Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”

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[Mumanu Disclaimer: I have chopped up this article up from the original. Apparently it’s written as satire, but actually, it’s more like common sense blended with comedy]Source: By Paul Zimmer hells-ditch.com
Date: August 6th, 2012

FRANKFURT- In a rare display of professional consensus, an international consortium of anthropologists, archaeologists, and molecular biologists have formally released an exasperated sigh over the popularity of the so-called “Paleo Diet” during a two-day conference dedicated to the topic.

The Paleo Diet is a nutritional framework based on the assumption that the human species has not yet adapted to the dietary changes engendered by the development of agriculture over the past ten thousand years. Proponents of the diet emphasize in particular the negative effects of eating large quantities of grain and its numerous by-products, which can lead to hypertension, obesity, and various other health problems. Instead, the Paleo Diet posits that a reliance on lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetables while minimizing processed food is the key to health and longevity.

The nutritional benefits of the diet are not what the grievance is about, said Dr. Britta Hoyes, who organized the event. She agreed that a high-carbohydrate diet can have a detrimental effect on long-term health, as many studies have demonstrated. Instead, the group’s protest is a reaction to the biological and historical pediments of the diet, in particular the contention that pre-agricultural societies were only adapted to eat those foods existing before the Neolithic Revolution.

Hoyes, a paleoethnobotanist who specializes in reconstructing prehistoric subsistence, stated that only thing unifying the myriad diets that she’s studied has been their diversity. “You simply do not see specific, trans-regional trends in human subsistence in the archaeological record. People can live off everything from whale blubber to seeds and grasses. You want to know what the ideal human diet consists of? Everything. Humans can and will eat everything, and we are remarkably successful not in spite of this fact, but because of it. Our adaptability is the hallmark of the human species. We’re not called omnivores for nothing.”

“Nearly every food item you currently eat today has been modified from its ancestral form, typically in a drastic way, ” he [Karl Fenst] began. “The notion that we have not yet adapted to eat wheat, yet we have had sufficient time to adapt to kale or lentils is ridiculous. In fact, for most practitioners of the Paleo Diet, who are typically westerners, the majority of the food they consume has been available to their gene pool for less than five centuries. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, avocados, pecans, cashews, and blueberries are all New World crops, and have only been on the dinner table of African and Eurasian populations for probably 10 generations of their evolutionary history. Europeans have been eating grain for the last 10,000 years; we’ve been eating sweet potatoes for less than 500. Yet the human body has seemingly adapted perfectly well to yams, let alone pineapple and sunflower seeds.”

When asked what she would tell people who wished to pursue a true paleolithic diet, Dr. Hoyes laughed harshly before replying. ”You really want to be paleo? Then don’t buy anything from a store. Gather and kill what you need to eat. Wild grasses and tubers, acorns, gophers, crickets- They all provide a lot of nutrition. You’ll spend a lot of energy gathering the stuff, of course, and you’re going to be hungry, but that’ll help you maintain that lean physique you’re after. And hunting down the neighbor’s cats for dinner because you’ve already eaten your way through the local squirrel population will probably give you all the exercise you’ll ever need.”

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Sleep Deprivation May Make People Buy More Junk Food

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Source: Counsel and Heal .com by Christine Hsu
Date: Sep 05, 2013A bad night’s sleep may make people buy more unhealthy foods the next day, according to new research.

Swedish researchers found that participants purchased more food in a mock supermarket when they didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

Researchers said that sleep deprivation also boosted levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, the following morning. However, there was no link between individual ghrelin levels and food purchasing. Researchers said this may mean that other mechanisms, like impulsive decision-making, may be more responsible for increased purchasing.

Investigators wanted to see whether sleep deprivation impairs or changes an individual’s food purchasing choices. Previous findings revealed that not getting enough sleep impairs higher-level thinking and increases hunger.

“We hypothesized that sleep deprivation’s impact on hunger and decision making would make for the ‘perfect storm’ with regard to shopping and food purchasing-leaving individuals hungrier and less capable of employing self-control and higher-level decision-making processes to avoid making impulsive, calorie-driven purchases,” first author Colin Chapman, MSc, of Uppsala University, said in a news release.

The study involved 14 healthy male participants. Researchers gave each of the men a budget of $50 to purchase as much items as they could out of a possible 40 items on the morning after one night of total sleep deprivation, as well as after one night of sleep. Researchers said participants were given a standardized breakfast before the task to minimize the effect of hunger on their purchases.

The items included 20 high-caloric foods and 20 low-calorie foods. The prices of the high-caloric foods were then varied to determine if total sleep deprivation affects the flexibility of food purchasing.

The findings revealed that sleep-deprived men bought significantly more calories and grams of food than they did after one night of sleep. The study also found that blood levels of ghrelin were higher after sleep deprivation. However, this increase did not correlate with food purchasing behavior.

“Our finding provides a strong rationale for suggesting that patients with concerns regarding caloric intake and weight gain maintain a healthy, normal sleep schedule,” said Chapman.

Researchers said the next step is to see if partial sleep deprivation also affects food-purchasing behavior, and to see with sleep deprivation influences purchasing behavior in general.

The findings are published in the journal Obesity.