Friday, May 26, 2017

Diet for the Urban Troglodyte

What is an urban troglodyte? You might know, that Homo troglodytesis is “an invalid taxon coined by Carl Linnaeus to refer to a legendary creature”, but we use it as caveman, perhaps a little like “Defending the Caveman” by Rob Becker. Somehow the urban troglodyte is still the human of 100,000 years ago, but man isn’t only genome. “The oldest human remains from which an entire genome has been extracted belongs to Ust'-Ishim man, who lived about 45,000 years ago in Western Siberia” [1]. Cavemen lived in caves and urban troglodytes live in three bedrooms and two bathrooms caves. Cavemen and urban troglodytes aren’t so different, but they aren’t the same!

The paleo hype doesn’t take into account that though we might resemble very much our caveman ancestors we have changed since then. On the other hand, our digestive system hasn’t changed so much that we could be successfully maintained by junk food including soft drinks. Lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity are hints that we cavemen changed, but that we urban troglodytes retained some of the old traits. Some people don’t have problems to digest milk livelong, while others lose the ability to produce lactase after they have been weaned. Some people suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but others don’t have problems to digest wheat, rye, or other grains of this group.

In Diet for the Urban Troglodyte I want to discuss dietary changes for better health in the light of avoiding unhealthy habits and regaining access to forgotten principles.

The urban troglodyte may eat according to omnivore, vegetarian or vegan preference. We have so much knowledge on diets and foods, we only have to apply it. You might have noticed – the urban troglodyte isn’t a carnivore as the intestines are too long. Too long intestines and too much meat might mean a higher risk for colon cancer. I don’t know if the Flintstones soaked the idea in us that cavemen thrived on large amounts of meat. Interestingly they ate dinosaur steaks, but had a dinosaur pet. The Flintstones depicted concepts of a modern omnivore society (as part of the urban troglodytes) that eats one species and keeps the other as pets [2]. The step from omnivore to vegan or vegetarian is an ethical step. You can argue down to a little meat with health reasons, but not beyond. The German concept of Vollwertkost (whole food would be the best of inadequate translations) is allowing some meat though not advocating meat.

Here are a few of the topics to come in the future:
01. Sugar, artificial sweeteners (ha!) and reading ingredient lists
02. Raw or not so raw
03. Starches
04. Glycemic index
05. Fruits, berries
06. More veggies
07. The protein issue
08. Omega fatty acids
09. More nuts and seeds, but not too much
10. Oats and bread
11. Dark green leafy vegetables
12. Salt, necessary, but deadly as SALT
13. Herbs

Now that you know that you are an urban troglodyte, where would you start? Start by leaving out any drink that contains sugar or artificial sweeteners. Green tea, oolong teas, herbal teas are great without sugar. Water with a little lemon, lime, or strawberry makes great drinks.
Change slowly with everything that follows.



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