Also Why isn't it considered low protein by default as almost all Paleolithic people ate under 20% calories from protein but so many people now seem to promote high protein high fat ignoring this.
People consider paleo 'low carb' simply because it has lower carbohydrate levels than the typical Western diet. For example 2 slices of bread has around 30g carbs, a small serving of pasta has over 50g carbs. Compare this to say spinach which has 1.1g carbs per cup, tomatoes have around 7.1g per cup.
Those who eat paleo avoid these un-natural carb dense foods (breads, pasta, rice etc) and instead we eat the natural carbohydrates which come in veggies. It is not us who are 'low-carb', we are just eating naturally...If anything it is those on the Western diet that are on a un-natural 'high carb' diet!!
We don't know what paleo man ate for sure, but assumptions are based on hunter gatherer societies.
The mean diet among modern hunter-gatherer societies is estimated to consist of 64-68% of animal calories and 32-36% of plant calories, with animal calories further divided between fished and hunted animals in varying proportions (most typically, with hunted animal food comprising 26-35% of the overall diet). As part of the so-called Man the Hunter paradigm, this ratio was used as the basis of the earliest forms of the Paleolithic diet by Voegtlin, Eaton and others. To this day, many advocates of the Paleolithic diet consider high percentage of animal flesh to be one of the key features of the diet. However, great disparities do exist, even between different modern hunter-gatherer societies.
The animal-derived calorie percentage ranges from 25% in the Gwi people of southern Africa, to 99% in Alaskan Nunamiut.
We’ve definitely been over this before on paleohacks (that search engine really does work well), but I’m game:
Firstly I’d say there is a general association of paleo as being “low-carb” simply because it is relatively lower in carbohydrate most of the time as compared to SAD.
Secondly (and this is the meaty part that I have posted before about and enjoy talking about), paleo is a somewhat unique (oh I kinda hate when people use “unique” incorrectly but eff it) phenomenon since it really does draw two very distinct crowds: athletic individuals looking to just live better and perhaps improve performance and then people who are or may have been metabolically damaged, overweight, etc. looking to either lose weight or find novel ways of maintaining their current weight. No, of course they are not mutually exclusive.
In many respects these two loose groupings of people will have different applications of the basic paleo tenet: AVOID GRAINS LEGUMES DAIRY. As regards this thread, that difference would prolly be found in the amount of carbohydrates (particularly I believe, starch) they consume.
As regards your supplemental question about protein-intake I’d say there is clearly not enough evidence about the myriads of ancestral peoples’ consumption practices for your “20%” reference.
Unlikely all Paleolithic people ate under 20% calories as protein. No one will ever know the ratios. Paleo is not considered low carb by default, but some people see that carbs offer little and are not always essential. If one knows how and where to look protein is relatively easy to find in the wild. My people still have the memories and knowledge of how they ate before the white man came to north america.
As far as I know no ones knows for sure about the macronutrient composition of the diets of "paleolithic people". And there was no one "paleolithic people", but a people living in very different environments. That said, I agree that high protein, high fat is not the paradigm I would go for, if I had to choose one paradigm.
The paleo diet is considered low carb because it was hijacked by atkins and low carb fanatics.
No current HG's eat less then 115g of carbs including eskimos, doing a VLC diet and calling it paleo is living in fantasy land.
The HG diet definitely varied but over all it was probably a lot higher in carbs then people think.
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