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Macro ratios and seasonal eating patterns

by (4875)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created May 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM

I'm noticing that the warmer it gets, the less fat I want in my diet. I just can't do a meat & vege stir-fry dripping in tallow, which was my go-to meal over the winter, when it is 80+ outside. I'm still having an avocado most days and a little butter or coconut oil here and there (that is to say: I haven't become fat phobic, and I definitely need some healthy fats in my diet), but generally speaking I feel like I'm shifting more and more towards carbs for energy. Fruit has sounded absolutely delicious in the warming weather; I've been eating some berries and or a banana on a daily basis. I've also been having potatoes and more starch - I think I might qualify as a PHD convert at this point.

In my mind I picture "seasonal eating" something like this (granted this is from the perspective of someone who grew up at 47?? latitude; this is obviously far from an equatorial people's diet):

Spring - lots of greens that are cold-hardy: kale, spinach, broccoli, etc. Coupled with plenty of meat and fat, slowly shifting phases as it warms into...

Summer - more fruit, more warm weather veges such as nightshades, summer squashes, lots of fish, avocados, less dense calorie sources, more carb dependent (and more physical activity, generally speaking; maybe the two coincide purposely?)

Fall - continuing on the carb-train with more squashes, the sweeter late-harvest fruits (apples!), gamey meat seems appropriate with hunting season and the coolness creeping in, slowly adding more fats back as the cold comes...

Winter - Dense fatty foods and offal seem appropriate both for the caloric excess required to keep warm, and to retain micronutrients that aren't available in fresh veges. Lots of meats, they would be easier to store for longer periods when it was frozen outside. I can't think of much in the way of fresh carb sources during the winter? Maybe a few roots, squashes?

I'm assuming meat is going to be fairly ubiquitous in the diet, along with any obtainable seafood; I'm mostly concerned with energy sources.

All that said, do you feel that macro ratios should naturally shift with the seasons? Do you have a different picture of how seasonal eating looks? Does the year-round availability that our modern world provides allow us to perpetually eat the "perfect diet" despite natural intentions, and should we eschew our ancestry in favor of that?

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4875 · May 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

It does seem to make sense to me, but at the same time I think I'm trying to extrapolate my views around a concept of seasonality that is based on being a localvore at a latitude that wasn't populated during the eras that our genes were evolving. The conclusion I've come to is that any of the diets I listed can be completely healthy, and if one feels comfortable, happy, and healthy rotating them - not to mention, has easier local access TO rotate them - on a seasonal basis: go for it! It probably isn't ancestrally informed as a whole, but that doesn't make it wrong.

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1019 · May 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Raney, I don't think eating carbs is a bad thing, there is plenty of justification from an ancestral standpoint. Read my article on insulin spikes. http://www.gulfcoastpersonaltrainingllc.com/insulin-spikes-carbohydrate-refeeds-tubers-ancestral-diet-insulin-sensitivity/

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4875 · May 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Ha! I bet you could sell a few books: "The palatable abolition of hegemonic reign."

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6087 · May 27, 2012 at 2:17 AM

^ Raney, I just had the thought that enforced carb restriction could probably be a useful tool for malicious dictators.

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2707 · May 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM

As for more fat in the winter, and more carbs in the summer I think that too makes a lot of sense. As soon as it gets warm, much more motivated to start moving again (exercise, play, walk). This should be fueled with more energy and carbs are good source of it IMHO. In the winter, you kinda just wanna be inside, so up the fat, lower the carbs.

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2707 · May 26, 2012 at 11:52 PM

I was just thinking the same thing morning as I have recently been eating more fruit, where most of the year I really have not had that much other than banana after a workout. Like you, this is not influence by Jack "Frost". I think it's something that could be a natural instinct, but at the same time something we should not push. I think if you just buy local produce this should fall pretty much into line.

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4875 · May 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Well, thinking and eating carbs. Perhaps this is all just a complex justification for sugar addiction.

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4875 · May 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Which Jack, the crazy one? No, not at all... just been thinking. Maybe I need to read more science and think less.

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748 · May 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM

seasonal eating for sure, but i can only add to the speculation.

Is it shaped by changing daylight hours, and the amount of sunlight we get? Is it an adaptation to the different growing seasons, migration patterns of foods? Is it the temperature, and some way it affects out metabolism? Is it to do with how our activity levels change, and we tend to change our eating to reflect? Is it shaped by equatorial monsoon patterns and dry season?

I think the answer will be everything, and nothing specifically, as well as so much more besides.

as long as i can buy broccoli, eggs and beef year round, though, i will probably never think about it again.

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1019 · May 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Sounds like you've been spending time on Jack's website. If there is any scientific basis for this school of thought I would be interested in it, although I don't think this kind of research is available.

If your thought is based on ancestry then you should consider the seasons of Africa. More so wet and dry, not so much cold and hot.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · May 26, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Which Jack, the crazy one? No, not at all... just been thinking. Maybe I need to read more science and think less.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · May 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Well, thinking and eating carbs. Perhaps this is all just a complex justification for sugar addiction.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09
6087 · May 27, 2012 at 2:17 AM

^ Raney, I just had the thought that enforced carb restriction could probably be a useful tool for malicious dictators.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · May 27, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Ha! I bet you could sell a few books: "The palatable abolition of hegemonic reign."

5447e1f37d3ffa1525dac55be36ee454
1019 · May 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Raney, I don't think eating carbs is a bad thing, there is plenty of justification from an ancestral standpoint. Read my article on insulin spikes. http://www.gulfcoastpersonaltrainingllc.com/insulin-spikes-carbohydrate-refeeds-tubers-ancestral-diet-insulin-sensitivity/

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