A follow on from the this question regarding smart counter arguments to paleo:
How can I argue against my very tall family members who grew up on cheese, milk and bread? Are they better adapted? According to various accounts such as by the Romans they have been tall for centuries so it's not just since the advent of modern civilization and medicine.
Now I don't know all the details regarding 'diseases of civilization' because I don' have time to look it up. Maybe they get loads of heart-attacks.
So have the Northern Europeans adapted to dairy and grains better? Should those with this kind of background adjust their diet away from strict paleo / primal?
Top 10 Tallest People
Yes, great scientific source ;)
May I just point out that the entire world eats grains in large quantities. X population eats grains and isn't completely fucking dead compared with the rest of the world is not the kind of reasoning we want to be committing ourselves to.
I am not anti-dairy, although the quality of the stuff in North America puts me off.
There are populations who can tolerate gluten better than others. And perhaps some grains aren't enough to completely kill people or hinder development, but does that mean that they wouldn't be better off without grains?
In Staffan Lindeberg's "Food and Western Disease" he has an intriguing section on the consumption of dairy triggering abnormal amounts of IGF-1, leading to abnormal height increases in dairy-eating populations - at the possible cost of type I diabetes and MS and other autoimmune disorders.
I lived in Sweden and I was let's say... very impressed with the men there. Tall, handsome, raised on Vasterbotten Cheese, milk, and rye crisp bread. They also drink a lot and eat tons of candy. I think the difference between them and Americans is while some of those foods aren't awesome, they aren't malnourished. I think most American food is high in calories and low in micronutrients.
I dated a Swedish guy for a long time and it was eye-opening meeting his family. The sugar does catch up to them when they are older. His parents were type-2 diabetic and his older brothers were slowly getting the beer paunch.
It's interesting because the Estonian and Finnish population, which is genetically distinct from the Scandinavians and may be less agriculture-adapted, there seem to be more issues with dairy. Many of my Finnish friends had given it up for oat milk because they suffered acne from it.
I have read that populations with a history of milk consumption are better adapted to it and have better lactose tolerance. This makes since as in a food poor environment, those who did not do well on milk, with milk being a primary food source, would have been selected against. This takes many generations, but some populations have been consuming milk for many generations. Of course, we are comparing only against other populations. To say one populatoin does better than another is not the same as saying this is the healthiest food available for any population. It still may not be. It is easy to look healthy when everyone around you is sick!
Also for consideration, northern europeans have a higher percentage of celiac disease in the population and the same goes for gallbladder disease. Gallbladder disease is linked to high carb consumption. It is likely that although norther europeans may do better than other populations on milk, they actually do worse on grain and are NOT so well adapted to grain intake. High grain consumption does not have nearly as long a tradition as does high milk consumption.
Height is affected by a variety of factors not just diet although getting enough protein and calories while growing is important.
The Dutch people may not always have been the tallest, I cant be totally certain of the facts mentioned though. Why Are the Dutch So Tall?
In the space of about 150 years, the Dutch have gone from being one of Europe's smallest people to the tallest in the world. A look at why the Dutch are so tall.
The most convincing argument for why the Dutch have grown so tall so recently was put forward by J.W. Drukker, a professor of economic history at the University of Groningen. His studies revealed that the Dutch growth spurt of the mid-19th century coincided with the establishment of the first liberal democracy. Before this time, Holland had grown rich off its colonies but the wealth had stayed in the hands of the elite. After this time, the wealth began to trickle down to all levels of society, the average income went up and so did the height.
Since then, the gap between the rich and poor in Holland has remained relatively narrow, and the country now has some of the best pre- and postnatal care in the world. This is in direct contrast to America, for example, where the population, once more than 3 inches taller than the average Dutchman, has not increased in height for 25 years.
This paper is also interesting Long run trends in the heights of European men, 19th-20th centuries.
This paper presents 5-yearly data on the height of young adult men in 15 Western European countries for birth cohorts from the middle of the 19th to the end of the 20th century. The results indicate that from the 1870s to the 1970s average height increased by around 11cm, or more than 1cm per decade. The main finding is that for the northern and middle European groups of countries the gains in height were most rapid in the period 1911-15 to 1951-55, a period that embraced two World Wars and the Great Depression but also witnessed advances in public health and hygiene. For the southern countries growth was fastest in the period 1951-55 to 1976-80. These findings suggest that advances in height were determined not only by income and living standards but also by a variety of other socioeconomic trends.
I am from Latvia, which is next to Estonia. It is true, that people consume fair amount of dairy products in the form of regular milk, butter, smetana (sour cream), cheese and also kefir which is very popular in all countries of former Soviet Union. Yogurt came only recently. Bread is consumed with every meal! However, I think rye bread is more popular than wheat bread, and it is prepared from fermented rye which probably has fewer anti nutrients and easily digestible. This is the best Latvian bread http://www.laci.lv/index.php/eng/produkti/maize/
Here is the video on how this bread is prepared http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v5iLBOyJmA Sorry, for posting links to non-paleo items.
The staple food also includes white potatoes and buckwheat. Buckwheat with milk was my favorite breakfast meal.
I ate like that for 24 years, then came to US and got Ulcerative Colitis after about year and a half. Now I do much better on paleo.
I've referenced this book before but I'll do it again here: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Nutrition-Your-Genes-Traditional/dp/0615228380/ref=pd_sim_b_9 (by Catherine & Luke Shanahan). There's a lot of accessible science presented too.
The premise isn't about 'paleo' but that traditional diets around the world have certain trends in common and that these diets also are very healthy.
Sergey already makes the point, but she says that fresh and RAW milk is healthy (but processed milk is NOT), and the cultured products like kefir are very healthy too. And that breads were made from sprouted and/or fermented grains - which dramatically changes the chemistry of the grain on the body.
She also claims that people have a certain 'genetic momentum' (I can't remember if that's her phrase or mine). So if your ancestors switched to a modern diet, it might take a generation or two or three for the bodies to break down. She mentions Pottenger's Cats as one example.
I learned a couple really important lessons from this book. First, I started making kefir and sauerkraut and eat both regularly - yum!. Second, I was impressed by the explanation of how our bodies interact with the foods we eat. That our digestion isn't just a 'break it down and use it for new stuff' process, but an intricate conversation where biological responses begin the instant foods are tasted and continue through-out processing, switching genes on and off and adjusting other systems. I had never imagined digestion as so... elegant and it was a real eye-opener.
I often wonder about these questions too. Have you read "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon or "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" by Weston A. Price? They studied those cultures, and basically found that these cultures used raw milk/products and fermented them. The grains were also soaked/fermented to neutralize the toxins. When "paleo" foods are not as available, I think this is the next step to take in the diet.... Man is resourceful and we learned back then how to neutralize or reduce toxins in certain foods and still fill the larder.
As far as your question on tall people: Osage Indians were among the tallest of the Native Americans. What about them? I am interested in looking into their traditional diet. If anyone knows, please let me know. ~~~s
Dairy adaptation. I believe in it. In addition, I believe raw grassfed milk is 100x better than our pasteurized junk even tho it isn't optimal
However, bread is not as prevalent as oats
Oats have the prolamin avenin, while similar to gliaden(wheat) it is far far milder, in addition, the traditional oat preparation included fermenting and soaking. This helped mitigate the avenin.
Edit: autocorrect changed avenin to avenue...
A trip to paris - what to eat? 13 Answers