What did the ancestral Irish diet look like?

by 476 · May 14, 2014 at 06:27 AM

Could anyone speculate on what the macronutrients would have looked like before potatoes? Would potatoes even be considered part of the ancestral diet?

Would they have prepared the oats in a manner like how Weston Price described the Celts did? Do I have to eat oats now since I'm Irish? Haha.

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6 Replies


potatoes were not introduced to Ireland until the 1500s, so that would be a 'no' on the ancestral question.

0 · May 14, 2014 at 06:27 AM

Irish Diet is rich in potatoes and cabbage. Potatoes came in Ireland in 1688 via South America and then it became the staple of Irish Diet. Oats were also a staple in the Irish diet, to feed not only the family, but to also support the livestock that worked the fields.

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0 · May 10, 2014 at 06:58 PM

95% beer 5% guilt.

0 · May 10, 2014 at 06:13 PM

I'm Irish on my mom's side, but American by diet. My mom, her sister & I have always had serious intestinal issues. I've read that many Irish have Celiac, so I've been gluten free for 1.5 years. I was slightly better, but not excellent. I've been 80% paleo for about 5 months, but still had intestinal issues as well as more joint pain. I was worried, could it be gout, since I'd been eating so much meat? Then I ended up with chest pain, for which I had a coronary artery CT. Turns out I've got 30% arterial calcification. Could that be from so much meat? My brother told me to be tested for hemochromatosis -- a genetic disorder in which you load too much iron in organs such as the heart & liver. A large % of Irish have this genetic trait. I've come across readings that suggest it was a mutation that may have alleviated the serious anemia symptoms associated with Celiac. Turns out I do have compound heterogeneous hereditary hemochromatosis. Since finding this out, I've cut out red meat and other high iron proteins. Sadly, that cuts out mussels, which I love. Now I eat fish, mostly wild, all green veggies, root veggies (including the occasional potato), GF oatmeal, whole fat dairy, imported cheese & Irish butter. From what I've read this may be close to the ancestral Irish diet before the potato. I feel much better, but am waiting to see how my coronary arteries respond to this.

779 · September 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Once potatoes were accepted in Europe, they tended to fit into the diet where other roots had long been eaten. Turnips, rutabagas, parsnips onions etc. were major sources of macronutrients before the potato.

That's a pretty incomplete note, I'm not sure what the history of those other roots is. I'll check the link to see if it includes any roots versus grains info.

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