Low Carb Nutrition / Carnivore
Optimal Human Diet / Species Appropriate / Evidence Based
We are meat eaters
As soon as we were able to scavenge and hunt, we made animal flesh, organs and bones our No.1 priority. It is so nutrient dense and it is the perfect food for us. We know from archeological finds that meat was our preferred food for several million years. We ate so much of it, that we hunted animals to extinction. And in times of food scarcity, we value fat and protein so much, that we would even go so far as eating our own kind if this meant survival. True hunger changes brain chemistry which makes it possible to resort to eating even human flesh in desperate times.
Plant foods were consumed in times of meat scarcity and plant abundance. Eating more available plants helped us throughout the warmer months when animals were on the move more and were themselves physically healthier due to abundant feed, therefore possibly more difficult for us to catch and less sick and weak. Also relying a little more on plants in the summer gave animals time to reproduce and raise our future food supply.
So. we have been eating animals for 2 million years and our gut and nutritional needs have not changed for at least 600.000 years.
It has only been in Neolithic times (after Paleolithic) that man started to cultivate grasses and other plants. This gave us a more steady food supply for the leaner months and, to be able to grow our food, we had to settle into communities. This happened around 10.000 years ago.
That we, as species human are carnivore, is also supported by looking at our digestive organs.
Meat and fat digests well in our relatively short digestive tract. Looking at the length and anantomy of our gut, we are not suited to digest plant materials like cows, horses, goats, sheep or gorillas. We are not a hind gut digester or have several stomachs like ruminants to pre-digest harsh fibres. We cannot convert fibre effectively into butyrate, a four-carbon short-chain fatty acid, which is produced through microbial fermentation of dietary fibers in the colon, like herbivores can. Herbivores are able to convert fibre through much fermentation into fats, which they use to live on (yes, herbivores are fat burners!).
We lack a large secum. The secum, where fibre could be broken down, is actually non-existent in humans. Our appendix is the remnant of this part of the bowel and is in humans only a few centimetres long compared to that of a gorilla for example.
We also don't possess multiple stomachs, nor do we regurgitate our food several times and chew our food over and over again until we can utilise the fibre out of the plants to make our fatty acids.
Fibre actually causes us inflammation in the bowel and constipation (yes that was also a new one on me). People with any kind of inflammatory bowel disease know how damaging plant food can be, which causes terrible pain, bloating, bleeding and diarrhoea.
They have to avoid fibre and plants to start healing their gut.
Constipation is actually caused by an overload of fibre and roughage, blocking the bowel and disrupting natural peristalsis. Taking out fibre ( = all plant materials) stops irritation, inflammation, unblocks and restores natural peristalsis.
Fibre and plant material weakens the bowel and increases gut permeability. This is a bad thing. It creates spaces between the cells of the intestinal wall, letting through food molecules into the blood stream which are damaging to our health.
Gut permeability in current nutritional science is a hot topic, because it seems to be related to most of our chronic diseases. It can trigger auto-immune responses and has a link to the brain (gut -brain connection). Besides digestive problems, anxiety can be caused by leaky gut syndrome.
Our stomach acid has a pH of 1.5 and compared to a obligate carnivore like a cat, who's stomach acid pH is around 3.5, we can say that we are super-adapted to eat protein, since protein is digested (broken up) in the acid of the stomach, ready to be passed into the duodenum and small intestine for absorption. Meat, especially when eaten on its own, is nearly completely liquefied by the time it is passed into the duodenum and small intestine. In this way all nutrients are readily available to be absorbed without causing harm to the digestion.
There is a really interesting account of a man, who's entire colon was taken out due to disease, who tried different foods to see how it would come out into his colostomy bag. He found he did not need any plant foods or fibre to be healthy and when eating meat and fat, there was hardly any digested food matter going into his bag. However, if he had eaten vegetables, they more or less came out whole, which shows that our carbohydrates (plant material) are not well digested in the stomach, dueodenum or small intestine and only partly in the colon.
Gorrillas, cows, sheep etc. are excellent plant digesters, capable of making fatty acids for their health out of fibre in their large stomachs and secums, being human makes us excellent protein and fat digesters equipped with a highly acidic stomach, capable of breaking down animal flesh into the tiny absorbable parts that are so nutrient dense and healing for us.
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Low Carb High Fat
It has been known for at least the last 300 years within our western European society that cutting out starchy carbohydrates can make you lose weight and improve overall health. Recently also the carnivore diet has gained momentum, especially in relation to healing chronic diseases of the gut, cutting out ALL plant materials to stop fibre iritating the gut wall.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates –Father of Medicine
So, although definitely not a new idea, in recent years we are hearing in (social) media more and more about the benefits of a low sugar and low carbohydrate diet, especially in relation to controlling and preventing diabetes, symptoms of metabolic syndrome like high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, hormone imbalances, high blood glucose, and to help heal or prevent cancer.
Below I have set out in a couple of short sections why I believe in and work with high fat, medium high protein and very low carbohydrate to improve health.