It’s time for another edition of around the web, the set of posts where I dissect some of the most interesting new information in the world of health & fitness. Also, make sure you stay updated on my facebook page where I put up links, videos, pictures, etc. Select “Get notifications” below the header image to make sure you don’t miss a thing. A lot of videos for today’s post, some of the quite long – but definitely worth the time for those who are interested in nutrition, evolution, and genetics.
Why the paleo diet shouldn’t exclude legumes
More and more evidence now shows that many paleolithic tribes actually ate legumes.
To summarize their nutritional quality, legumes have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, and hypotensive properties, as well as are effective in prevention of diabetes, osteoporosis, DNA damage due to aging, heart disease, and other disorders. Source
The paleo diet is a great starting place for good nutrition, but it’s unnecessarily restrictive for most people. While the majority of folks benefit greatly from reducing or eliminating their consumption of cereal grains, there’s little evidence showing that legumes (which might be “paleo” after all), moderate amounts of red wine, some dairy products, potatoes, etc. can’t be a part of a healthy diet. Although our human genome changes slowly, the human microbiome responds rapidly to dietary changes, and this is one of the reasons why we can’t exclude a food just because it wasn’t a part of the paleolithic diet.
Why we get sick
I’ve written a lot about the health consequences of evolutionary mismatches on this site. These figures provide a great overview of what I’m talking about and basically describe the causes of the so-called diseases of civilization.
The Fat Drug: How Antibiotics Make You Gain Weight
Dr. Oz isn’t exactly renowned for his credible and science-based health advice, but in a recent episode he had one of the top microbiome researchers on the show, Dr. Martin Blaser. By now it’s well established that antibiotic usage can lead to weight gain, probably by perturbing the microbiome and inducing inflammation and leptin and insulin resistance (Dr. Oz’s explanation related to energy extraction is only a small part of the picture, if relevant at all).
Vegeterianism linked with poor health and lower quality of life
A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders. Source
While it’s important to note that this is just an obeservational study that doesn’t really prove anything, it’s no doubt that including high-quality animal source foods in your diet leads to better health.
The Hungry Microbiome: why resistant starch is good for you
I also posted this short video on the facebook page, but I feel it’s so good that it deserves to be reposted here. Be a gracious host, feed your inhabitants!
Why Do We Overeat?
Just telling people to eat less and exercise more is not very good weight loss advice. The question isn’t whether we eat more than before, it’s why we overeat. In this video Dr. Stephan Guyenet takes a closer look at that exact question.
The Human Microbiome and the Revolution in Digital Health
Agriculture’s Impact on Human Evolution
I recently discovered a great series of videos on human evolution and nutrition. In the video below, Clark Spencer Larsen talks about the decline in human health that occurred after the agricultural revolution.
Hunter-gatherers harbour a unique microbial profile
Bacterial populations have co-evolved with humans over millions of years, and have the potential to help us adapt to new environments and foods. Studies of the Hadza offer an especially rare opportunity for scientists to learn how humans survive by hunting and gathering, in the same environment and using similar foods as our ancestors did. Source
The western lifestyle is a master manipulator (e.g., processed foods, antibiotics, modern hygiene) of the human microbiome, and it’s therefore no surprise that non-westernized people harbor vastly different microbial ecosystems.
Other interesting stuff
- We’re over the hill at 24, study says
- More Evidence Antibacterial Soaps Aren’t That Good for You
- Antibiotics in manure a far-reaching impact on abundance of human pathogenic bacteria in soils
- Antibiotics Have Turned Our Bodies From Gardens Into Battlefields
- Combating obesity with new Okinawan rice
- New Research Shows Poorly Understood “Leaky Gut Syndrome” Is Real, May Be the Cause of Several Diseases
- Rethinking Fat: The Case For Adding Some Into Your Diet
- Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong
- Fish oil changes the gut microbiota
- High protein intake, exercise in youth enhances bone structure, strength