Saturday, November 28, 2009

Paleo Diet and Thanksgiving

I just read an article from USA Triathlon out of Q & A section featuring the Paleo Diet. For the most part, the Paleo Diet is one that bases it's theory on eating what we used to 'back in the day.' That is, a day that was reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeealy long ago. Obviously, dairy was not part of our diet back then. In fact, meat was eaten rarely, and often on the go while "hunting" nuts, veggies, fruits, etc. Meat was usually eaten when found--and it was usually already dead. As for dairy and meat, millions of years ago there were no mass farms, no refridgeration, and humans also lacked the technology/weaponry to hunt. Sure, we were "Hunters and Gatherers" but mostly "gathered" ALL DAY. Fast forward to 2009 and what is on our table at Thanksgiving--almost everything, other then the turkey, has some creamy dairy based animal goop mixed or stirred into it. Being 'mostly vegan' I will sample the occasional piece of meat if it wasn't part of the 'process' as chicken and beef are hardly real animals anymore. If I try it, I like it to be as close to nature as possible--the wilder the better (lake caught fish, duck that was actually hunted, etc). At Thanksgiving dinner I tried a couple bites of pheasant at the in-laws that was more of an appetizer, and with the meal I had about two bites of turkey. However, anything with dairy got a "no thank you." No green bean casserole, no gravy (butter, animal goop, etc), no mashed potatoes (butter and milk were creamed in). However, Thanksgiving is more about hanging out with family/friends rather than binge eating...right? That said, there were a few non-dairy options: Carin made that salad with the Asian dressing and the crunched up ramen noodles, there were boiled potatoes as Jace doesn't eat mashed either (but only because he hates the consistancy), there was cranberry sauce, a relish/veggie tray, and I made the pumpkin pie in which I used soft tofu instead of the canned milk--no one knew the difference! So, Thanksgiving went better than I expected, food-wise. Anyway, the reason I wanted to post up this morning was really because of the Paleo Diet info I thought was interesting. So, all you athletes out there that think cows milk/dairy should be part of your diet, ask yourself how old you are (you're not an infant anymore--humans are the only mammal that drinks another species milk) and check out this information from the Paleo Diet Q &A. The question was whether or not [cows] milk was a good source of protein and carbs when it comes to working out. I left out some info as the article was very long, but put in their reasons why you should NOT drink it:

[....dairy is a relatively new food on an evolutionary time scale, which explains why it may produce the following adverse effects, through different mechanisms:
* Milk is a source of estrogens and dihydrotestosterone precursors, which can increase the
risk certain cancers and acne.
* Milk increases IGF-1, and the IGF-1/IGFBP-3 ratio, and this increases the risk of certain
cancers and acne--among other diseases--as explained by Dr. Cordain in his 2003 paper
Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just syndrome X
(http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/Hyperinsulinemic%20Diseases%20Final.pdf)
* Milk contains insulin, and bovine insulin differs in only 3 amino acids from human insulin. This
feature can increase the risk of Type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible persons.
* Betacellulin: is a hormone belonging to the EGF family of hormones. If it is confirmed that
Betacellulin is able to enter circulation, then there is a very good possibility that it may increase
the susceptibility of certain epithelial cancers.
* Milk elevates insulin as much as white bread. Constantly elevating plasma insulin levels may
lead to insulin resistance, which is at the root of several metabolic diseases such as obesity, type
2 diabetes or hypertension.
* High calcium intake adversely affects zinc absorption, a key mineral in more than 300
enzymatic reactions.
* Milk contains several allergenic proteins.
* Dairy products, especially hard cheeses, yield a very high net acidic load which might lead to
calcium and muscle loss and decrease growth hormone.]