What is the natural diet for humans?

What is the natural diet for humans?  This is a common question but — we evolve based on behaviour and our behaviour may have a number of consequences, some beneficial and others not so much.

Evolution is based on changes that enable us to pass on genes for future generations.  If a genetic change affects cholesterol metabolism and causes an increase in heart disease this may not be relevant in evolutionary terms because heart disease usually affects people later in life.

It still may have an impact on human society because of the important influence of grandparents involved in child-minding and their importance as a repository of knowledge.

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Macadamia and Cashew Dukhah with Australian Bush Spices

Dukkah (pronounce the u as in duke, dū’ka) originated in Egypt.  It is made a mixture of seeds, nuts various roasted nuts and spices. It can be used as a topping over salads, pasta or anything else that takes your fancy.

The recipe below uses Australian spices but you can try any spice, herb or nuts that takes your fancy.

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Diet and Blood Pressure

The concept that diet and blood pressure are linked has been discussed since at least the 1920s.  In 1926, Donaldson noted that “vegetarians, we believe, run a consistently lower blood pressure than those who use flesh foods.

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What are the Benefits of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet in Treating Cancer?

The view that sugar causes cancer is prevalent in the popular press and on the internet and it should be avoided.

A number of doctors and naturopaths hold this view. Since starches are digested as simple sugars then it is recommended that starches should also be avoided.

As a result, a low-carbohydrate diet is endorsed. Some ketogenic diets recommend high levels of vegetables which are high in nutrients but low in the amount of energy that is provided. The absence of starch from these diets results in a calorie restricted diet which is possibly ketogenic. If a diet is restricted in carbohydrates, it will be high in fat and protein.

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What is the best oil to fry foods?

Whilst watching the news, I saw a banner stating New study shows saturated fats are healthy.  Intrigued, I found the source of this information - an article titled Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts, which appeared in the London Telegraph. The article actually stated that frying food in vegetable oils creates more aldehydes (a cancer causing chemical) than frying food in saturated fats.  According to the article,
Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other diseases, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard. The results of a series of experiments threaten to turn on its head official advice that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats – such as corn oil and sunflower oil – are better for the health than the saturated fats in animal products.
The research did not indicate that saturated fats are better for your health than vegetable oils.  It stated that if you fry foods in oils then you are better off if you use saturated fats as they are less reactive.

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Quotes Relating to Health

Authors including Plato, Plutarch, Charles Darwin, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein had a say about health.  Given that the state of our health has such an impact on our lives it is really not a surprise.

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Liver Cleansing with Olive Oil

The internet has numerous pages advocating an Olive Oil – Lemon Juice Liver Cleanse or Detox. The purpose of the exercise is eliminate gallstones from your gall bladder. The instructions vary but lemon juice and olive oil are featured. Apple juice and Epsom salts are sometimes involved.

This procedure results in numerous green stones passed in the faeces in the following morning.

Unfortunately, the exercise does not remove gallstones and has the potential to cause nausea, severe abdominal pain and may even lead to surgery to remove your gall bladder. It also leads to a false sense of security, giving rise to the belief that you have solved your gallstone problem.

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How do we know what we know?

Many “facts” have a long history of discovery, with a sometimes bitter and acrimonious debate before a final acceptance.

In Life, the Universe and Everything (part of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series), Douglas Adams explains our inability to take in new information as a result of the Someone Else's Problem field. Effrafax of Wug utilised the SEP field to create an invisibility device that would run for a hundred years on a single torch battery. It relied on people's inability to see anything that they do not want to, were not expecting or cannot explain.

We obtain our information initially from parents and from interacting with the world around us. We learn that fire is something that should be avoided if we put our hand in it.

As we grow older, we learn from other people, reading, school, television. Observation is not always a reliable guide. It is obvious that the sun and the moon revolve around the earth. We see the sun rise each morning in the east and set at night in the west.

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How Cooking Changed Us

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

Richard Wrangham is a Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University. He is also the curator of Primate Behavioral Biology at the Peabody Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a director of the Kibale Chimpanzee Project in Uganda.

Wrangham began his career at Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania as a member of Jane Goodall's chimpanzee research team.

The standard view of evolution is that by eating meat, humans were able to evolve the larger brains that distinguish us from other primates. Wranghams’s view is that cooking food is a fundamental activity that transformed humans and our society. He is not the first to propose this view but has developed the concept.

Cooking increased the value of our food. It changed our bodies, our brains, our use of time and our social relationships.

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