Cavemen Ate Less Meat Than Thought

A new study shows that ancient people ate no more than 40 to 50 percent of their protein from animal sources, as opposed to more than 80% as some proponents of low-carbs diets suggest. “Hunter-gatherers from the Paleolithic period also ate less meat” said study author Tamsin O’Connell, a University of Cambridge researcher.

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Vegetarians Live Longer

A study shows that vegetarian men and women live 10 and 6 years longer respectively than nonvegetarian people.

Fore more at Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine.


A Recent Study Against Carbs Is Misleading

There are news today (USA Today, MinnPost) about a Mayo Clinic study pointing at a link between consuming carbs and developing Alzheimer’s disease. “A high-carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism,” says Roberts, the lead author of the study. Proponents of low-carbs diets jumped on this study to promote the benefits of their diets. However, this study is inconclusive in several aspects.

Firstly, This study only correlates the consumption of carbs and the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and its conclusions are not cause-and-effect. This means that the increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease was observed with consuming more carbs, but it could have been caused by other factors. One of which being the quality of carbs.

Secondly, it has long been recognized that the over-consumption of simple carbs, such as high fructose corn syrup, commonly found in sweets, pastries, cereals, and countless processed food, is detrimental to health. A prime example is type 2 diabetes, a condition where body cells and tissues can’t absorb enough essential glucose (digested sugars) due to an abnormal insulin resistance condition (insulin is an essential pancreas hormone required for cells to absorb glucose). It’s a largely agreed that type 2 diabetes is triggered by a poor diet high in simple carbs and fat, and low in complex carbs and nutrients.

This is a sharp contrast to consuming complex carbs, as found in unprocessed (or minimally processed) food, such as grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, which are known to promote health. Studies are clear that a diet rich in such complex carbs, with little or no added fat, meat and diaries significantly help prevent type 2 diabetes and improve health.

Type 3 diabetes is now the expression used to identify the same condition – insulin resistance – when it applies to brain cells. By becoming insulin-resistant, brain cells can’t absorb glucose – their main source of energy – and starve to death, resulting in brain damage over time.

The Mayo Clinic study does not specify which carbs were predominantly consumed.

Thirdly, there are many other factors that influence the absorption of glucose, such as exercising which promotes it. The study does not mention the level of activity of the patients.

For these reasons, this study cannot be the basis for promoting low-carb diets of any kind, such as Atkins, Paleo, etc. Those diets are very popular in publicity and the news, being promoted by a powerful and greedy diet industry that is specifically targeting everyone concerned with their weight (that’s about all of us). But independent long-term studies are consistently denying their benefits.


Best Diabetes Diets

Always worth visiting for time to time: the best diabetes diets from US Health News. Diets high in complex carbs and very low in dairy and fat take the top spots.


Exporting the Chinese diet… to China

T. Colin Campbell has co-authored one of the most significant books – if not the most – on proper dietary guidelines based on extensive research, more than any other researcher has done before. A keystone of his work conducted 25 years ago is the study of rural Chinese people with no history of heart disease or cancer. He found that the plant-based dietary plan the followed provides all the necessary nutrients for the human body to grow, regenerate, protect itself and remain healthy.

But with prosperity, Chinese are abandoning their traditional eating habits and are turning toward processed food and fast food. The result in just 25 years is striking: heart diseases, cancers, obesity, and a flock of diseases associated with the traditional Western diet, are all of the rise (especially in cities).

He’s returning over there to teach them the benefit of their ancestral diet.



Some Good and Bad News About the Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet is all over the news these days as a model of healthful eating. Although this diet comes in many variations, it’s about consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, fish, moderate amounts of poultry and dairy, and on rare occasions, beef and sweets. And top it off with olive oil. Red wine is also welcome. Because it’s known to lower blood cholesterol, including the LDL (the bad cholesterol) and to provide “healthy fats” (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats), it’s touted as an excellent diet that provides cardiovascular benefits.

So is all good? There’s no question that going from a Western diet (high in sweets, fats, red meat, etc.) to a more balanced diet such as the Mediterranean diet helps. Cutting down on beef and sweets helps. Consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables helps. Consuming legumes and fiber helps. But people with diabetes need to focus on their long-term health, and that’s where this diet shows a different side.

People with diabetes are more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases later in their life. For that reason, they must be very careful not to consume food that can lead to those problems. Olive oil has about 14% of saturated fat. This is the very same fat from red meat that clogs arteries (red meat is a no-no precisely because of its saturated fat content). Some claim that this is offset by the healthy fats it contains. However, there are some debates as to whether monounsaturated fats are really “healthy”. Sure they are better than saturated fats, but there’s no evidence that they can stop, even reverse, heart diseases. It can be said that they are less damaging than other fats, but that does not make them “healthy”. The same is true for any type of meat, even poultry: they contain fats, and they contribute to heart diseases, only at a slower pace than beef.¬†Fats are also a factor leading to Type 2 diabetes and are linked to some cancers.

It’s now known that cardiovascular diseases can be stopped and reversed by eliminating any extra source of fats from a diet (meat, fish, dairy, nuts) by following a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole wheat (bread, pasta, etc.) Such a diet still provides plenty of proteins and fats, both found in the food consumed, that the body needs. It’s in fact good enough for Carl Lewis, an Olympic medalist! But few are willing to switch from their diet to a whole food, plant-based diet.

The Mediterranean diet has obvious advantages, but it’s far from perfect when it comes to people with diabetes. It might be easier for people to follow it from their current diet, but they should aim to gradually eliminate all sources of fats to avoid future cardiovascular complications.


Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Carl Lewis on Being Vegan


Diabetic Diets Myths

Does eating sugar cause diabetes? Is a low-carb diet best? Isn’t a diabetic diet too restrictive? Find answers to those common questions and others on our Diets Myth and Facts page.



Take a look at this diets-at-a-glance table that shows what food are allowed, limited or prohibited in popular diets.


Diabetes Diet – Type 1 In-Depth Report

An excellent article about the dietary guidelines for Type 1 diabetes, from the NY Times.