Is it these staple starches in natives' diets that makes their bellies protrude? Why do these people look this way when they are supposedly eating the healthiest of foods?

by -2 · April 22, 2014 at 08:04 PM

I have been studying a lot of indigenous tribes and am finding it odd that some of these people, seemingly eating the healthiest of diets (wild game, fruits, and starches, so essentially paleo which would be considered healthy) seem to have extremely protruding bellies and look, for lack of a more polite word, fat! For example if you look at pictures of the Huaorani people, I notice their bellies are abnormally protruding and fat, it doesn't look healthy at all.

What made me dig deeper is supposedly these people eat wild game and plant foods so one would assume they would have aesthetically appealing bodies. Upon researching more I found the Huaorani's staple food is manioc, which is a starch that they often ferment into a drink. It is not the meat that is their staple, but this starch.

I have noticed this with other tribes as well. Originally I had seen a picture in Weston Price's nutritional degeneration book of the new zealand maori and was stunned to see their bodies looking like that when they were supposedly eating a lot of shellfish. Digging deeper you find out it is not the seafood that is a staple but the sweet potato.

I'm trying to discover what it is that makes these peoples' bellies protrude like so; I know it's vain to look at the outer, but honestly if these people are eating the foods they are and looking this way it makes one really reconsider what is considered healthy.

Is it possible that starch, though it might be healthier than white flour and such, can make your belly protrude and give the impression of obesity?

Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks!

Total Views

Recent Activity

Last Activity
121D AGO


Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

5 Replies

Medium avatar
10068 · April 17, 2014 at 04:16 AM


Quoting this text from "Savages", the Huaorani eat "beyond simple gluttony." Manioc, banana juice and animals of all kinds.

40550 · April 16, 2014 at 11:21 PM

Washboard abs don't mean anything with regard to health.

40550 · April 16, 2014 at 11:12 PM

Beauty is not health. Washboard abs are not indicative of good health.

Medium avatar
560 · April 16, 2014 at 09:21 PM

Without due diligence I'd suspect maybe the manioc just isn't a good staple. Compare 500 calories of manioc with 500 calories of plain old white potato. The white potato wins by a VERY long shot regarding nutritional value. Even protein quality/content is much better.

It's also quite likely that they suffer from chronic parasitic infections. Worms can certainly make your belly protrude and, perhaps, a lifetime of infection would lead to chronic inflammation and visceral fat deposits. Again, due diligence would be good and I'm just throwing this stuff out there.

-2 · April 16, 2014 at 07:58 PM

In case you don't know what to look for: just type in Huaorani under google. It seems to be more severe the older the person, which makes me think the older one's body gets the less able it is to handle that much starch?!?! I mean it's obvious you can't miss it: some of the older men look almost pregnant! That just cannot be healthy by any stretch of the imagination!

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account