature does not care how healthy you are as long as you reproduce. Apparently he does not understand that in nature, unless you are as healthy as you possibly can be and can move when you need to, think up strategies to kill prey, not get infections, etc, you will not live long enough to reproduce. Based on our observations of pre-modern (hunter-gatherer) humans, we know that when eating a natural diet we have very good health (free from malocclusion, heart disease, obesity, etc). We also know that pre-modern humans tend to live into their seventies (if they get past childhood). Consider also this, in order to successfully reproduce, you have be strong enough and healthy enough to raise your children past childhood (to at least 15). Mates would be selected based on health, which translates into health of the child and likelihood of mate being around long enough to raise the child. Human beings are very much more complex creatures than cockroaches in this regard.

If the natural human lifespan is 75-80, I would rather live that long having a blast and being healthy than slow down my metabolism and live a crappy life to the age of 95. There appears to be an evolutionary precedent for grandparents, but not for great-grandparents. Anyway, that's just my spiel. Or maybe more of a rant.

Offline Ultra Magnus

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Re: Natural versus Artificial Paradigm of Health?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 01:51:58 PM »
I wonder if intermittent fasting can offset the high mTOR of a paleo diet? Then maybe there would be a cycling between high and low mTOR.