Since age has been brought up a couple of times in this thread, for a lark, I went back over a number of these posts and comments making a note of ages of the posters and it's apparent that most of the fruitaholics and the starchaholics pushing for revisionism of the paleo diet are in their 20s and 30s. This is most telling. When I was in my 20s and 30s I could do just about anything and get away with it but that didn't hold up. Today I have very little to do with fruit and starch and I explained the reason why a few days ago over here -
Not only that, most younger adults are prone to excepting theories as long as it meshes with emotional attachments. Nothing like physical degeration to unlatch those. I don't mean to come off sounding patronizing, but it might be better not to fix everything is stone just yet.
So begging your forgiveness for operating with the benefit of hindsight and experience, I'm curious how many will be able to hang onto their newly acquired dogma into the decades. I read Denise Minger's paper and if that's what you're clinging to as proof of your general theory of paleotivity, please keep a light rein. I am fairly certain many of you down the path will not look back as it recedes over the horizon. It was a nice paper, interesting, and I did learn a few things about giant African fruit, but not one thing that could be incorporated by a European, North American or most Asians. I noticed she is rather young too. I wonder if someone could prod her expound on my still very valid example of the banana. Or would that not gel with the agenda?
Anyway the effects of sugar and starch in the long run is what will bring most knowledgeable people back to the real paleo.
Sorry for my absense - prior commitments...
If we can momentarily sidestep all the unbridled and brash, youthful potshots (which I may come back to), I'd like to return to the discussion concerning carbs in the paleolithic. The OP question implied that the original paleo conventional wisdom once said that the paleo diet was once known as low carb but that later conventional "wisdom" has attempted to morph that into something high, or least higher carb. So Curated Wellness asked - "Am I crazy or is this really how the low-carb history of paleo went? Were carbs always welcome in the paleo scene?
And I think I might be able to lend further perspective to an interesting question. Back when I was a vegetarian and opened a vegetarian restaurant (35 years ago when a certain young moderator was minus 10) and it was well "known" to vegetarians at the time that banana-eating monkeys dropped down out of the trees, stood upright, developed opposing thumbs with which to pick up sticks to hit each other, but otherwise lived in some sort of fruitopian, vegetarian bliss, where a bountiful feast was only within arm's reach. So the original paleo to the vegetarian cult was high carb and vegetarian. This was a popular notion at the time and was a useful means to drive and motivate vegetarianism and I think still exists today. It might even be prevalent in the forum. I haven't been here long enough to really know. Maybe we have closet or mole vegetarians. But I was right there with it so you might say that I've been dealing with the question of what's-paleo for a long time. But I was incorrect then, just as incorrect as a certain young moderator is about paleo including lots of fruits and high carbs.
But in earlier posts I was rather untactfully pointed to Denise Minger's paper on giant African fruits, the relevance of which still evades me (but more on that), but I also learned that my life was shambles because I was "ignorant" and old and I saw a linked picture for the first time of what I really looked like and it was devastatingly unbecoming. "O wad some Power the gift tae gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us" (Burns) But now that I know how you like me and I have regained my composure, I can press on with why I reject Minger's paper as evidence of high carbs in the paleolithic. Not reject it for it's intended purpose, mind you, but reject it as a weapon wielded by a certain young moderator in defense of high carbs because it was erroneously confused with paleo diet. For it's intended purpose she did quite well and after stating the four myths she wanted to dispel. she admits -
"*Virtually all the food we have available today—from plant and animal kingdoms alike—has been selectively bred for both flavor and ease of eating, and fruit is certainly no exception. It seems reasonable to conclude that, apart from the rare batch of honey or seasonal berry bushes popping up outside, humans didn’t get much exposure to sugar during our evolution, and modern fruits are completely unlike anything we encountered in the past.
But are these assumptions truly accurate? Let’s take a look at the facts.*"
But she is selective in her fruits and the facts she uses are very narrow in scope. Her premise is that some ancient fruits are basically equivalent to modern ones and that's OK as far as it goes. She didn't fully eradicate any "myths" by using selective examples and my own example of evolution of bananas and potatoes (although not fruit) and many others attest to the fact that the scope of this study is narrow, but here's why it did not portray the paleo diet.
Like I said in an earlier post in reference to A.J. Aguirre's bananas and potatoes in Ethiopia (which started my whole drift), just because you currently see lots of produce in a grocery store, it in no means that it was present during paleo times, and we all know that. Just like when Denise Minger went to Africa (I'm assuming she did), it no way indicates that all those giant African fruit were present in paleo times.
We came out of the Pleistocene 11-12,000 years ago at the end of the last glacial period. The beginning of the Pleistocene is roughly 2.5 million years ago and the Pleistocene itself roughly coincides with the advent of modern hominids. This would be our beloved paleo era. During these periods of repeated glaciation Africa was a very dry place, so much so that the African woodlands retreated to just three small patches during glacial maxima and there was broad expanse of African savannas and grasslands. Not much fruit or tubers in grassland, but the important part is coming up.
The earth's ecliptic plane changes seasonally in relation to the sun, but we all know this. The north pole is sunny in summer and dark in winter, etc, but the surface of the earth closest to the sun near the equator keeps moving in cycles above the equator and then below the equator and so on. That surface gets direct perpendicular heat from the sun causing the humid air to heat up and rise to altitude which causes the air to cool and condense into rain. So as the changing eliptical plane of the earth moves up and down in relation to the sun, the rain likewise moves above the equator and then below the equator and these are the monsoons. As the monsoons move north then south, then north, then south, hoofed animals follow these rains and these are known as the great migrations.
I mentioned in an earlier post that paleos were nomadic because they chased after game when an area became depleted, and because they went high in summer and low in winter. Well this is another reason. They followed the hoofed migrations because they were going where the food was going.
I'm not sure how long this went on but you had the better part of 2.5 million years to get this pattern established and when you see illustrations of paleo people out in vast grasslands, this is what you are looking at. So as, I said before, the African woodlands retreated to three small patches. Before this happened there was one main species of gorilla. Here is the diet of the herbivorous gorilla -
*The diet of a gorilla consists primarily of fruits, leaves, shoots, shrubs, vines, tree bark, flowers and a variety of other plant matter. http://www.ehow.com/about_4580393_gorilla-diet.html*
Originally gorilla habitat was broad, as broad as the woodlands use to be. As the woodlands shrank, the supply of gorilla feed and fruits (and habitat) shrank with it till there were separate groups of gorillas which eventually diverged into subspecies.
Maybe now you can see where I am going with this. If the available gorilla carbs dropped to such low levels, so low that the gorilla couldn't thrive and almost died out retreating to small patches, and yet nomadic humans were traipsing north and south thriving on animals, and this went on for most the Pleistocene, where is the evidence that carbs had anything to do with this? Grasslands are not carb friendly, yet the hooved animals were capable of converting grass into protein.
Today in Africa, most of that rainforest has recovered since the end of the last ice age, but the gorilla populations have not re-established contact (and probably never will in today's Africa). But as the forest recovered so did the supply of fruit and that was what Denise Minger saw.
So we need to keep it all in context and keep open minds. When I said "real paleo" I'm into what really happened back then and not somebody's cockeyed hypothesis or romantic faux interpretation of it. Some of you younger guys just internalize something because it seems to fit and then you shoot from the hip at anybody who disagrees with you. A little cognitive dissonance will not fail you. And maybe a little humility...